Takuma Sato spent a few days with A.J. Foyt at a convention in Vegas last month — a sort of “get to know you” period for the recently-hired driver and the Indy car racing icon.

Sato’s initial observation of the IZOD IndyCar Series team owner? “The more I get to know him the more impressive he is. His record is impressive and knowing him he’s quite funny. He can’t stop talking and joking.”

It is an unlikely pairing this hulking Texan and diminutive native of Tokyo, a cross-cultural blend of steak and sushi, Kit Kats and kabuki. Early on, though, Sato doesn’t see a communication gap.

“I don’t think we have a problem of ‘Lost in Translation.’ Yes, the team is based in Houston, Texas, and I come from Japan but we all communicate very well,” Sato said.

In fact, early March 23 in the team transporter, Foyt took up Sato on his offer of the services of Dr. Take Komatsu, who practices acupuncture, to potentially relieve the pain of sciatica that caused Foyt to miss last week’s Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park.

Foyt said he felt better after the treatment, and his mood brightened considerably later in the day when Sato qualified second in the No. 14 ABC Supply car for the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“We tested with Takuma, we know he’s fast, he’s been fast with other people so we just want to give him the best car we can,” Foyt said. “We’re proud of what he did today. It was pretty good.”

Added Sato: “I think I made him smile today and I hope he continues to smile (during and after the race).”

Write a Comment

Let us know what you think?

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree