By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
MONTEREY, California – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced Saturday that Takuma Sato will stay with the team in 2020.
Sato’s 2019 season has no doubt been his strongest of his 10-year NTT IndyCar Series career, scoring wins at Barber Motorsports Park and World Wide Technology Raceway, the most he’s won in a season.
In addition to his victories, he has two more podiums to his name and led the field to the green flag twice at Barber and Texas Motor Speedway, which has played an intricate role on the 2017 Indy 500 champion sitting sixth in points heading into the final round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL, commented what he’s done this season is far from what people see in Sato and is confident that next season, he’ll be even better from a competitor standpoint.
“We have been very pleased with the results and level of competition Takuma has shown this season,” said Rahal. “His two wins and two poles don’t fully indicate how competitive he has been overall this season and the fact that he was a contender at many other races. He is an integral part of our team which I believe we have shown. This decision allows us to keep the continuity and continue to build upon our program for 2020.”
Sato said he’s happy to continue working with RLL for the third straight year and has felt that he belongs with the two-car stable.
“I am very happy to continue our path together again after this season,” Sato said. “Every single member of the team is extremely loyal and have given me unbelievable support. I truly feel at home here and I am so proud of the team. We have had another great season this year and even had some tough times but it only made our relationship stronger. I can’t thank Bobby, Mike (Lanigan), David (Letterman) and entire team enough and I am looking forward to finishing the season strong and also looking forward to 2020.”
In his tenure with RLL, including his first stint in 2012, Sato has scored three wins, eight podiums and led a total of 308 laps, including 200 this season alone.