(Saint Petersburg, Florida) At the end of this afternoon’s multi-stage Verizon IndyCar race-qualifying session, Takuma Sato of A. J. Foyt Racing had posted the fastest time and earned the Verizon P1 Award.
In his #14 ABC Supply car with Honda power, Sato’s fastest lap was 1 minute, 1.8686 seconds on the damp 1.8-mile city street course.
The Japanese racer, who was second-fastest here last year, bested the rest of the ‘final six’ qualifiers: Will Power in the #12 Verizon car, Ryan Hunter-Reay in the #28 DHL car, his teammate Marco Andretti in the #25 Snapple car, Scott Dixon in the #9 Target car, and his teammate Tony Kanaan in the #10 Target car. Sato was 1.1 seconds faster than the sixth-fastest man, Marco Andretti.
Afterward, Sato said, ”Over the course of the winter, we did really extensive winter test program. Everything worked out really well. We had a strong package last year here, but obviously there are quite a few changes on the car: tires, twin-turbo engine.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series season-starting race, the Firestone Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg, will be televised on ABC tomorrow beginning at 3 p.m. (Eastern).