Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing officially confirmed on Wednesday that Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will drive for them alongside Graham Rahal as the team expand to a two car full-time operation in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018.
Speaking following the news, team co owner Bobby Rahal said:
I’m excited about having Taku back with us, 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.”
Sato returns to the team following a season with Andretti Autosport where he won the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Speaking about his return to the team Sato said:
I am extremely happy to be back with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The former F1 driver went on to say:
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. think we can achieve some great things together!
During his previous time with Rahal, Sato scored two podium finishes in Sao Paulo where he finished third and had a second in Edmonton.
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season gets underway on March 11 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.