Takuma Sato has been keeping a pace similar to his 230-mile per hour IndyCar for the past two weeks in Japan.
Sato, the seven-year Formula One veteran, will make his first Japanese racing performance in three years this Sunday in the Indy Japan 300 at the fast Twin Ring Motegi 1.5-mile oval.
But the 33-year-old Tokyo native has been in high demand off the track with a variety of appearances in his native country.
Taku's last competition in Japan was at Fuji Speedway on September 30, 2007, so his enthusiastic fans and sponsors are anxious to see him behind the wheel of the #5 Lotus—KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry.
From his Denver home, Sato left for Tokyo on Sept. 7 and hasn't slowed down since his arrival.
Sato has already made six day appearances in Japan including autograph sessions, media conferences, dealer visits and two Research & Development ride and drive programmes.
On Friday at the track this week, a huge contingent of Taku fans are scheduled to meet the driving star at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit for a 'special student and fan day'.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sato will be appearing on numerous television and radio shows and visiting with guests of his Japanese sponsors before the 300-mile race.
"It will be a very busy weekend at Motegi," he said. "I knew this race would be a big one when I came to the IZOD IndyCar Series. It will be fun to race in front of the home fans. I look forward to the entire experience of the race and the event."