Hideki Mutoh will return to IndyCar for a one-off appearance at Motegi

Hideki Mutoh will return to the IndyCar fold when the series travels to Motegi, Japan, for the 16th round of the season next weekend

Hideki Mutoh will return to IndyCar for a one-off appearance at Motegi

Mutoh will race for the Sam Schmidt Motorsport squad alongside 2011 regular Alex Tagliani, who currently lies 12th in the overall championship.

Mutoh made his IndyCar debut for Super Aguri Panther Racing in 2007, and stayed in the series until 2010. He won rookie of the year honours in 2008, when he also took the first of his two IndyCar podiums with a second-place finish at Iowa.

"Though this is only one race, it means a lot to me to be able to race in front of my home crowd again," Mutoh said. "This has been a tough year for Japan and I hope we can bring some excitement to the fans.

"I am determined to do well and put up a strong performance for the team. It will also help having Alex Tagliani as a teammate and I really cannot wait to get started."

Mutoh is expected to take over from Martin Plowman, who guided the #17 AFS/Sam Schmidt car to top 12 finishes in the last two events at Infineon and Baltimore.

Team boss Sam Schmidt said he was 'thrilled' to give Mutoh the opportunity to race in front of his home crowd, adding: "Having shown so much promise in the series last season, I can't wait to see what he can do on the road course at Motegi."

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