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
Big Ten Championship
 
IMS and IndyCar Provide High Speed Big Ten Championship Preview
The Big Ten Football Championship Game returns to Indianapolis this weekend for another thrilling matchup with major bowl game implications. This year’s game features the Penn State Nittany Lyons and the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
Rossi Closing in on Opportunity to See His Likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy
Rossi’s memories of the Borg-Warner Trophy are more from the day after the race, at the traditional “day-after” photo shoot, when he was posing in front of his No. 98 Honda with the trophy and one of his spotters pointed to the spot where his likeness would go.
Read More
Indy 500 Tickets On Sale Now
 
101st Indianapolis 500 and 2017 Month of May Tickets On Sale Now
Tickets for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are on sale today, along with the entire 2017 Month of May schedule. Fans who have not already pre-ordered tickets can visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office or IMS.com to purchase their seats for an action-packed schedule that also includes the IndyCar Grand Prix, Indy 500 practice and qualification days, concerts and so much more.
Read More
Dancing With The Stars
 
Hinch Finishes Second in 'Dancing With The Stars' Finale
James Hinchcliffe had a season to remember on "Dancing with the Stars," despite finishing a close second to Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez on Tuesday night's live grand finale.
Read More
Dancing With The Stars
 
Hinch Advances to Finale Night for 'Dancing With The Stars'
Along with Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and retired football player Calvin Johnson Jr., Hinchcliffe is one of the three remaining celebrity finalists from a field of 13 that started on the dance competition show in September. Tonight’s two-hour broadcast will feature one more dance from each of the three remaining celebrities and their pro partners, plus returns by the rest of the season cast.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 404
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
RT @charliekimball: A big thank you to @IMS and @jdouglas4 for the great evening of Holiday spirit! https://t.co/s4drHKjac1
about 8 hours ago