The No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara DW12-Honda Takuma Sato drove to victory in August’s Indianapolis 500 has been retired. At the request of RLL’s engine partner Honda, IR12-066, the chassis that carried the native of Tokyo to his second Indy victory, was shipped to Japan where it will live at its new home in the Honda Museum, located next to the Motegi circuit.
“The team’s really happy we won the Indy 500 and honored that our second Rahal Letterman Lanigan car is going to be in the Honda museum,” RLL team manager Ricardo Nault told RACER. “We were the first team to win the Indy 500 for Honda in 2004 with Buddy Rice, and the latest, so to do it with Takuma is quite an honor.”
Nault says the car has been preserved in its Indy-winning specification, with only minor modifications made to the car prior to its trip to Japan.
“Honda wanted the Indy 500 winner as it was. They decided they didn’t need a weight jacker on it, but that’s about the only thing, and they wanted a differential instead of the spool, so the car can be driven around the road course,” he said. “So we set it up like it was pretty close, but without any cross weight or anything like that in it, so it’ll handle well on a road course, even though it’s got tilted cambers like you would have on an oval, which is going to be unique.”
IR12-066 will be replaced by a brand-new chassis for Sato.
“We ordered another car from Dallara,” Nault said. “Which one is going to be the primary, and which one’s going to be the backup car is yet to be determined, but I’m confident that we can make the new car as good as the old. I’m also confident we can replicate that car and replicate our Indy success at some point – hopefully next year. We’d be more than happy to give up a car every year if it means building a new one because we had an Indy winner going to the museum every season…”