Takuma Sato has this morning been confirmed in the apparently vacant seat at AJ Foyt Racing for the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series season.
The always-improving Japanese driver replaces Mike Conway, who it appears has been shown the door after losing his oval-racing confidence mere days before the 2012 season concluded in Fontana back in September, in which a hasty replacement in Wade Cunningham was called upon.
Sato found himself out of a drive at the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team soon after the off-season began once favour was shown to Graham Rahal, who promptly signed with the team. Talk of Sato moving in the opposite direction to Chip Ganassi Racing was quickly spread around, but never really grew into anything too serious.
On the announcement, Foyt said: “There were a lot of question marks when the season ended, but I’m happy to put an end to all that now.
“We chose to go with Takuma Sato because he brings a lot of experience to our team but he has the hunger of a rookie. He’s certainly proven he has the desire to win.”
Sato said he was excited at the challenge of his new team.
“I have seen the potential of the team last year on a number of occasions,” he added. “I think the team has one of the best engineering staffs in the paddock led by Don Halliday. I can’t wait to start testing next month.”
Nonetheless, it is excellent to see the super-talented Sato on the grid for his fourth season in the IndyCar series. A.J Foyt is the quintessential American racing legend, and his confidence in Sato’s abilities will continue to point the team in the right direction, and wins cannot be ruled out at any point.