Takuma Sato - Driver Bio

ON TRACK

  • Won 101st Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport, outdueling Helio Castroneves for the win and erasing memories of the 2012 Indianapolis 500, when he spun and crashed trying to pass Dario Franchitti on the final lap.

  • Returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with whom he first raced in 2012, for his fourth season with the team.

  • Ex-Formula 1 racer became the first Japanese driver to win an Indy car race (Long Beach, 2013) and first Japanese winner of the Indy 500. Has won five times in his Indy car career.


OFF TRACK

  • Was a national high school cycling champion and still uses cycling as part of his training regimen.

  • Fell in love with motorsports at 10 when he attended the Formula One race in Suzuka, Japan.

  • Esquire Magazine Japan named him one of The Mavericks of 2019 and GQ Magazine Japan named him one of the nine “2017 Men of the Year”

  • Appeared as “Sensational Sato” in the “Mickey Spring Grand Prix” episode on “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” which debuted in the U.S. in 2019 and in Japan in 2020

  • He was the first human named “Car of the Year” in 2017 by the Japanese Automotive Industry

  • He was awarded “Goodwill Ambassador” for the British Embassy in Tokyo


INDY CAR CAREER

2019
Finished ninth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with wins at Barber and World Wide Technology Raceway…Finished third at Indianapolis and Belle Isle-1 for a career-high four top-five finishes in one season…Won NTT P1 Award at Barber and Texas….Led six races for 200 laps.

2018
Finished 12th in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with a win at Portland after starting 20th…Also finished third at Iowa and recorded two other top-five finishes…Qualified a season-best fifth at St. Petersburg…Led three races for 32 laps, surpassing 500 laps led in his career.

2017
Won the Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport, becoming the first Japanese driver to win the race…Finished a career-best eighth in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES …Won pole positions at Belle Isle-2 and Pocono…Recorded four top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

2016
Finished 17th in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings for AJ Foyt Racing with best finish of fifth at Long Beach and Toronto…Had five top-10 finishes.

2015
Finished 14th in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings for AJ Foyt Racing with best finish of second at Belle Isle-2…Had five top-10 finishes…Led three races for a total of 46 laps.

2014
Finished 18th in point standings for AJ Foyt Racing…Had five top-10 finishes including fourth- and sixth-place finishes in final two races…Won pole at St. Petersburg and Belle Isle-2…Led four races for a total of 66 laps.

2013
Finished 17th in point standings for AJ Foyt Racing with first Indy car win at Long Beach…Finished second at Sao Paulo, which allowed him to take points lead for first time in his career…Won pole at Houston-1…Led career-best 109 laps at Milwaukee.

2012
Finished 14th in point standings in first season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing…Recorded two podium finishes, a second at Edmonton and third at Sao Paulo…Led 31 laps at Indianapolis, but spun trying to pass for the lead on the final lap, relegating him to 17th place…Led five races for a career-best 76 laps.

2011
Finished 13th in standings for KV Racing Technology…Recorded seven top-10 finishes, with a best of fourth at Mid-Ohio…Earned pole positions at Iowa and Edmonton…Led four races for total of 61 laps.

2010
Finished 21st in standings for KV Racing Technology in inaugural Indy car season…Recorded best finish of ninth at Edmonton…Had best start of third at Mid-Ohio.


OTHER RACING EXPERIENCE


2014
Drove in FIA Formula E race at Beijing for Amlin Aguri Team.

2012
Competed in two FIA World Endurance Championship races for OAK Racing.

2008
Competed in four Formula One races with Super Aguri F1 Team with best finish of 13th at Catalunya…Tested for Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula One.

2007
Finished 17th in Formula One standings for Super Aguri F1 with best finish of sixth at Montreal.

2006
Competed in Formula One for Super Aguri F1 with best finish of 10th at Interlagos.

2005
Competed in Formula One for Lucky Strike BAR Honda with best finish of eighth at Hungaroring.

2004
Finished eighth in Formula One points for Lucky Strike BAR Honda with best finish of third at U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

2003
Served as Lucky Strike BAR Honda official Formula One test driver…Finished sixth at Suzuka in only F1 start as replacement for Jacques Villeneuve.\"

2002
Finished 15th in Formula One for DHL Jordan Honda with best finish of fifth at home grand prix at Suzuka.

2001
Won British Formula 3 championship for Carlin Motorsport with 12 wins, 17 podium finishes and six pole positions in 25 races…Won famed Macau Grand Prix, Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort and International F3 race supporting British Grand Prix at Silverstone…Served as Formula One test driver for British American Racing.

2000
Finished third in British Formula 3 for Carlin Motorsport with four wins, six podium finishes and six poles in 12 starts…Also competed in French F3, winning at Spa, and F3 European Cup races.

1999
Finished fourth in British Formula 3 National Class for Diamond Racing…Finished second in Europa Cup Britain…Finished sixth in Formula Open Europe with one win at Donington Park.

1998
Competed in one All-Japan Formula 3 event with Dome Project…Made European racing debut at Snetterton in Formula Vauxhall Junior Championship before graduating to Formula Opel at end of year, both with Diamond Racing.

Early career
Began racing career on bicycles, where he won several national junior championships…Bought his first go-kart in 1996 and later entered Hondas Suzuka Racing School where he earned scholarship prize, a fully paid drive in 1998 All-Japan Formula 3 Championship. He passed on the prize in order to race in Europe.
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