Takuma Sato
Takuma  Sato
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Takuma Sato
rank
00
Career stats
Verizon IndyCar Series
Championship
Indy 500 Wins
Total Poles
Race Wins
Birthday
Jan 28, 1977
30 Honda Japan
Website takumasato.com
Hometown
Tokyo, Japan
Residence
Indianapolis

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

(About his return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing): “I am extremely happy to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. 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!” 

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.
  • Re-joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with whom he raced in 2012, after spending the last season racing at Andretti Autosport.
  • Ex-Formula 1 racer became the first Japanese driver to win an Indy car race (Long Beach, 2013).
  • His breathtaking pass of Fernando Alonso at Montreal in 2007 earned him the "Overtake of the Year" award from F1 Racing magazine.

OFF TRACK

  • Was a national high school cycling champion and still uses cycling as his primary training regimen.
  • Fell in love with motorsports at 10 when he attended the Formula One race in Suzuka, Japan.
  • Has developed a passion for golf after attending several sponsor golf outings. He now has a set of custom clubs.
UAK18 Road-Street
CAREER STATS
YEAR SERIES STARTS WINS POLES** TOP 5 TOP 10 LAPS LED RAF
2017 Verizon IndyCar Series 17 1 2 4 7 41 12
2016 Verizon IndyCar Series 16 0 0 2 5 0 13
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series 16 0 0 1 5 46 12
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series 18 0 2 2 5 66 11
2013 Verizon IndyCar Series 19 1 1 2 4 187 9
2012 Verizon IndyCar Series 15 0 0 2 5 76 6
2011 Verizon IndyCar Series 17 0 2 3 7 61 15
2010 Verizon IndyCar Series 17 0 0 0 1 0 8
Total 135 2 7 16 39 477 86

** Includes all poles, including those awarded based on entrant points

RAF = Running at Finish


Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is owned by retired Indy car champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, racing aficionado David Letterman and businessman Mike Lanigan.

The team traces its origin to the formation of Rahal/Hogan Racing in 1992, when Rahal realized a lifelong dream by forming his own race team. A three-time CART champion (1986, 1987 and 1992) as a driver, Rahal became the first rookie owner-driver in series history to capture a championship when he led his team to four victories and the season title in the its inaugural season.

Rahal concluded his Hall of Fame driving career in 1998 with 24 victories and 18 pole positions. He started 265 races and produced 177 top-10 finishes and 119 top-five finishes. Rahal, who was inducted into the International and U.S. Motorsports Halls of Fame in 2004, also captured the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.

Letterman, an Indianapolis native who has become a television icon, was a regular visitor to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a child. The host of the “Late Show with David Letterman” had casual discussions with Rahal since they met in 1986 about his interest in getting involved in racing as a participant. In early 1996, the talk transformed into an agreement as Letterman became a minority-interest owner in Team Rahal.

The team won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 with Buddy Rice behind the wheel.

In 2010, Lanigan joined the team. He's been involved in racing since 1992, when Mi-Jack (one of his companies) sponsored a young Belgian driver by the name of Eric Bachelart in CART. From 2001-06, Lanigan co-owned Mi-Jack Conquest Racing with Bachelart. He also was a partner in Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

 

Team Website rahal.com
First Start
March 14, 2010 (Sao Paulo)
First Win
April 21, 2013 (Long Beach)
First Pole
June 24, 2011 (Iowa)

Verizon IndyCar Series Highlights

  • 2017
    • Won the Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport, becoming the first Japanese driver to win the race.
    • Finished a career-best eighth in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
    • Claimed pole positions at Belle Isle-2 and Pocono.
  • 2016
    • Finished 17th in Verizon IndyCar Series point standings for AJ Foyt Racing with best finish of fifth at Long Beach and Belle Isle.
    • Had five top-10 finishes.
  • 2015
    • Finished 14th in Verizon IndyCar Series point standings for AJ Foyt Racing with best finish of second at Belle Isle-2.
    • Scored five top-10 finishes.
    • Led three races for a total of 46 laps.
  • 2014
    • Finished 18th in point standings for AJ Foyt Racing.
    • Recorded five top-10 finishes including fourth- and sixth-place finishes in final two races.
    • Earned poles 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.
    • Earned pole at Houston Race 1.
    • 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 his inaugural Indy car season.
    • Recorded best finish of ninth at Edmonton.
    • Posted best start of third at Mid-Ohio.

Takuma's Road To Indy

  • 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 n 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.
    • Competed in French F3, winning at Spa, and F3 European Cup races.
  • 1999
    • Finished sixth in Formula Open Europe with one win at Donington Park.
    • Finished second in Europa Cup Britian.
    • Finished fourth in British Formula 3 National Class for Diamond Racing.
  • 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 Honda‚Äôs 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.