Takuma Sato has declared himself pleased with his third and final test for the Toro Rosso team as he aims to secure a return to the Formula One grid for the 2009 season.

Despite being out of action for much of the year following the demise of the Super Aguri team, Sato was once again on the pace during two days of running at Jerez as he continued to stake a strong claim for a race seat with the Red Bull-owned outfit for the new campaign.

Sato had been one of the pace-setters during the Barcelona test, going quickest overall on day one before ending day two second fastest, and helped Toro Rosso end its 2008 testing programme in fine fashion during the second successive Spanish test.

With Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais hitting the track on day one, Sato had to wait until the second day of running to turn his first laps but was on the pace immediately as he set the second quickest time, despite completing only 38 laps as he shared the car with 2008 racer Bourdais.

For the final day however, Sato had the car to himself, and a fastest lap of 1min 17.520secs was the second quickest of the week behind Buemi.

Sato now faces a wait as Toro Rosso evaluates its line-up for 2009, but he said he was hopeful he had done enough to show he was worthy of a race seat.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience with Toro Rosso and would like to thank the whole team for everything they have done for me," he said. "Over the three tests I have done with them, I have been made to feel so welcome and integrated into the team operations.

"Since my last race back in April I have been so hungry to race again and am so motivated to return. Now of course, I just hope that I will be given the chance to race with this great team next year.

"I feel that I am satisfied with the whole working process with engineers, mechanics and of course in the cockpit during the test - even after my long absence from F1, so hope it will be enough to convince the management for their decision."

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