Dale Coyne’s team has Fr. the story of the fastest cars around Indianapolis Motor Speedwaybut Sato is the first rider to arrive on the team, having already won in the classic Classic Memorial Day tournament and thus knowing what it takes to succeed
Sato was the second fastest in the test in April, and today he ended the day at the top, making a last-minute effort that surpassed the speed Scott Dixon set earlier in the session and the speed he set in more favorable conditions in the morning.
Although Sato was quick to admit that his time, like Dixon’s, was determined by a significant tow from a pack of cars, he was nonetheless confident that his entry into the Dale Coyne race with Rick Weir Racing- Honda was fast. It was also a great rebound from the two-hour morning session, during which a disgruntled Sato ran just four laps before the team headed back to Gasoline Oil for a serious rethink of aviation.
Sato said, “Scott has always been on top today; on the last lap we had just a tow, so I think I’m happy. If you have new tires, I guess everyone can do it! But I am very happy to have gone.
“Honestly, the morning was not as smooth as I wanted. We had to go back to the garage and check out a lot because some things didn’t suit us very well. In the end, in the afternoon it was pretty fast, we turned the speed, good speed, and became more comfortable.
“This car is №51, very happy, and it seems that the car is №18 [of rookie teammate David Malukas] also very happy, so I think Dale Coyne Racing is well prepared with cars for the winter. ”
Malukas, who runs Coyne with a record of HMD Motorsports, confirmed he is pleased with his progress. He finished 2nd last year in the Indy Lights Championship, which finished seventh overall and was fifth in speed since the time set without the aid of towing.
He said: “The day started with the fact that everything seems to wear out, invade and get used to the feelings – slowly. But during this afternoon session, we kind of figured out where the balance was – circles without towing and during [other cars]as well. The car was driven very well and it seemed to be very fast so I am very happy to continue here the rest of the week ”.
The rookie also praised his veteran teammate who has raced in India since 2010, winning in 2017 at Andretti Autosport and in 2020 at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Malukas said: “I’ve watched a lot of videos and he’s constantly giving me advice and also giving me motivation, especially after Saturday’s race [on the Indy road course]. He congratulated me because he said it was a very difficult race.
“I wouldn’t want another teammate, especially for my newbie. Takuma helped a lot. “
For his part, Sato said Malukas played a role in sharing the burden of development, despite the lack of circles at that level.
“He’s obviously a novice driver, inexperienced at 500, so we don’t have the luxury of having, say, Scott or Andretti,” Sato said, “but at least I was there and knew what to do, and David is picking up speed fast.
“I am very happy that we are working together. We distribute the program and trust each other. We don’t run with each other yet, but we feel pretty comfortable. Therefore, the coming days will be extremely important.
“Of course, every day is important, and then we’ll see how much we can pull out the speed. But the race will be very different, so we need to learn a lot. “
David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda
Photo: IndyCar Series