2/3/2012 7:58:56 AM
RLL is running a full IndyCar schedule this season for the first time since
2008. The team has run a partial IndyCar schedule the past three seasons,
focusing its efforts more on American Le Mans Series competition. Ryan Hunter-
Reay drove for RLL in '08, scoring one victory and finishing eighth in points.
The racing organization ceased its IndyCar operations at the end of that
season due to lack of sponsorship.
"RLL is extremely pleased to welcome Takuma to our IndyCar Series team for
2012, and we anticipate having a very strong season together," team co-owner
Bobby Rahal said in a statement. "While we were determined to have an
experienced driver for this season, we also needed someone that knew how to
get to the front, and Takuma has shown that he can do that, and we expect to
have a great opportunity to win races this year. He has made great strides
through the last two seasons in IndyCar, and I have no doubt that we can
produce a strong effort with him leading the team."
Television icon and racing aficionado David Letterman and businessman Mike
Lanigan also co-own the team.
Sato drove for KV Racing Technology during his first two IndyCar seasons from
2010-11. Last season, he claimed his first pole in the series, which came at
Iowa. He also won the pole at Edmonton. Sato recorded three top-five results
and seven top-10s on his way to a 13th-place finish in points.
Prior to his IndyCar career, Sato competed in Formula One from 2002-08. He
drove for Jordan, British American Racing and Super Aguri during his tenure in
"I'm very proud, motivated and excited to be chosen by Bobby to join his big
project," Sato said. "This team I feel has got huge potential. Rahal Letterman
Lanigan Racing has got a great history and record of winning, so my motivation
is ever so high, and I am extremely thrilled to start the new season. With a
new car for everybody, I am confident that we'll be up to speed very quickly."
RLL said in its new release it is currently preparing Sato's car for next
month's IndyCar open test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring,
Florida. The team also noted its planning to enter a second car this season
and intends to have ready for preseason testing as well.