The No.14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda of Takuma Sato showed great pace on the opening day of practice ahead of Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg as the Japanese driver ended the day with the combined fifth fastest time having completed 33 laps overall.

Speaking following the day of running, Sato commented by saying:

Glad to be back in St. Pete—great atmosphere and the fans are so enthusiastic so I always enjoy this track. This year we have a new package again and the car feels fast and is fun to drive. Looking from the outside, it is quite a competitive field—the pack is very tight. But we had a very good first day and hope to have an even stronger day tomorrow.

Sato’s team mate Jack Hawksworth in the No.41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda had an equally impressive day as the Englishman ended the sessions with the combined eighth fastest time of the day overall having completed 40 laps.

Speaking following the opening day at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Hawksworth commented by saying:

The ABC car was really good all day. We did some good running in both practices so it was a very successful day for us. I think we’ll just rub it tonight and give it a bit of a tune but there’s not much work to do.” (About being further down in the second practice): “I just didn’t get a lap in at the end—there was so much traffic. I think we have a very good car so I’m not worried.

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