Takuma Sato to stay with AJ Foyt team for 2014 IndyCar season
|By Mark Glendenning||Tuesday, December 17th 2013, 21:57 GMT|
Takuma Sato will remain with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season.
The Japanese driver earned his first series win in Long Beach this year, giving Foyt its first victory in 11 years, and went on to claim pole position in Houston.
"It is great news that I will continue to drive with AJ Foyt Racing next year," he said.
"We had some great results in our first year [together]. I know what the team is capable of and what I am capable of in the coming season.
"This team is really special for me. I always felt that the team was behind me and it gave me the confidence to go for the win in races.
"We know what we need to focus on next year. We are anxious to test the new Honda engine - from what I hear, the engine will put us in a great position to be up front more often in 2014. I am convinced that we can be a contender in the championship."
Engineer Don Halliday and performance engineer Raul Prados will also remain with the team in 2014, and team director Larry Foyt said that keeping the core together would help the squad to build upon what it achieved this year.
"I am thrilled to have Takuma driving for us again," Foyt said. "Taku, our engineers and mechanics all gelled quickly last year, and getting to Victory Lane together was something we are all very proud of.
"We are focused on building on the positives from last season and working towards more victories and a higher standing in the championship. I know with Taku's talent and our race team personnel, these are realistic goals."
Sato is scheduled to test with the team at Sebring on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, team owner AJ Foyt is recovering well after undergoing knee-replacement surgery on his right knee on December 12.
The 78-year-old, who also underwent hip and left-knee replacement procedures earlier in the year, was released after just one night in hospital.
2014 IndyCar line-up so far: AJ Foyt Racing (Honda) Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport (Honda) Marco Andretti/Carlos Munoz/James Hinchcliffe/Ryan Hunter-Reay Bryan Herta Autosport (Honda) Tba Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevy) Scott Dixon/Tony Kanaan/Ryan Briscoe/Charlie Kimball Dale Coyne Racing (Honda) Tba/tba Ed Carpenter Racing (Chevy) Ed Carpenter (ovals)/Mike Conway (road/street) KV Racing (Chevy) Sebastien Bourdais/tba Panther Racing (Chevy) Tba Rahal Letterman Racing (Honda) Graham Rahal/tba Sarah Fisher Hartman (Honda) Josef Newgarden Schmidt Peterson (Honda) Mikhail Aleshin/Simon Pagenaud Team Penske (Chevy) Juan Pablo Montoya/Helio Castroneves/Will Power