09/20 07:37 CDT Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato to drive for Rahal in 2018
Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato to drive for Rahal in 2018
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) --- Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato will return to Rahal
Letterman Lanigan Racing next season. Sato spent just one season with Andretti
Autosport and became the first Japanese winner of the 500.
Sato drove for Rahal in 2012 and nearly beat Dario Franchitti in attempting to
win the Indy 500 that year. Sato crashed on the final lap trying to pass
Franchitti for the lead.
The Tokyo native has made 135 starts in the IndyCar Series since his rookie
season in 2010. He has two victories, the Indy 500 and at Long Beach in 2013,
and six podium finishes. Sato competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002 and
2008 and had a career-best finish of third in the 2003 United States Grand Prix.
Sato has a strong alliance with Honda and needed a contingency plan in case
Andretti moved to Chevrolet for 2018. By the time Andretti decided to stay with
Honda, Sato had already agreed to a deal with Rahal.
"I'm excited about having Taku back with us," Bobby Rahal said. "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."
Zach Veach will replace Sato at Andretti.
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