Notes & Quotes: Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
• Takuma Sato is in his fifth season driving Indy cars; it is his second year with Foyt. Sato’s thoughts on:
o Returning to a street course: “It’s refreshing after spending a great amount of time at IMS [Indianapolis Motor Speedway]. Have to reseat the mind from ultra-smooth 230mph to ultra-bumpy and narrow street course but I look forward to that!”
o The key to running well in Detroit: “The track has a variety of corners from high-speed to low-speed so it requires a total balance but the car especially needs to have a good mechanical grip as the track is bumpy and rough.”
o His goals for Detroit: “We need strong finishes on those doubleheaders because we had some unlucky moments in the early part of the season and lost many points from that. It’s going to be a very busy weekend with not much time to recover, so I’d like to have strong but smooth weekend.”
o Staying motivated after the letdown of Indy: “I don’t think I ever lost my motivation for racing so that part is not really a problem for me. It was a pity at Indy in the end but it was still an exciting race and our whole team is very motivated to go to the next race.”
o Indy 500 performance: “We learned a lot. We were struggling up to race day but we were able to run strongly on Sunday. The car felt much, much better on race day and the boys did great pit stops. It was very unfortunate that the debris effectively ended our race, but it was very encouraging to see that we were moving up to the front pack. The whole team worked so hard to get it right and we made a big improvement in the end. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I feel we got a bright sign of what we need. It was a huge gain for us.”
o Driving instead of flying to Detroit: “It’s a pretty short journey from Indianapolis, and it’s probably quicker driving than flying where you need to go to the airport, check-in, go through security, claim baggage and pick up rental car, etc. Plus I am not traveling alone so I already booked 1C: good reclining seat with lots of refreshments, free wi-fi and door-to-door service. It’s first class!” [Note: after his last ‘journey’ to Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park, Takuma is now referred to as “the gentleman in 1C” by his traveling companions, the Fusek family].