So what, you might ask, has got the normally level headed, cool, calm and collected Lotus IndyCar driver Takuma Sato in a spin? Well it's quite simple. After more than 10 years in professional motorsport racing and 90 Formula 1 Grand Prix starts, this weekend sees Taku take on the might of oval racing for the very first time at the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 in Kansas.
But what's so hard about driving round and round in circles, you might also ask? It sounds like a sat navs dream. However it's not as straight-forward (excuse the pun) as it might seem. Taku will have to complete 200 laps of the famous 1.5 mile Kansas track totaling 300 miles in all, and when you think about it, that's an awful lot of left hand turns.
As if the numbers alone weren't enough to send even the most level of heads spinning, the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 is well known in the IndyCar world as being fiercely contested, even now the 2004 and 2005 races remain in the top 10 of closest finishes for the series.
Taku has taken this new challenge seriously and recruited the help of seasoned pro and multiple oval track winner Jimmy Vasser. The former champion and co-team owner of Lotus Racing's partners, KV Racing Team (KVRT) worked with Taku on a pre-race testing session earlier this week. With Vasser's assistance and strong KVRT oval setups, Taku is expected to put in a solid performance on the fast Kansas track in the No. 5 Lotus.
Commenting on the race ahead, Taku said: "I feel comfortable, confident and excited about this new challenge. The Director of Lotus Motorsport, Claudio Berro has given me some great advice, he told me to turn left and left again and keep turning left faster than anyone else!"
Following a successful practice session on Wednesday, Director of Lotus Motorsport, Claudio Berro said: "We've already had a lot of new experiences this season and we're eager to take on this one. I am pleased with our performance during the practice session and look forward to Saturday's race in what has already been an exciting season for the Lotus IndyCar team."
Hopefully this story explains the unusual format, we figured that as Taku has to drive round and round in circles, we'd give you a little taste of the experience too. We're nice like that!