Sato's return for a third season expected at RLL

Image by LePage/LAT

Sato's return for a third season expected at RLL


Sato's return for a third season expected at RLL


Takuma Sato is expected to remain with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the third consecutive season as teammate to Graham Rahal, and 11th season in total in the NTT IndyCar Series.

“We both want to continue,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal told RACER. “We hope and expect to get something done with Takuma soon. He’s been a great partner for Graham and our team.”

At 42, Sato, the 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner, has earned three victories for RLL since rejoining the program in 2018 and holds sixth place in the championship entering the final race of the season this weekend in Monterey.

Paired with longtime race engineer Eddie Jones, the two have added two poles to the three wins and become a regular threat for meaningful finishing positions. Together, the No. 30 Honda has earned a visit to the podium on six occasions since their partnership began last year at St. Petersburg.

Like Sato, Jones will continue at RLL. The Briton’s racing career began in 1971 as a driver before eventually turning to chassis design and race engineering, but according to Rahal, Dan Wheldon’s 2005 Indy 500-winning engineer could look to dial back the heavy travel that’s been part of his life for the last five decades.

“We’ve had those discussions with Eddie. In the immediate term, we don’t expect any changes, but in a year or two, it’s possible,” Rahal added. “Eddie still wants to be a race engineer, but he has a young family, and the travel is hard. He’ll be a part of our family long-term, and we’ll do everything we can to find an area that he wants to work within. He’s capable of so many things on the technical side, I don’t think it will be hard for him to make that transition when he decides it’s time.”

The RLL team is also continuing to develop a third Honda-powered entry, which awaits confirmation.