Photo: Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

Takuma Sato Will Return to RLL in 2019

By Josh Farmer, Contributing Journalist

SONOMA, California — Takuma Sato will return to race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for a second consecutive year.

Sato will compete in his 10th IndyCar Series season in 2019 and his third with RLL. He drove for the team in 2012, scoring a best finish of second at Edmonton and an additional podium at Sao Paulo.

“I’m very pleased that we were able to come to terms to extend Takuma’s contract,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.

“He has always been very popular around the team whether he was driving for us or not so therefore it makes it even more special to have him continue with us after this season. We have had some good success with Takuma and the potential was there for even more.  The team has really gelled around him. His guys have done a great job as the season has progressed and of course Portland showed that. It allows us to keep the continuity and good spirit going at the team to try to get even more wins and strong results in 2019.”

Sato claimed the team’s first win of the season at the Portland International Raceway two weeks ago. It was the third win of the 41-year-old native of Tokyo, Japan’s career following Long Beach in 2013 driving for AJ Foyt Racing and a memorable win in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 while driving for Andretti Autosport.

“I am really pleased to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2019,” added the driver of the No. 30 Panasonic/Mi Jack Honda. “Bobby, David and Mike have done a fantastic job at putting together a great team and environment around me. I believe that Graham and I have everything we need to be consistent race winners and compete for the IndyCar championship. I could not be happier.”

The announcement completes RLL’s two-car lineup for 2019 as Graham Rahal signed a multi-year extention in June.

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Josh Farmer joined the media center in 2012 after first discovering his love of IndyCar racing in 2004 at Auto Club Speedway. He has been an accredited member of the IndyCar media center since 2014 and also contributes to along with The Motorsports Tribune.