Takuma Sato put in a very solid performance Friday at Kansas Speedway during qualifications in the #5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology car in a rain-delayed session.
Sato, the former F1 star making his first oval start Saturday in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300, turned in one of the most consistent four-lap showings on the fast 1.5-mile tri-oval west of Kansas City. Sato drove his machine to the eleventh starting position in the 27-car line-up that takes the green flag at 2 pm [local time].
Sato tested his car Wednesday at Kansas Speedway under the guidance of co-team owner and former open-wheel champion Jimmy Vasser and recorded 115 laps in very windy conditions. He came back Friday and had to wait for rain and hail to pass through the Speedway before getting a chance to practice in the mid-afternoon.
Sato's four-lap average of 210.335 miles per hour led the KV Racing Technology three-driver line-up with Mario Moraes, in the #32 KV Racing Technology car, in twelfth at 210.186 m.p.h. and E.J. Viso, in the #8 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology machine, in 16th at 209.700 m.ph.
"This has been a great day for the #5 Lotus – KV Racing Technology team. I am happy to have made it to qualifying after the bad weather delayed practice this morning," Sato reflected. "The team provided me with a great car in order for me to learn this oval and gain confidence with how the car reacts in traffic. Qualifying was a new experience for me and I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow."