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AJ Foyt Racing confirms Takuma Sato for 2013 IndyCar season

Takuma SatoTakuma Sato's long-expected switch to AJ Foyt Racing has been confirmed, with the Japanese driver moving across from Rahal Letterman Lanigan for the 2013 IndyCar season.

Sato will replace Mike Conway in the team's single full-time entry, with rookie Chase Austin having earlier been announced as the driver of a second car at the Indianapolis 500.

Team owner AJ Foyt said that Sato's combination of versatility, experience and enthusiasm made him a natural choice.

"There were a lot of question marks when the season ended but I'm happy to put an end to all that now," Foyt said.

"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 -and he's certainly proven he has the desire to win.

"I like the fact that he is competitive on both road courses and ovals and that he is a charger. I think he has learned quite a bit in the short time he's been over here and I look forward to working with him this year."

Sato said that he looks forward to tapping into some of the potential that he believes Foyt's team possesses.

"I have seen the potential of the team last year on a number of occasions," he said. "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."

Sato finished last season in 14th place with two podiums, although his year will be better remembered for his last-lap attempt to pass Dario Franchitti for the lead of the Indy 500; an endeavour that ended with him spinning into the barriers.

AJ Foyt Racing's best result with Conway in 2012 was a third in Toronto.

2013 IndyCar Series line-up so far:

Team                       Engine Drivers
AJ Foyt Racing             Honda  Takuma Sato
Andretti Autosport         Chevy  Ryan Hunter-Reay/James Hinchcliffe/Marco Andretti
Bryan Herta Autosport      Honda  Alex Tagliani
Chip Ganassi Racing        Honda  Dario Franchitti/Scott Dixon/Charlie Kimball
Dale Coyne Racing          Honda  tba
Dragon Racing              Chevy  Sebastien Bourdais/tba
Ed Carpenter Racing        Chevy  Ed Carpenter
KV Racing Technology       Chevy  Tony Kanaan/Simona de Silvestro
Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold  Chevy  JR Hildebrand/Oriol Servia
Rahal Letterman Lanigan    Honda  Graham Rahal
Sarah Fisher Hartman       Honda  Josef Newgarden
Schmidt-Hamilton           Honda  Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske                Chevy  Will Power/Helio Castroneves
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