Leeds, Alabama (Saturday, April 30, 2022) – Takuma Sato took part in qualifying for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Saturday. While he was on his way to a top six in Round 1, he ended up ninth in his group which guaranteed him a 17th place on the starting grid for Sunday’s main event.
Group 1 / Round 1: 9th
Best Lap: 1:06.7541
- Sato was sitting sixth when he entered pit lane for a set of Firestone Alternate tires about halfway through the session and was on his way to a top three lap but ended up going off track on his penultimate lap, which cost him a chance of moving on to the next round.
- He did however register his best time (1:06.7541) in qualifying on his seventh and final lap but it would only place him ninth in his group.
- Sato ended the final practice session later in the day in an encouraging seventh place.
- In his last four races at Barber Motorsports Park, Takuma Sato has three top 10 finishes, including a win from pole in 2019, as well as 8th (2018) and 9th (2017) place finishes.
- Sato will be making his 12th start on the 2.3-mile 17-turn road course this weekend.
- In three races in 2022, Sato has a best finish of 10th on the streets of St. Petersburg and a best start of third at Texas Motor Speedway.
Takuma Sato #51 Nurtec ODT Honda – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR
“It was a busy Saturday. It’s a mix of feelings for me today. On one side, it’s always nice for me to come back here at Barber because I have good memories here, but, unfortunately, we couldn’t find a good speed in qualifying. However, we found some speed in the last practice session on the Alternate Firestone tires. Relatively speaking we made up some ground and moved forward, so that’s encouraging. Tomorrow’s weather forecast can be a bit tricky, which is probably good for us. We’re good with tires for tomorrow so we can do whatever we want to. Now, we’ll tune up our Nurtec ODT car for tomorrow and hopefully we can have an exciting Sunday afternoon.”