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Takuma Sato to race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan in 108th Indy 500

Written by Dan Jones

Credit: Chris Owens

Takuma Sato will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for his 15th consecutive Indianapolis 500 attempt, as he aims to become a three-time winner at the Brickyard, and overturn RLL's woes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that they suffered in 2023, after Graham Rahal was bumped from the field.

RLL's Indianapolis 500 struggles were well documented last year, with Graham Rahal being bumped from the field, before being called up by Dreyer and Reinbold Racing after Stefan Wilson suffered an unfortunate accident. Christian Lundgaard and Jack Harvey also had to endure bump day, qualifying 31st and 33rd respectively.

However, in the fourth car, Katherine Legge was the only RLL driver to make the field on Day One, in impressive fashion, after not competing in the race for over 10 years, before her race ended early due to a mechanical failure.

The team have opted for Sato in 2024, a partnership which won the 104th Running of the Race in 2020, with Sato sealing the win after a late caution. The Japanese driver also won the event in 2017, with Andretti Autosport, becoming the first Asian driver to win the event.

The confirmation of RLL's fourth entry adds an extra element to Bump Day, with the field at a minimum of 35 entries for May's race, requiring two cars bumped from the field. The 27 full-time drivers will be joined by the aforementioned Larson and Rasmussen, with Abel Motorsports and Meyer Shank Racing fielding entries for R.C. Enerson and Helio Castroneves respectively, with Andretti Global expectedly announcing Marco Andretti whilst Dreyer and Reinbold Racing are expected to bring a further two entries to the field.

Credit: Joe Skibinski

The 47-year-old last raced for the team in 2021, since racing for Dale Coyne Racing, and an oval-only program with Chip Ganassi Racing. He now looks set to drop to an Indy-500 program in years to come, but Sato's aggressive driving style and experience behind the wheel is a significant factor until why RLL will have picked up his services for 2024.

"I’m absolutely thrilled to make my return to the 108th Indy 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing," Sato said. "A heartfelt thank you to Bobby, Mike, and David and the entire organization for this incredible opportunity. Gratitude overflows as I am driving the No. 75 entry with primary sponsorship from AMADA.

"My journey with RLL spans over a decade marked by shared successes and rejoining the team fills me with immense excitement. Here’s to reconnecting with familiar faces and forging new alliances. I just can’t wait to get to work."

“We’re very pleased to welcome back Takuma to the team," co-owner Bobby Rahal added. "We obviously had a great deal of success together and as I’ve said many times, Takuma’s spirit is something that motivates not only me and the entire team, but also his fans. We’re looking forward to his contributions and having a successful Indy 500.

"We were actively looking for a machine tool company a few years ago that could give us a competitive advantage, and we got to know AMADA and learn more about the tremendous machines and the technology services they provide. And, of course, our facility is a showcase for some of their technology in our production area. After having them with us as a primary sponsor in 2023, we’re thrilled that the relationship continues to grow. I can’t imagine a better match than AMADA, Takuma and our team."

Takuma Sato was a much-needed addition to the field in the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500, and with under three months to go until the 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' returns, there's even more to look forward to in the iconic 'Month of May.'


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