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Sato excited for maiden Indy 500

Takuma SatoTakuma Sato says he is looking foward to making his Indianapolis 500 debut later this month after a strong oval debut at Kansas two weeks ago.

The 33-year-old former grand prix driver scored his only F1 podium on Indy's infield circuit in 2004 and is eager to return to the venue for IndyCar's biggest event when first practice for the 500 begins this weekend.

"Indianapolis is going to be a very special weekend," Sato said. "I have a lot of new things to experience and the track will be a whole new challenge - a very exciting one.

"I have great memories of Indianapolis, having raced there four times in Formula 1 and got my first podium in 2004. The place holds a special place in my heart, but then I drove only a part of the famous banking in the opposite direction.

"After working together with [team boss] Jimmy [Vasser] when learning the Kansas Speedway oval for the last race, we have developed a great understanding so I am really looking forward to getting onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week and finding out all about it."

Sato impressed in his first race on an oval at Kansas two weeks ago, qualifying 11th and running inside the top 10 before crashing out in an incident with Hideki Mutoh while battling for fifth place with just 14 of the 200 laps to go.

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