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

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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.