Takuma Sato's fans had pretty much given up on seeing their idol on track this past weekend at the British Grand Prix. Many of them had bought plane and/or GP tickets well in advance, only to be disappointed when Super Aguri followed Minardi, and Arrows in to the annals of Formula 1 history just two months ago.
So what did Taku do? Rent a kart track and invite his fans, plus a few select journalists, to race him in a 30-minute endurance race. Some fans, who had flown in from across Europe and of course Japan, were new to karting, so Taku graciously took them out for a few practice laps and providing one-on-one instruction. How many people get to have their first racing lesson from an F1 racer?
Takuma and his team mate won outright (of course), but then were disqualified for "speeding". Autoblog's team was in second right up to the final pitstop when we were penalized for over taking on a yellow flag, but we still made the podium.
As Formula 1's silly season kicks in to high gear, rumors around the paddock have Takuma moving back to Honda's F1 team next year (at the expense of Rubens Barrichello or Jensen Button), driving for Team Force India should the F1 newbies switch from Ferrari to Honda power next year, heading up team Japan in A1 GP or even leading an all new Team Honda USA (which should be called Team Acura surely) with Danica Patrick as his team mate. Unfortunately, Takuma wouldn't confirm or deny any such gossip.
Thanks to Taku management for the invite, to Apex Dream Drives for the pics (and speed) and to Takuma for a great day out.