Foyt’s pair gets further running in on third day of Indy 500 practice

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Two of A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ three drivers made significant laps in Tuesday’s running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, before engine change outs and further running set for Wednesday.

As it ended, 14 was the number of the day: 14 positions separated the No. 14 car of Takuma Sato, who was 14th on the day, from full-season teammate Jack Hawksworth in 28th. The team’s third car driven by Alex Tagliani completed only an installation lap.

Sato, a sixth-year IndyCar veteran and in his third with Foyt, topped out at 225.342 mph during his 42 laps, making the No. 14 car the 14th fastest car of the day.

“Another windy day but it was colder so we had a different test menu from yesterday to try to understand the car more, ” Sato said. “We made some improvement, which was positive. At the end of the day we wanted to run in traffic but we had a small issue so we couldn’t achieve that one. I think we learned from running in small traffic today and it felt positive.”

Sato has five years of experience on the 2.5-mile track to use to his advantage. His best performance in the “500” was 13th in 2013, although he nearly won the race a year earlier after a last-lap pass attempt on Dario Franchitti going into Turn 1 before he hit the wall.

His teammate, 24-year-old Hawksworth, still has a lot to learn as he prepares for his second Indy 500 after finishing 20th in 2014 with Bryan Herta Autosport. This year’s “500” will be just his seventh IndyCar race on an oval.

In Tuesday’s session, Hawkworth and his No. 41 ABC Supply Co. Honda finished as the 28th fastest. Hawksworth peaked at 222.448 mph during his 25 laps around the track.

“We had some issues today but we’ll get it sorted,’ Hawksworth said. “Today we wanted to mileage out our engine and we were able to do that. Now the guys can put in the updated spec engine for tomorrow.”

Both Hawksworth and Sato will be looking to give their 2015 campaigns a boost in the Indy 500. Both drivers have only managed to finish in the top 10 once through five races. Hawksworth finished eight in season opener at St. Petersburg and Sato earned his first last weekend in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, finishing ninth.