Takuma Sato Enters 200th NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, FL (Friday, February 25, 2022) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Takuma Sato may be making his first start with his new team this weekend as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads to St. Petersburg for the season opening race, but the two-time Indy 500 Champion will also be taking part in his 200th career race in the American open-wheel racing series.
To mark the occasion Sato will have a special commemorative helmet for this event that will be revealed this weekend on his and the team’s social media outlets.
2022 will be his 13th NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. He started in 2010 when he joined KV Racing Technology following his stint in Formula 1.
Over the course of his career, he’s also competed for AJ Foyt Racing, Andretti Autosport and Rahal Letterman Lanigan before switching to Dale Coyne Racing with RWR this season.
In his 199 races, Sato has picked up six wins, ten pole positions, 70 top ten finishes and has led 902 laps. The veteran driver now looks to build on those numbers with his new team starting with this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Sato has finished in the top 6 at St. Petersburg four times with a best finish of fifth, twice (2015 & 2018).
He started on pole position in St. Petersburg in 2014 and second in 2013 and has a total of five top five starts in this event.
More recently, he finished sixth in the 2021 edition of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Due to limited testing regulations, Sato comes into the first race of the year with just one test day under his belt, but the driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda remains optimistic as he heads into the season opening round.
TAKUMA SATO #51 NURTEC ODT HONDA - DALE COYNE RACING WITH RWR “I’m extremely happy to go back to St.Petersburg, not just because it’s an exciting opener for the 2022 season but because it’s also my first with my new team at Dale Coyne Racing with RWR. It’s been a quite challenging winter as I was restricted to only a single day test on track, but we have prepared the best we could. Everything is new for me, new engineers, new crew guys and a new number (51) so there was a bit extra work for me that needed to be done, but it’s all been very positive and I’m happily settling in and we’re ready to go. “St.Petersburg is a really gorgeous and perfect venue for the opener. Warm weather, a lot of energy from the city, enthusiastic fans, and great on track action. It’s a quite unique track. The main straight is an iconic runway and it’s very challenging with hard braking into Turn 1. Crossing the wide white stripes upsets the car but then the combination of such high-speed corners for a street course and complex slow speed sections challenges the drivers and I really enjoy it. “DCR has a successful record in St.Petersburg and I personally have had some of my favorite moments there too so with those two factors, I just can’t wait to drive the beautiful #51 Nurtec ODT Panasonic Honda for the first time in a race weekend. “Lastly this is my 200th race in IndyCar. I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me to make this happen. I’m very fortunate and absolutely thrilled to get the 2022 season started. I’m wearing a one-off special edition 200th race inspired designed helmet this weekend and it is the perfect event to celebrate that accomplishment with this fresh, new start!”