It had been an almost confirmed rumour for several weeks, but it is official now: Takuma Sato will join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The current Indy 500 champion already drove for the team in 2012 and is set to partner Graham Rahal on the nº. 16 entry.
After only one season driving for Andretti Autosport, Takuma Sato is going to leave the team to come back to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, a team for which the Japanese driver already raced in 2012. On that year, Sato was close to win the Indianapolis 500 but crashed on the final lap.
Now, having already won that race once, Takuma will join RLL, which finally is going to have two full-time entries after some years having a part-time entry in the nº. 16 car, which is the number that will be on Sato‘s car. The current driver of the team, Graham Rahal, will continue with the team and will partner Sato.
“I’m excited about having Taku back with us,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and 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.”
“I am extremely happy to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sato said. “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.”