Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato in the No.30 ABeam Consulting Honda endured a disappointing day in race 2 of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday.
The Indianapolis 500 winner started Sunday’s race from pole and led 66 of 200 laps but had to settle for a ninth place finish after hitting the wall at turn 2 with just three laps to go,
The Japanese driver was able to make it home and as a result remains in fourth place in the championship.
Speaking following the event Sato said:
We led the race and saved a bunch of fuel, but we caught the tail end of the pack. Today there was a lot of dust offline, and it was very difficult to overtake. The team made the decision to stay out, but it seems that everybody undercut us on the first stint, and that was it. After that, we tried to stretch the fuel and then go off sequence but caught traffic every time. Some of the cars were four laps down, and the team said they heard they were told, ‘Keep the 30 car behind,’ which is not racing. It’s not sportsmanlike, and I’m not very happy with that. But there is nothing we can do about it.”
It was a disappointing day for Graham Rahal in the No.15 United Rentals Honda as he started the race from 23rd and came home in 20th place and speaking following the race he said:
Race 2 was disappointing for the United Rentals team just because of where we started. Today is a lesson in how important qualifying is. It was hard to pass on track. The tire is very, very hard here, and it makes it difficult for the drivers, but I’ve got to say it was massively better today. If you look at our fastest lap time, it was as quick as (Pato) O’Ward, who finished second. It’s just a shame we started at the back. We never were able to make our way forward. We lost a lap early when we came in the pits with (leader Josef) Newgarden, and he just beat us out, which put us a lap down, and from there we kind of scrambled. But I’ve got to say the silver lining in all this is yes, this weekend sucked for us, but we made great gains today. Twentieth doesn’t look like it, but I assure you we did. Head down, focus forward, and we’ll get them at the next one.