Takuma Sato will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2019, the organization announced on Sunday (Sept. 16). It will be his second straight and third overall season with the organization.
Sato was able to earn his first victory with the RLLR racing team in 2018 at Portland, the only victory for the organization this Verizon IndyCar Series season.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to come to terms to extend Takuma’s contract,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “He has always been very popular around the team whether he was driving for us or not. It makes it even more special to have him continue with us after this season.”
Winning the penultimate race of the year at the series’ return to Portland, Rahal sees more potential for the Japanese driver in 2019.
“We have had some good success with Takuma and the potential was there for even more,” he added. “The team has really gelled around him. His guys have done a great job as the season has progressed and of course, Portland showed that. It allows us to keep the continuity and good spirit going at the team to try to get even more wins and strong results in 2019.”
Outside the victory, Sato earned one other podium finish this season, running third at Iowa. He also earned eight top-10 results and finished 12th in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.
“I am really pleased to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2019,” Sato said. “Bobby, David and Mike have done a fantastic job at putting together a great team and environment around me. I believe that [teammate] Graham [Rahal] and I have everything we need to be consistent race winners and compete for the IndyCar championship.
“I could not be happier.”
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His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.
During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.