Nov 21, 2013
A.J. Foyt Racing
The cast: Drivers – Takuma Sato and Conor Daly (Indianapolis 500). Chief engineer – Don Halliday. Race strategists – Larry Foyt, A.J. Foyt.
Twitter: @TakumaSatoRacer, @AJFoytRacing
The car: No. 14 Honda-powered ABC Supply Co.
Season finish: Sato placed 17th in the standings in his first season with the team.
Click it: Takuma Sato talks about his season and 2014 prospects
The stats: Following consecutive first- and second-place finishes, Sato was the championship leader heading into the Indianapolis 500 in late May. He won for the first time in the IZOD IndyCar Series, which also was the first victory for A.J. Foyt Racing since 2002, at Long Beach and led until the final turn at Sao Paulo. … A pole start in Race 1 at Houston – the first for the team since 1999 – was among his three starts in the top five. … He led a season-high 109 laps at Milwaukee in advancing from 15th on the starting grid to finish seventh. That finish placed him fourth in the championship entering the second half of the season. … The No. 14 car was running at the finish in only one of the final 10 races (six out by mechanical/handling and three out by contact).
The gist: Team director Larry Foyt said he wants to "keep the synergy" and will have driver Takuma Sato and chief engineer Don Halliday working together in the 2014 season. ... "From the winter test program to the opening race (qualified second and finished eighth) we showed some speed," Sato said. "It was great to give A.J. and Larry the team's first win in a while, but the last few races didn't turn out the way we wanted."
He said it: Larry Foyt's comments:
“Early in the offseason, what Don and I have been looking at is we know we didn't get the results we wanted and why is that? So we've been breaking that down and looking at everything. I think excluding two or three tracks we were competitive everywhere we went. Right out of the box Takuma and Don worked really well together. Coming to Houston and being able to get a pole position was awesome, and three or four times we were running really well with a lap or two to go and had an issue. We have to get to the finish; we had some failures that weren't driver- and team-related.
"I think I learned a lot, too. I'm still pretty new being on the pit box and have been looking at how I can help more to get through the entire race with more information, and making sure Takuma knows what he needs to get to the finish. That's what is great about Don and Takuma and our race team, no one is afraid to say, 'OK, what can I do to get better.' We want to build on our competitiveness."