From England to Iowa: It's Been a Great Week for Lotus - Page 2
In addition to a spacious new workshop, the Hethel test track will soon be accompanied by a new pit building and hospitality suite.
On this side of the pond here in little ol' Iowa, the crucible of motor culture where the IndyCar Series (ICS) will be holding its eighth race in a 17 race season, former F1 Japanese driver, Takuma Sato notched his first pole position in the ICS and in his career.
In qualifying for the Iowa Corn 250 held at the .875-mile oval at Iowa Speedway, the KV Racing Technology-Lotus team No. 5 Dallara beat out Danica Patrick, driving the No. 7 Team GoDaddy car for Andretti Autosport. In keeping P2, Danica earned her first front-row start since Nashville Superspeedway in 2008.
"I want to say a big thank you to the whole team, the fans, the sponsors and everyone who has supported me," said Sato, who is coming off an eighth-place finish in the Milwaukee 225 (starting fifth). "It is a fantastic achievement. I knew we were going to be competitive because of last year (started seventh), and this morning I was truly comfortable in the car. I could feel where we needed to be with the setup for qualifying. Working so closely today with the three KVRT-Lotus drivers, working so closely with my engineers, we had a great answer."
The joy was short lived, however, when three hours later in the final practice session, the first Japanese driver to earn a pole position in IndyCar made contact with the No. 77 car driven by Alex Tagliani and the two cars slid into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier. No one was injured but this may alter the starting order when the checkered flag drops at 8:00pm ET Saturday, June 25, 2011.
Regardless, Dany Bahar has to be happy with the successes this week - the unexpected delivery of promises here and those expected over there.