Sato revels in ‘enjoyable’ Saturday Qualifying effort

Takuma Sato was second fastest during first qualifying at IMS - Credit: David Yowe / IndyCar

Takuma Sato felt he enjoyed his first qualifying effort around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, with the Japanese racer ending the day with the second fastest time.

Sato was able to watch how his Andretti Autosport team-mates Fernando Alonso, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti drove before completing his own four-lap run, with the former Formula 1 star setting an average of 230.382mph to finish second only to Ed Carpenter.

The Japanese racer was emotional after his run, which will mean he will be the penultimate driver to take to the track during the Fast Nine shootout for pole position.

“Very emotional. Very happy,” said Sato. “It has been a great day, and it was absolutely a team effort. I really enjoyed the lap.

“We saw Fernando, Alex and Marco’s run, and that helped so much. I so enjoyed those laps, and I don’t usually enjoy it, to be honest. Usually, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, qualifying is so tough, and you are so nervous because you have to balance the car to absolutely neutral.

“But today the car worked so well, I know exactly what happened when the right rear tyre was moving. So I got a little bit loose in the end, but I was able to manage it. It was fantastic. It was a great car.”