By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will continue his NTT IndyCar Series career in 2022. It was announced Thursday morning that he’ll drive for Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 team on a full-time basis.
Sato will take over the Honda-powered entry that was primarily driven by Romain Grosjean this past season. The two-team effort were able to score a pole in the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis and ended the year with three podiums — all accomplished by the Frenchman, who’ll now drive for Andretti Autosport’s No. 28 team.
The Japanese racer is pleased to have a deal materialized and can now prepare for his 13th season in the series.
“I am extremely excited that we were able to work out a deal with Dale, Rick and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing,” said Sato in a press release.
“With Honda an integral part of Dale Coyne Racing, it seemed like a great fit. The team has proven year after year that they are very competitive on all types of circuits.
“Particularly the speed that team has shown in recent years at the Indy 500 were very impressive. I am really looking forward to working with my new environment and can’t wait to get started.”
Over the past three seasons, Sato drove for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing where he scored four wins, including the 2020 Indy 500. Two months ago, RLL Racing announced that Christian Lundgaard was taking Sato’s No. 30 Honda.
Dale Coyne stated that Sato has been one of the best drivers the sport have seen.
“Winning the famed Indianapolis 500 twice, we look forward to competing with our package of a good car with a great driver in the 500 next year,” said Coyne. “All of us on our team welcome the very talented Mr. Sato into our fold for 2022.”
For Rick Ware, who’ll be entering his second season in IndyCar, he praises Sato’s worldwide racing experience. Before making the move to IndyCar, Sato competed in Formula One from 2002-08.
“I am excited to have Takuma join the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Family for 2022. Takuma’s experience within motorsports is extensive, not just in the United States, but around the world,” said Ware. “With Takuma’s experience, and vast knowledge of the cars, we are really looking forward to stepping up the program and having a successful season, and maybe even add another Indianapolis 500 win to his list of achievements.”