News & Multimedia

Sato Leads Opening Day of Practice for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Takuma Sato topped the time chart in the second practice session to lead the opening days of preparations for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The Japanese driver recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 2.5615 seconds. Driving the Honda-powered No. 14 ABC Supply car, after he was third in the morning session on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit.

'I am very excited to back in St. Petersburg and excited to be on track," said Sato, who has a best finish of fifth in four previous races. "The conditions were not very representative as usual for St. Petersburg, but still the car worked really well and we made good progress during this session. Let's hope this continues and we will work on speed for (qualifying)."

Sebastien Bourdais holds the track record of 1:00.928 in qualifying for the 2003 race sanctioned by CART.

Graham Rahal in the No. 15 National Guard car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was second quick (1:02.6122) and Will Power, who has earned the pole in each of the past four years, was third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car (1:02.6443). Teammate Helio Castroneves, a three-time winner of the race, was fourth and Simon Pagenaud was fifth in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car.

Five Hondas and an equal number of Chevrolet-powered cars occupied the top 10. The top 19 cars were separated by less than a second.

Rahal, whose victory at St. Petersburg in '08 made him the youngest winner in Indy car history, won the pole the following March.

"Overall, for our first day out I think it was a great day," said Rahal. "For us to be that competitive right off the bat feels awesome. I have to say most of all I am proud of these National Guard guys because it was only 48, maybe 72 hours ago that we had a big trailer fire and our guys did an incredible job getting everything switched back over in Indy. It was a rush, it was absolutely a rush to get down here."

The crew was to have the day off, but everyone reported to the Brownsburg, Ind., headquarters by 6 a.m. to offer assistance.

"I am proud of them and as Dad said last night to them 'through adversity comes a team' and I think we have a great group of people and I think that is going to show this year," added Rahal, referring to team co-owner Bobby Rahal.

In the first session of the season, 2013 race winner James Hinchcliffe was quickest of the 22 drivers at 1:02.9326.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Sato Leads Opening Day of Practice for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
 
Sato Leads Opening Day of Practice for Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Takuma Sato topped the time chart in the second practice session to lead the opening days of preparations for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Read More
Related Media
Juncos Racing
 
Juncos Racing Announces Entry for 101st Running Indy 500
Juncos, the founder and team principal of Juncos Racing – the highly successful operation in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires developmental ladder – said his team will take the next step to the Verizon IndyCar Series on its biggest stage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. While driver and manufacturer announcements await, the news signals a “dream come true” for the immigrant from Argentina.
Read More
Willy T. Ribbs
 
Ribbs Enjoying Quiet Life After Barrier Breaking Career in Racing
A determined Ribbs made a name for himself in various forms of racing, most notably in 1991 as the first black driver in the Indianapolis 500. As part of Black History Month, Ribbs is remembered for breaking that color barrier with two starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
 
On-Sale Now, Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval, features some of the best views of the track plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option. All tickets to the Hulman Terrace Club were sold in its inaugural season in 2016. Space is limited, so fans interested in tickets should act now.
Read More
Indianapolis Golf Putter
 
PGA Pro Rodgers Ties Family's Indy Legacy to Golf with Putter
Before striking his first golf club at 6 years old and forging a path to the PGA Tour, Patrick Rodgers became enamored with racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
Rossi's Life-Changing Year Comes Full Circle with Indy 500 Ticket Unveiling
the talented American who’d spent most of his early career racing in Europe, was boarding a flight from London with an eventual destination of Indianapolis to sign with Andretti Autosport and drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 432
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
In celebration of Black History Month, @pwilson24 sat down with #Indy500 trailblazer @WillyRibbs! Check it out!… https://t.co/ZjDfjALPtn
about 1 hour ago