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Long Beach IndyCar: Sato says Foyt team relationship key to win

Takuma Sato wins Long Beach IndyCar race 2013Takuma Sato singled out the immediate chemistry between himself and the AJ Foyt Racing team as the key to his breakthrough win at Long Beach on Sunday.

The Japanese driver's Long Beach victory came in his just third race with the team after moving across from Rahal Letterman at the end of 2012.

It was the first win of his IndyCar career, and indeed his first in any category since his Macau Formula 3 success in 2001.

"This is my first win in a major category above Formula 3, but it feels so easy when you win like this," Sato said. "Everything just was perfect. Just make sure you don't make a mistake, and the win is there. I always believe this.

"I think [team manager] Larry Foyt and the whole team really made this happen."

Foyt admitted that the team was initially unsure how long it would take for things to click when Sato arrived, but said that everything had come together easily.

"It was really kind of immediate when Takuma came in," he said. "We knew he was fast, but until you really know somebody, you don't know how you're going to work together and how it's going to be.

Takuma Sato wins Long Beach IndyCar race 2013"Between our chief engineer Don Halliday and Takuma, there is a lot of trust there, which you have to have. It's been great.

"Our junior engineer kept telling us, 'We don't have to be the biggest team to win'. There can be positives to being a smaller team and a tight-knit group."

Prior to last weekend Sato's best IndyCar result was second at Edmonton last year, although he also crashed out of last year's Indianapolis 500 while challenging Dario Franchitti for the lead on the final lap.

The Long Beach victory was the Foyt team's first since Chicagoland 2002.

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