INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato has been full-time in the NTT IndyCar Series in some form or another since first entering the season in 2010.
Back then Sato made the jump to IndyCar from the Formula One ranks. In 215 starts he’s gone on to win six races in 14 seasons in IndyCar, two of which came in the Indianapolis 500 (2017, 2020).
This season will be the first time Sato will drive an Indy car on a part-time basis. It was announced on Tuesday that Sato will compete in an oval-only deal with Chip Ganassi Racing for 2023.
“I would like to thank Chip and Mike (Hull) for helping put this all together. I am extremely excited to join Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2023 season,” said Sato. “The organization has been at the top of our sport for decades and needless to say, extremely competitive.”
The arrangement means Sato will only be competing in five races on the IndyCar 2023 schedule which include Texas, Indianapolis, Iowa (twice), and Gateway.
Sato joins a crowded Ganassi stable with Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Marcus Ericsson returning for full-time slates again this year for Ganassi. The futures for last season’s Ganassi drivers in Jimmie Johnson and Tony Kanaan are still not clear.
Johnson will be returning to NASCAR for 2023 with Legacy Motor Club, the rebranded Petty GMS racing team owned by seven-time Cup Series champion Richard Petty. Johnson also is taking a minority ownership stake in the team.
Despite the move, Johnson remains open to returning to IndyCar for the Indianapolis 500.
Tony Kanaan has been silent about his future IndyCar plans if there are any in the works.
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