Japan`s Sato signs with team owner Bobby Rahal

Tokyo: Japanese driver Takuma Sato signed IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing on Friday.

Sato competed in Formula One from 2002 to 2008 before moving to IndyCar in 2010 and drove for KV Racing the last two years.

"Rahal-Letterman Racing has a proud tradition and I look forward to driving for them," Sato said at a press conference.

"I wasn`t able to get a win last season but look forward to winning this year with this new team."

Although he went winless, he won two poles in 2011, at Edmonton and Iowa, and finished 13th in the standings.

Team owner Bobby Rahal has teamed with Honda as he tries to return to a full-time IndyCar schedule for the first time since 2008.

The team focused on the American Le Mans Series the last three seasons and ran only four IndyCar races last year. Rahal won the ALMS championship the past two years.

"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," Rahal said in a statement.

"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." The team is also finalizing its plans for a second car and intends to have it ready for preseason testing.


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