Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato is in Chicago today ahead of the opening of practice tomorrow for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

The Japanese driver will throw out the first pitch as the Chicago Cubs take on the Miami Marlins this afternoon.

Sato, who returned to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing from Andretti Autosport during the off season is hoping that his experience on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit from his time in Formula One will help him this weekend.

Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Sato commented by saying:

The INDYCAR GP is quite fun. The long straight and the heavy braking areas provide a lot of opportunities for drivers to overtake, so it is usually a very exciting race. We had a productive test day on the road course in March, and look forward to the opportunity to have a strong race and make up some ground in the championship. Obviously, it is an important race for the 500, so we want to have a good, strong event to have good momentum for the month of May. The section from the main straight, which is the opposite direction that we use for the Indy 500 is something that reminds me of my Formula One days. Going from the speedway to the road course is always unique, so that’s my favorite part.

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