Honda Racing–St. Petersburg FL Qualifying

Sato Leads Honda Field in Practice at St. PetersburgThe 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series officially opened Friday on the downtown harborfront streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, with a pair of practice sessions in advance of Sunday’s Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato led the dozen Honda-powered competitors on Friday, with a best lap of 1:01.7703 around the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit, just 33 hundredths of a second off the day’s quickest time, set by Will Power of Team Penske.

Activities continue on Saturday with a final practice session, followed by “knockout” qualifying that will set the 25-car field for Sunday’s 110-lap race.  Ten laps longer than in previous years, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will start at 12:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Takuma Sato(Driver, #14 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara) fifth-quickest in Friday’s practice sessions at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:  “It was a very productive day for us.  In the first session this morning, the car was a little bit outside of the balance that we wanted, but we made a good improvement over the lunch break and the car felt much better in the afternoon.  The Honda engine felt quite good.  We worked a lot on the mapping in the winter tests, and I can feel the engine is more powerful compared to last year.  We tested a couple of things and got some good information, so hopefully we can make another step forward tomorrow.”