|Sato drove for the team in 2012|
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to their Verizon IndyCar Series team in 2018. Sato drove for the team in 2012 where he famously dueled eventual winner Dario Franchitti on the final lap.
“I’m excited about having Taku back with us," said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “I have such admiration for his spirit and how he approaches everything and was so happy for him when he won the Indy 500 this year.
"The chance to bring him back to the team was too good to pass up. He and Graham get along very well and we will have two strong cars that can win any race in 2018. I think that will give our team a great chance at being contenders in every race but it’s also going to give each of our drivers a chance to have their best years ever. I’m excited about it and even though the 2017 season just concluded, I can’t wait for the 2018 season to start."
|Sato into the wall at Indy in 2012 trying to pass Franchitti on the last lap|
“I am extremely happy to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing," added Takuma Sato. “Bobby, Dave and Mike have always been very supportive of me. The team has been ultra-competitive the past few seasons. I can’t wait to be a part of it in 2018. I think we can achieve some great things together!"
Sato, a native of Tokyo, Japan, has made 135 starts in the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2010. His Indy car highlights include wins in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and a total of six podium finishes. In addition, he has earned seven Indy car poles and led a total of 471 laps.
Prior to joining the IndyCar Series, he competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002-2008 with his highest finish of third at the 2003 United States Grand Prix. While with RLL, his best finishes were third in Sao Paulo and second in Edmonton, which was his best series finish at the time.