Last Race

SonomaGPrix


Driver Start Finish Rank
Sato 15 14 17th
Hawksworth 17 18 20th

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Notes & Quotes: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

Takuma Sato On:NQ SON TS

  • Sonoma Raceway: “I feel the same way every year, but again I can’t believe it’s already the last race of the season! Sonoma Raceway is a very challenging track and I enjoy driving there a lot. We have had strong finishes at Sonoma so I hope we can repeat that in this season’s final race. It’s obviously a fantastic venue as it’s in wine country where you have so many choices of great restaurants plus beautiful weather. Fans and guests always enjoy these pluses in addition to the racing and so do I.”
  • Testing at Sonoma:  “Testing is always great. You can learn so much stuff and we had a productive day. It was a little windy in the afternoon as usual but the track stayed consistent and in good condition so we were able to do a good test. The team is analyzing a good amount of test data and trying to make the car fast, so I am excited to get back in the cockpit again in a few days.”
  • Why qualifying is so challenging here: “Partly because the track conditions could change a lot between the morning and afternoon so it’s difficult to get the balance right. The tires are a very soft compound here for the low grip surface which means you have one shot at a chance to do a good lap. A couple of heavy braking places are also very slippery so it is quite challenging to get the lap perfectly right because it’s unpredictable.”
  • Favorite thing about racing in Sonoma: “The track is just so dynamic and I really enjoy the sensation of speed in a lot of the elevation changes. One lap is a good feeling on new tires which have a strong grip but you struggle after a few laps which makes it challenging but also gives us opportunities in the race.”
  • Favorite place to pass at Sonoma: “Turn 7 is probably the most popular while Turns 9 and 11 are also possible.”

Jack Hawksworth On:NQ SON JH

  • Sonoma Raceway:  “It's the most difficult track on the schedule for the drivers and engineers. Very low grip but with some high speed corners which require support from the car. Track conditions can change a lot throughout the day as well.”
  • Testing at Sonoma: “It was a good day, we rolled off with a good baseline and made some adjustments that improved the car performance. Unfortunately I had a brush with the wall during the afternoon which cut our day short but I think we are in a good spot. I feel we will be strong over a single lap and will qualify well but we will need to work on longer run pace due to the high tire degradation.”
  • Why qualifying is so challenging here: “As with any road course or street circuit you have to put together a committed, clean and precise lap. It's something I have always enjoyed and that I always do well so I don't really see this as a big challenge. Adjusting the car for the red tires and track conditions is always the critical part.” 
  • Racing at Sonoma and what he looks forward to: “Honestly, the racing here is very difficult, high tire degradation and limited passing opportunities make this a very strategical race where pit stop exchanges will be absolutely critical. I look forward to the race but especially qualifying where I can push the car on new tires. I think we have a chance to make it to the top 10 in qualifying for the third time out of five permanent road courses this year or even the Firestone Fast 6 for the first time since the Indy road course. This is my goal.”

Past Performance at Sonoma: In five races at Sonoma, Sato’s best start and finish came with Foyt Racing: starting 13th in 2013 and finishing fourth in 2014. Last year, Jack Hawksworth started 18th and finished 15th. In nine appearances, the Foyt team’s best start (13th) and finish (4th) came with Sato.

This season’s performance: Takuma Sato’s best start is 3rd (Pocono) and his best finish is 5th (Long Beach and Toronto). Hawksworth’s best start is 4th (Grand Prix of Indianapolis) and his best finish is 11th (St. Petersburg and Elkhart Lake).

ABC Supply Co. is in its 12th season as marketing partner of AJ Foyt Racing: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and is the second longest active team sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar Series. With this season, the company ties U.S. Tobacco’s Copenhagen brand in length of sponsorship of Foyt’s team.  ABC Supply has leveraged its involvement by sponsoring races at Milwaukee (in the past) and now at Pocono Raceway with the ABC Supply 500, and by entertaining over 75,000 associates and customers during the past 11 racing seasons. Over 520 guests will be entertained this weekend.

ABC Supply Co. national account Star Roofing Inc., located in Phoenix, Ariz., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.

ABC Supply roofing customer, Kuhlman Roofing Co., Inc., located in Freedom, Calif., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest for this weekend. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda. Guests will receive the VIP treatment plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company operates over 600 branches in 49 states plus the District of Columbia and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors.  ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle – take care of contractors better than any other distributor.  It remains an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed.  As a 10-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only three companies in the world to have earned this honor every year since its inception in 2007.  More information is available at www.abcsupply.com

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be televised live Sunday, Sept.18, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

 

Practice Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

PracSON2016aSONOMA, Calif. Sept. 16, 2016—The first day of practice at the last race of the season for the ABC Supply team was held during a cool morning and a much warmer afternoon at Sonoma Raceway, about an hour north of San Francisco.

Both cars got in quite a bit of lap time during the two 75-minute sessions. The results are not quite where they need to be but the drivers believe they have acquired the data they need to improve their cars for qualifying tomorrow afternoon which is forecast to be warmer than today.

Jack Hawksworth ran a total of 31 laps between the two sessions and ended up 15th overall in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda with his best lap time of 1 minute, 17.4910 seconds (110.800mph) coming in the afternoon. He said, “It’s been an interesting day. We got through a few bits and bobs. The track changes here a lot. We’ve got to try and help the back of the car as it’s a little bit loose right now. We’ve got some work to do tonight but I think we’ll be alright for tomorrow.”

Takuma Sato, driving the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, was a couple spots behind in 17th with his best time of 1 minute, 17.7193 seconds (110.474mph) coming in the morning session. Sato, who ran a total of 44 laps, said, “I thought it was good test day despite lap times. The conditions seem to be quite a bit different from the test. The wind direction is very different which affected the balance a lot.  I think our initial set up or foundation is pretty good and we just need to get more grip out of the car and get the balance right. Today the balance shift through the lap and from new tires to used tires is quite a bit different so we’re still learning a lot. We collected good data so hopefully we can put it all together for a good qualifying run tomorrow.”

Helio Castroneves paced the field in both sessions with his best time of 1 minute, 16.6678 seconds (111.990mph) coming in the afternoon.

The teams will have one more 45 minute session tomorrow morning before qualifying begins tomorrow afternoon. The qualifying session will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

QualsSON2016ASONOMA, Calif. Sept. 17, 2016—The challenges of Sonoma Raceway are well known as the track tests the skills of a team’s engineers as well as the skills of its drivers. High-speed corners that generate tremendous downforce, elevation changes and hairpin turns all combine to make Sonoma Raceway one of the toughest tracks on the Verizon IndyCar Series circuit.

Despite testing here earlier in the month and having promising runs in this morning’s warmup where they were eighth and 12th respectively, Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato struggled in their qualifying runs this afternoon.

Starting 15th in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda, Sato posted a lap-time of 1 minute, 16.9661 seconds (111.556 mph). Although disappointed in qualifying, he is still optimistic about his chances in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

“We tried everything we could but it was a tricky qualifying,” Sato said. “We didn’t have enough speed. The track felt slow compared to this morning but it was the same for everybody. Tomorrow will be a completely different scenario. I look forward to a strong race for the final race of the season. Good job by everyone on the 14 car to give us a solid run but unfortunately we needed just a little bit more.”

QualSON2016BHawksworth will start directly behind his teammate in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda on the inside of row 9. He logged a time of 1 minute, 17.0823 seconds (111.387 mph).

“We really struggled in the heat of the day,” Hawksworth said. “We couldn’t generate any real grip out of the tires—I think we probably missed on the tire pressures. The car wasn’t as good as it was in the cool of the morning.”

Simon Pagenaud won the Verizon P-1 Award for the seventh time this season with a time of 1 minute, 16.2565 seconds (112.594 mph). Rounding out the Firestone Fast 6 were: Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 6:30 p.m. ET tomorrow evening.

Race Report: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SON2016 Buy2SONOMA, Calif.  Sept. 18, 2016—The final race of the season proved to be as tough as the season in general for the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team. The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma tested the drivers’ physicality and the 90-plus temperatures tested the pit crews who were wearing multi-layer Nomex firesuits.

Takuma Sato brought the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda home in 14th place, one spot better than where he started while Jack Hawksworth, who started 17th in the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, finished 18th.

Starting mid-pack, the team decided to pursue an alternate fuel strategy which meant they pitted early in their fuel window which was normally 20-22 laps. And while both drivers gained track position by doing so, they were not able to maintain it because there weren’t enough caution periods to make the strategy work over the course of the race.

Sato ran as high as sixth and for 30 laps of the 85 lap race, he ran between ninth and eighth but in the closing stages as the pit stops cycled out, he dropped to 14th which is where he finished. Of note were the 14 team’s pit stops, all of which either gained or maintained position for the car.

"First of all a big thank you to AJ Foyt Racing, ABC Supply, and of course Panasonic, Honda, Alfe and all of the sponsors supporting us,” Sato said afterwards. “It's been a tough season. It started out well but then we had some bad luck. Today the strategy didn't work out as we wished. We were not quite there in terms of speed but we were fighting hard. I'm very proud of the 14 pit crew--they did an outstanding job on the pit stops today."

SON2016 Buy1The 41 crew worked under pressure to make substantive changes on the 41 ABC Supply Honda after the morning warmup. However, the changes didn’t work as well as was hoped for the track conditions which made for a long day in the ‘office’ for Hawksworth. 

"Long, long afternoon,” said Hawksworth who made two extra pit stops for fresh rubber. “We really struggled with the car which was really, really loose. Ever since we got to this track, especially with the 41 car, the trend has been that I could do one or two quick laps and then the tire degradation was big. We haven't had a car that was good on old tires and that's what we saw in the race. I couldn't make the tires last and I was fighting a loose car the whole race. It's been a very, very tough season. The guys worked hard. Thanks to ABC Supply for their support the past two years and to everybody on the team. All the best for everybody going forward."

The 85-lap race was slowed for just three laps (38-40) when championship contender Will Power stopped on track with a gearbox problem, effectively handing the championship to his teammate Simon Pagenaud. Pagenaud drove a flawless race to win the Go Pro Grand Prix as well as his first Verizon IndyCar Series title. Second through fifth in the race were: Graham Rahal, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

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