Sato joins Chip Ganassi in oval racing


Takuma Sato will join Chip Ganassi Racing in 2023 for oval racing. (Penske Entertainment/Joe Skibinski)

MOORESVILLE, NC — Chip Ganassi Racing is adding a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner to its oval racing lineup in the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series.

Takuma Sato, winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 in 2017 and the 104th Indianapolis 500 in 2020, will drive the No. 11 Honda in oval races on the 2023 schedule, including the 107th Indianapolis 500 on May 28.

The Tokyo driver joins 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou in this year’s high-speed Memorial Day Classic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and other oval races on the schedule.

New Zealand’s Marcus Armstrong will drive the No. 11 in street and road races on the 2023 schedule.

Sato brings more than two decades of racing experience at the sport’s highest level to the defending Indianapolis 500 winners who have captured 14 IndyCar Series championships, including nine in the past 15 seasons of competition.

Sato celebrates his victory at the 2020 Indy 500. (Penske Entertainment/Chris Owens)

“First of all, I’d like to thank Chip and Mike 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 is extremely competitive. Focusing on oval racing is a new chapter for me, but I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to race with team members and teammates who have won championships and the Indianapolis 500 in the past, which is a huge advantage.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

Sato has raced in the IndyCar Series over the past 13 seasons, where he has earned six wins, 14 podiums and 10 pole positions. Sato has made 215 career starts in the IndyCar Series, the sixth most among active drivers and the 22nd most all-time.

“What a great opportunity to have Takuma Sato drive our No. 11 Honda Indy car on ovals in 2023,” said Chip Ganassi Racing principal Mike Hull. “He’s a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who brings the experience of knowing how to win, matching his strength with his three teammates for the equivalent of four racing as one.

“Chip Ganassi Racing looks forward to the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.”

Sato is the latest driver to achieve multiple wins in the Indianapolis 500, winning in 2020 and 2017.

Sato’s first victory in racing’s greatest spectacle came after retaking the lead with just six laps to go, making his way into the history books as the first Japanese driver ever to win the race. Then in 2020, he won the race for the second time after starting from the front row from third position.

Prior to his IndyCar career, Sato drove in Formula 1 for seven seasons (2002-08). He earned 44 points with one podium appearance in 90 career starts. In 2004, Sato entered the top 10 in the Formula 1 standings, where he reached the podium at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. Sato also won the British Formula 3 Championship in 2001, taking 12 victories, as well as wins at the Marlboro Masters F3 at Zandevoort and the prestigious Macau F3 GP.

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