Race Report: Honda Indy 200
LEXINGTON, OH Aug. 3, 2014—Takuma Sato and the ABC Supply team endured another tough race as Lady Luck turned her back once again in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Starting 21st, Sato got off the line strong and picked up several positions but then found himself with nowhere to go due to a multi-car crash triggered by third place qualifier Tony Kanaan’s spin in turn 4 which also collected Marco Andretti (who started 16th). Sato hit Andretti but was able to continue on, albeit with a damaged front wing assembly. With the race under a full course yellow, he pitted on lap two (when the pits opened) to have it replaced.
Pursuing an alternate fuel strategy, he pitted on lap 11, switching from the harder compound primary (black-rimmed) tires to the softer compound alternate (red-rimmed) tires. Running 19th, he neither gained nor lost positions on a track where it is notoriously difficult to pass. The race’s second full course yellow came out on lap 37 for Ryan Hunter-Reay’s spin in turn 12.
As Sato headed for the pits, the car sputtered off turn 6 and had to be towed in. He went a lap down. The race went caution-free after that and Sato never had the chance to get his lap back. He finished 18th.
“It was a disappointing race,” said Sato. “We made a good start and picked up a couple of positions but then there was a multiple car accident in front of me and I couldn’t avoid it. The front wing was damaged so we pitted and changed it. We went back racing again but unfortunately we ran out of fuel and I couldn’t get back to the pits, so I had to be towed and we lost a lap. We kept going and the boys gave me great pit stops but our position never changed because we were a lap down. It was a really tough race. We just have to keep our motivation up.”