BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 20, 2017) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to their Verizon IndyCar Series team in 2018. Sato drove for the team in 2012 where he famously dueled eventual winner Dario Franchitti on the final lap.
“I’m excited about having Taku back with us,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner 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,” added Takuma Sato. “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!”
Sato, a native of Tokyo, Japan, has made 135 starts in the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2010. His Indy car highlights include wins in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and a total of six podium finishes. In addition, he has earned seven Indy car poles and led a total of 471 laps. Prior to joining the IndyCar Series, he competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002-2008 with his highest finish of third at the 2003 United States Grand Prix. While with RLL, his best finishes were third in Sao Paulo and second in Edmonton, which was his best series finish at the time.
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2017 the team will compete in their 26th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 23 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 91 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL moved to the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team earned three wins, two poles and a total of eight podiums to finish second in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships and in 2016, BMW Team RLL added two poles and three podiums with their BMW M6 GTLM entries to bring their total to 13 wins, 22 poles and 60 podium finishes. The team has earned two wins and a total of five podium finishes to date in 2017.
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