Fresh off a win at the Grand Prix of Portland, Rahal Letterman Lanigan has announced Takuma Sato will return to the team in 2019.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to come to terms to extend Takuma’s contract,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal.
“[Takuma] 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 jelled 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.”
Next year will be Sato’s third season with the team; the now-41-year-old also drove for the team in 2012 and had podium finishes at Brazil (finishing third) and a runner-up finish at Edmonton. Sato, who sits 11th in the IndyCar Series standings, gave RLL its first win of the season with the Portland victory.
“I am really pleased to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2019,” Sato said. “Bobby, David [Letterman] and Mike [Lanigan] 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.”
In 151 series starts, Sato has brought home wins at the 2013 Grand Prix of Long Beach while driving for AJ Foyt and 2017’s memorable Indy 500 win for Andretti Autosport, adding Portland to the list two weeks ago. Since his first season in IndyCar in 2010, Sato has earned seven poles and led 503 laps.
Rahal previously told RACER the team’s effort to add a third car alongside his son Graham and Sato is making progress.
“Things are still going in the right direction there,” he said. “We’re confident something good will happen with a third car and there’s real interest from people who want to be part of our team.”