Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato in the No.30 MiJack Panasonic Honda had a great day in the Kohler Grand Prix at the Road America circuit in Wisconsin on Sunday.
The 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner who started the race from seventh place and came home in fourth place to score his best result of the season.
Speaking following the race, Sato said:
We had a fast car. It’s a shame that we missed the podium, but we need to find a little more speed. Thanks to the fans for all the support. It was another great event at Road America. We struggled at the beginning of the season and lost too much ground, but Graham (Rahal) and I are working close with the engineering side and shared a lot of stuff and picked up speed. I made a good start at the beginning and it was really fun. At one point, I was side-by-side (with Rossi) and pushed hard, and obviously, not very happy with that, but in the end we got the spot back and close to the podium. In high-level, professional racing, you shouldn’t really be bumping each other. Obviously, I gave him room enough and he came inside. He just couldn’t stop and came into me and bumped me. He did exactly the same thing to (Robert) Wickens at the start and I’m surprised the stewards didn’t take action. I’m OK with side-by-side, just don’t touch me. The guys did a tremendous job over the weekend and we hope to carry momentum to Iowa.”
Graham Rahal in the No.15 Gehl Honda started the race from ninth place and came home in sixth and finished the event in sixth place and speaking following the race he said:
We were decent. We went to the new reds (Firestone alternate tires) on the third stint and probably just went on them too early, probably needed to keep them for the last stint. Overall, the car was decent — not great — we have to continue to work on it. We can be a top-five, top-six car but how do we win? We went to new reds on the third stint and it catapulted us up into the group with Robbie (Wickens), Takuma (Sato) and everyone, but I think we needed them at the end. We just have to go back and review that because we definitely needed new reds to close out the race. At the end of the day, it was a great day in the GEHL machine with another consistent result. How about that crowd? It’s unbelievable when you drive around the track and see that many people, so thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting us. It was just like our other races. I shouldn’t be disappointed, but we want to win. We have finished in the top-10 in every race this year but one, but at some point, we need to improve enough to win these things. We’ll go enjoy the Fourth of July and then come back to battle at Iowa.”