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
Colts Draft Party
 
Indianapolis Colts to Host Fourth and Fifth Round Draft Selections at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hosting the Indianapolis Colts’ Official Draft Party for the fourth and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft. Come out to IMS from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, to witness the Colts’ selections. The event is free and there will be Colts player and cheerleader appearances. You will be able to watch live picks for the rounds made by Colts personalities and Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. There will be complete draft coverage along with fun activities and games from the Indianapolis Colts organization as well.
Read More
IMS Pylon
 
100th Running Host Committee Places Historic Pylon Panels Throughout Indy as part of 33-Day Countdown
Number panels from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway scoring pylon will be showcased throughout the city to build anticipation for race weekend
Read More
IMS Mobile App
 
IMS Releases New and Improved Race Day Mobile App
With the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil just around the corner, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has released a new and improved IMS Mobile App.
Read More
JW Marriott
 
JW Marriott to Receive Indy 500 Themed Makeover for Month of May
Visitors looking to the sky will be greeted by a massive rendering of the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy throughout this epic Month of May. The 100th Running Host Committee has commissioned a 74,538 sq. ft. graphic celebrating the 100th Running of the Indy 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will adorn the exterior of downtown’s JW Marriott Indianapolis, greeting guests from across the globe traveling to Indianapolis for this year’s race.
Read More
John Green
 
John Green to Drive Chevrolet Pace Car at Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Acclaimed young adult fiction author and Indiana native John Green will serve as the honorary Pace Car driver in a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe for the Verizon IndyCar Series Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 14.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 324
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
No one is tougher than 'ol A.J. Foyt! More on the Legend on today's #SpeedRead - https://t.co/z5Gr4XbmTm https://t.co/xsHIGVML4w
about 12 hours ago