Takuma Sato and No. 14 ABC Supply Team Take IndyCar Point Lead
With Sato’s Brilliant Drive in Brazil
SAO PAULO, Brazil May 5, 2013—Sometimes a driver’s ‘best-driven’ race doesn’t land him in Victory Lane. That was the case today with Takuma Sato who drove a brilliant—and valiant--race to finish second with the ABC Supply Honda in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300. James Hinchcliffe passed Sato coming off the last corner to claim his second win of the season.
Sato took over the IZOD IndyCar points lead as A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team heads to Indianapolis as the points leader. The last time Foyt’s team led the IndyCar standings was in 1998 when Kenny Brack won the series title.
Starting 12th, Sato made great moves on the starts and restarts to live up to his philosophy of “No Attack. No Chance.” He picked up positions every time without losing any bodywork – a feat in itself on the streets of Sao Paulo—so that by lap 34 he was leading the race. He pitted four laps later during a caution, but that call was a gamble on the part of Team Foyt who could have stayed out a few more laps as many others did.
That call set up another gamble during a lap 52 caution as the team abandoned their Conserve Fuel strategy, gave up P-6 on the track, ducked in for fuel only—and no tires. When the stops cycled out, however, Sato was in P-4! He moved into the lead on lap 57 for the second time and held off repeated attacks from Josef Newgarden and later Hinchcliffe, both on fresher tires.
In the final 15 laps of the 75-lap race however, the no. 14 car began getting looser with every lap as Sato’s quick hands fought to maintain control and the lead. He managed to do just that until the final turn of the final lap of the race. Hinchcliffe zipped past and took the checkered, while Sato took second and the points lead.