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I had nowhere to go, says Sato

Former F1 man Takuma Sato 'frustrated' and 'very disappointed' after late race contact stops him taking a top-six finish on his oval debut.
Takuma Sato impressed on his oval debut on Saturday in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway, although sadly he was deprived of a top-six finish following a late collision with Hideki Mutoh.

Sato, who started eleventh in the #5 Lotus-KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, had fought his way past the likes of Will Power, Victor Meira, Danica Patrick and Ryan Hunter-Reay before his misfortune with just 14 laps to go. He was eventually classified in 24th place.

"Today was a very exciting day for me being my first oval race," Sato reflected. "I was running in sixth place with 14 laps to go when a yellow flag came out. There was a pack in front on the restart while I was racing Hideki (Mutoh) side-by-side. It looked like he was pushing up to the wall and I had nowhere to go.

"After having a conversation with Hideki, he was being pushed up into me by the lapped orange car [Simona de Silvestro]. We both had nowhere to go. It's very, very unfortunate. I feel bad for the fans, particularly for all of the Japanese fans and all of Hideki's fans.

"The KV Racing Technology Lotus Team did a fantastic job though. It's just frustrating and I'm very disappointed not to finish. However I really enjoyed racing with many great drivers and gaining a lot of positions as well as understanding how oval racing works."

Mutoh was similarly very upset: "Taku was on the outside but in the last turn a car was also on the inside and it came up (on the track) so there was no where to go. This is very unfortunate because we had a very good race up to that point and I didn't want to crash Taku because I respect him a lot.

"The next race is Indy now though so I will put it out of my mind and try to race up front again. I think the Formula Dream / Panasonic team could have had a fourth place result today. Top three would have been difficult but fourth place was possible. It's is a shame we ended the race early."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30 April-1 May, 2010, Kansas City, Kansas USA #2 HP Luczo Dragon Racing/ de Ferran Motorsport`s Raphael Matos followed by Marco Andretti, Conway, Sato and Patrick.
30 April-1 May, 2010, Kansas City, Kansas USA #24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing`s Mike Conway followed by Matos, Marco Andretti, Patrick and Sato.
30 April-1 May, 2010, Kansas City, Kansas USA #06 Newman Hass Racing`s Hideki Mutoh and Takuma Sato in late race crash.
30 April-1 May, 2010, Kansas City, Kansas USA #06 Newman Hass Racing`s Hideki Mutoh and Takuma Sato crash on restart late in race.
30 April-1 May, 2010, Kansas City, Kansas USA #5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology`s Takuma Sato and mario Moraes.

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Don - Unregistered

May 04, 2010 8:38 PM

Just wondering if Sato san will ever complete a race to the end. He's having a much harder time keeping an IndyCar in one piece than he had with an F1 car.

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