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Takuma Sato, AJ Foyt Racing - Q&A

It's been three and a half years to get here, but I always believed I can challenge. Basically I just try keep on going and really appreciate that finally I'm learning what I wanted to.

Q. What crossed your mind when you took the checkered flag?

Takuma Sato:
In fact, I was really enjoying driving. I didn't want to finish the race because it felt so good. I could keep continue.

But I think in the last five laps you can feel the whole tension be there. Larry saying three laps, two laps. This is my first win in a major category over Formula 3, my last race on the top of the podium. But this is the one and feels so easy when you win like this. Everything just was perfect. Just make sure you don't have the bad luck. Just make sure you don't make the mistake and the win is there. I always believe this. I think this guy and the whole team really made me happen.

Q. Larry, how long has your engineering team been in place? Was it difficult to get AJ to move on with the engineering? Once upon a time he just depended on Shorty.

Larry Foyt:
This is the second year we've kind of had the same group together. We've been building synergy there. AJ is one of those people that you have to earn his trust. Once you have it, you've got it.

I think Don, the chief engineer, got it quickly. AJ knows more about these racecars than anybody.

For so long he did it all himself. I think we've come to a day and age where you can't do that anymore, you really have to rely on people. They get along great. Once AJ trusts you like that, you're golden.

Q. Larry, I believe you said that was as close to a perfect race as you'd seen a driver run. Long Beach, a challenging course. Expand on that a little bit.

Larry Foyt:
It was unbelievable. Every restart he timed it perfectly. He did a great job in the pits. He hit his marks. Like you say, it's so hard to have a perfect day in racing, I don't think I've ever seen one if there was one, I think Takuma did it today. I didn't see him make a mistake out there all day. It was a fantastic drive. He did everything we asked.

Toward the end we wanted to be safe on fuel. We thought we were okay, but there was no sense in taking the risk. I was just asking him to save me a little fuel and he was still pulling away from Graham. I couldn't believe it. Too good to be true. He just did a great job.

Like he said, the team did a great job in the pits. Like we've been saying, we have the speed, we just had to put it all together, and we did it today.

Q. Takuma, coming from the number of years in F1, now you're here in IndyCar, the competition is close in this series, how does F1 compare to this kind of racing? Did you have more fun here?

Takuma Sato:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Takuma Sato during practice at St Petersburg, Florida - March 2013 (Picture Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Takuma Sato driving at Long Beach. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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