Get to know: Takuma Sato #51 – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Indy 500

Demon (Jake Query) IMS Radio perched atop Northeast Vista, I saw you. I saw you pull names out of a hat and the name of the driver you pull ended up being your favorite for the next 500 miles.

So for the 33 days leading up to the race, I thought I’d tell you more about the PEOPLE in the cockpit or the people you might end up rooting for when you pull a name out of a hat. A few things you might want to know about these drivers are…

Hang on. Ride for 33 days of “Getting to Know Yourself”.

He may see it when he travels from Carmel. There, just off the highway, maybe Takuma Sato sees his past, as he heads towards his present.

Bicycle lane. The Major Taylor Velodrome is just up the road. Right there for the Tokyo native to see as he drives to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Takuma Sato, Japanese cycling champion. Indianapolis 500 winner.

Born on January 28, 1977 in the biggest city in the world, Sato first got a taste of racing using 2 wheels, not four. Riding a bike is a way to clear his head and stay in shape these days, but at 14 he was a high school cycling champion. Shortly after, he started racing karts and at the age of 20 he won a scholarship from the Honda Suzuki Racing School which allowed him to enter the Japanese Formula 3 championship series. .

He eventually joined the British F3 series, which is why his second language comes with a heavy British accent.

In 2002, the past recrosses with what will become its present. The opportunity arose with Formula 1’s BAR Honda when Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve abruptly left the team. Enter Takuma Sato. He stayed with the team for 3 seasons and in 2010 joined the IndyCar series. As an IndyCar driver, he was a two-time Indy 500 champion.

The number of sips of milk could be 3 for Sato, one of the most beloved guys in the paddock. In 2012, he entered the first lap of the last lap of the race alongside Dario Franchitti. “No attack, no luck” has always been Sato’s motto. He lived it then and tried to put his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda in a bit too tight a spot. He ended up in the wall.

After breaking through and winning with Andretti Autosport in 2017, Sato picked up his second Indy win of 2020. The callback came as he raced again for Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Takuma Sato repaid what he lost.

An avid U2 listener, Sato is a father of two and shares his residences between Tokyo and the northern suburbs of Indianapolis. He regularly spends time with his children, while

also joining them in video game competitions.

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