Feb 18, 2010

Sato in IndyCar

Former F1 driver Takuma Sato has signed with KV Racing Technology to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

No terms of the deal were announced, but it is thought drivers need to bring about $3 million to the table for an Indy Car ride.

“This is a very exciting time for me and all my supporters,” Sato said in a release.

“I have really missed racing last year and can’t wait to get started in this new challenge with such a great team.”

Sato raced in F1 for seven seasons, With Jordan, British American Racing (BAR), and Super Aguri. Sato’s stint in F1 ended abruptly in 2008 when Super Aguri folded after four races.

The 33-year-old driver from Tokyo’s best F1 season was in 2004 when he placed eighth in the championship with 34 points. A year earlier, he famously replaced 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve at the Japanese Grand Prix, ending the Canadian’s tumultuous five years at BAR.

But Sato’s high point was a 2007 Canadian Grand Prix duel with Fernando Alonso of McLaren, when he defeated the double world champion in a battle for sixth place driving what was essentially a year-old Honda grand prix car. Earlier in the season, Sato also took an eighth-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix to give Super Aguri its maiden F1 point.

It is thought KV will have a three-car operation in 201, with Sato joining EJ Viso and Mario Moraes.

In a related note, Canada’s James Hinchcliffe, 23, announced a deal to compete for Indianapolis-based Team Moore Racing in the Firestone Indy Lights Series.

IndyCar’s official feeder series opens its season on Sunday 28 March as the 13-race championship gets underway on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

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