Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato has moved to Chip Ganassi Racing for 2023, downscaling his IndyCar presence to an oval-only programme.
Former Jordan, British American Racing and Super Aguri Formula 1 driver Sato has been racing full-time in IndyCar since 2010, and Ganassi will be his sixth different team in the series.
He will drive the number number 11 car at five rounds, including the Indy 500, while Formula 2 graduate Marcus Armstrong will pilot the car at the 12 road and street circuit races.
“First of all, I would like to thank Chip and Mike [Hull, managing director] for helping put this all together,” said Sato.
The Ganassi organisation “has been at the top of our sport for decades and needless to say, extremely competitive,” Sato continued. “Focusing on the oval races is a new chapter for me but I’m thrilled to have the ability to race with team members and team mates that have won the championships and Indy 500 in the past, which is a tremendous advantage. I just can’t wait to get started.”
Sato spent his first two seasons with KV Racing Technology, claiming two pole positions, then earned his first podiums with a move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2012.
He left them for AJ Foyt Racing, with whom he won the Long Beach Grand Prix and picked up two other podiums across four seasons. In 2017 he made the top ten in the standings for the first time by joining Andretti Autosport and winning the Indianapolis 500.
The Japanese racer then returned to RLL, picking up a second Indy 500 win and three other victories in four years. He achieved his best championship placing in 2020 with seventh.
Last year he moved to Dale Coyne Racing, in a car co-run by Rick Ware Racing, and only scored a single top-five finish in 17 races. By joining Ganassi, it means the team will be entering three Indy 500 winners into this year’s edition of the race.
“What a terrific opportunity to have Takuma Sato drive our No. 11 on the ovals in 2023,” said Hull. “He is a two-time Indy 500 winner who contributes with the experience of knowing how to win, by matching the strength of his three team mates, which equals four who race as one.”
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