MONTEREY, Calif. -- Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that it has exercised its option on NTT IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato for the 2020 season.
Sato joined the team in 2012 and returned in 2018. He has earned five series wins, three coming with the team owned by Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. The 2020 season will be Sato's third consecutive with RLL and fourth overall.
Sato earned his second win of the season in the Bommarito 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on Aug. 24. Other season highlights include a win from pole in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, pole for the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway and third-place podium finishes at the Indianapolis 500 and Race 1 in Detroit.
“We have been very pleased with the results and level of competition Takuma has shown this season,” Bobby Rahal said. “His two wins and two poles don’t fully indicate how competitive he has been overall this season and the fact that he was a contender at many other races. He is an integral part of our team which I believe we have shown. This decision allows us to keep the continuity and continue to build upon our program for 2020.”
“I am very happy to continue our path together again after this season,” Sato said. "Every single member of the team is extremely loyal and have given me unbelievable support. I truly feel at home here and I am so proud of the team. We have had another great season this year and even had some tough times but it only made our relationship stronger. I can’t thank Bobby, Mike, David and entire team enough and I am looking forward to finishing the season strong and also looking forward to 2020.”
The Tokyo native has made 168 starts in the NTT IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2010. His Indy car highlights include wins in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, 2018 Portland Grand Prix, 2019 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and Bommarito 500 at WWT Raceway. Of his 12 podium finishes to date, eight have come with RLL, and he has earned nine Indy car poles, two of which are with RLL.
Prior to joining the IndyCar Series, Sato competed in 90 Formula One races between 2002-2008 with his highest finish of third at the 2004 U.S. Grand Prix.
INDYCAR concludes its 17-race season with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday. Television coverage will begin on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT local) with the green flag scheduled for 3:15 p.m. (12:15 p.m. local). Live radio broadcasts will be available on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (XM 205, Sirius 98, Internet/App 970).