A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato claimed the first pole of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season, taking command of the final “Fast Six” knockout qualifying session and prevailing in a day filled with rapidly changing weather conditions after a series of mid-day showers soaked the 1.8-mile Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg temporary street circuit.
Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti qualified third and sixth, respectively, while yet another Andrettti driver, Carlos Munoz qualified seventh to lead the four rookie drivers in the 22-car starting field. The opening round in the 18-race 2014 season, and the first featuring the new Honda HI14RTT twin-turbo V6 engine, starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, with live television coverage on ABC.
Takuma Sato (#14 ABC Building Supply A.J. Foyt Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his 4th career IndyCar pole and 1st in St. Petersburg: "It’s a fantastic day for us, you could not ask for a better start to the season. A.J. [Foyt, team owner] is very happy and you all know how difficult that is [to achieve]! We completed an extensive winter test program, for the first time, and I think that is helping us better achieve our true potential. I think tomorrow is going to be an exciting race, with many possible winners. But if we do our job as good as possible, hopefully the results will come our way.”