Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Takuma Sato

Takuma Sato

Takuma Sato was born in Tokyo, in 1977. He had seen Formula 1 racing at the Suzuka Circuit since he was young, and dreaming of becoming a Formula 1 driver some day, joined the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F) after graduating university. In 2000 he moved to Europe to race in the British Formula 3 series. In 2002, he made his debut in Formula 1 as a Jordan Honda driver. After a year as test driver, Sato then raced in Formula 1 for B•A•R Honda and SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM until 2008. In the 2004 US Grand Prix, he became the second Japanese driver to finish third.

Sato’s career in Indycar racing began in 2010. In 2011, he became the first Japanese driver to qualify for pole position at the Iowa Speedway oval track. He earned his second pole at the Edmonton City Center Airport street circuit. In the 2012 season, Sato was on the podium for the first time, finishing third on the streets of Sao Paulo in Brazil. In Edmonton, he finished second, a career-best at the time. He fought hard in the Indy500, gaining the attention of the American spectators, and many fans. A. J. Foyt was one such spectator, and in 2013, Sato moved to A. J. Foyt Racing to win at Long Beach, a first for the team, and a first as a Japanese driver in Indycar racing. In 2014, Sato was on pole in St. Petersburg and Detroit. In 2015, the team was strengthened, and in Race 2, Detroit, Sato in on the podium for the first time in thirteen years. He was 14th overall for the season. In 2016, his best result was fourth, and he was 17th overall.

Sato moved to Andretti Autosport in 2017, and after a fierce battle, became the first Japanese driver to win the Indy500. In 2018 he moved to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and in Portland turned a 20th place grid into his third Indy victory. In 2019 he accomplished a pole to win in Alabama, and with two wins and four podiums, was ninth for the season. In 2020, Sato qualified third for the Indy500, becoming the first Japanese on the front row of the grid. With 15 laps to go, Sato overtook the race leader, to win his second Indy500. He also came in second in Race 1 of Round 8, Gateway, and finished the season a personal-best seventh place.

In 2021, Sato aims to win his third Indy500, and win the series championship.