Sato keeps RLL on top during Saturday afternoon testing at ISM Raceway

Photo: IndyCar

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s strong Friday pace at ISM Raceway carried over into Saturday, with Takuma Sato topping the speed charts for the second time during the Verizon IndyCar Series’ open test at the one-mile bullring.

Sato’s best lap in the No. 15 Mijack Honda came in at average speed of 189.728 mph, the quickest lap turned in so far.

“So we had another really good session today,” Sato said in a video on the team’s twitter page. “Today was really the final chance to try a qualifying simulation in a hot day, time and temperature, before the actual race. We did a couple of qualifier sims and most of it was a proper run. You see some big teams come up and are very close to the lap time, but we are very competitive again. (Teammate Graham Rahal) and I are just splitting the program out, but we’re looking good.”

Team Penske’s Will Power put his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet in second with a quick lap of 189.276 mph, the only other driver to break into the 189 mph bracket.

Third was Scott Dixon in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, followed by the No. 28 DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay for Andretti Autosport. Simon Pagenaud joined Penske teammate Will Power in the top five, coming in fifth in his No. 22 Menards Chevrolet.

The clean running from Friday continued on Saturday as well, with the only stoppages coming in the form of track inspections.

Of note: while 23 cars took to the track on Friday, only 22 did so on Saturday. Juncos Racing and driver Kyle Kaiser elected to head home early from the Phoenix test after turning a total of 254 laps between both Friday sessions as well as Thursday’s rookie test, and their No. 32 Chevrolet did not participate in the Saturday running.

Results from Saturday afternoon’s session can be found here. The final session of the weekend rolls off at 8:00 p.m. ET, with streaming continuing on IndyCar’s website.