Image from Dale Coyne Twitter
It’s not a complete surprise, but two time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato will drive car 51 for Dale Coyne for Rick Ware Racing in 2022. The car had Romain Grosjean behind the wheel last season. We are still waiting for Coyne to confirm David Malukas in the 18, likely in apartnership with Global HMD, Malukas’s father’s company . The announcement earlier this week that Vasser-Sullivan would not return I think is somewhat of a confirmation.
The announcement from Coyne:
Plainfield, IL (Thursday, December 9, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing has signed two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Takuma Sato to drive its #51 Honda powered entry for the entire 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
“I am extremely excited that we were able to work out a deal with Dale, Rick and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing,” shared Sato. “With Honda an integral part of Dale Coyne Racing, it seemed like a great fit. The team has proven year after year that they are very competitive on all types of circuits.
“Particularly the speed that team has shown in recent years at the Indy 500 were very impressive. I am really looking forward to working with my new environment and can’t wait to get started.”
Sato brings 12 years of NTT INDYCAR SERIES experience with him to the team. In his 198 starts, he has finished on the podium 14 times and has six wins, including his two Indianapolis 500 victories. The 44-year-old driver has also started on pole position 10 times, has led 896 laps and has 70 top 10 finishes.
“Takuma has shown that he is one of the best drivers to ever race in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Winning the famed Indianapolis 500 twice, we look forward to competing with our package of a good car with a great driver in the 500 next year. All of us on our team welcome the very talented Mr. Sato into our fold for 2022,” said team co-owner Dale Coyne.
Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, Sato spent seven seasons in Formula 1 prior to his arrival in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2010. He most recently spent the last four seasons with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.
Team co-owner Rick Ware added: “I am excited to have Takuma join the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Family for 2022. Takuma’s experience within motorsports is extensive, not just in the United States, but around the world. With Takuma’s experience, and vast knowledge of the cars, we are really looking forward to stepping up the program and having a successful season, and maybe even add another INDIANAPOLIS 500 win to his list of achievements.”
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season kicks off on the Streets of St. Petersburg February 25 – 27, 2022.