Sato joins KV Racing for IndyCar season

Takuma Sato will drive for KV Racing Technology in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season, according to a team release.

Sato is a veteran of seven Formula 1 seasons.

"I can't wait to see what I know will be a extremely fast pace by Taku on the road courses and look forward to working with him and getting him up to speed on the ovals," team co-owner Jimmy Vasser said. "I have no doubt that Taku will be right on the pace immediately. Taku's knowledge and experience will be a great asset and his great sense of humor and easy manner will add positive energy to our team."

Sato began his career racing bicycles and go-karts in his native Japan. In 1998, he moved to Europe and over the course of the next three seasons competed in several European series, most notably British Formula 3.

Sato finished fourth in the British Formula 3 National Class B championship in 1999, third in Class A in 2000 and won the Class A championship in 2001. He holds a record with his 16 wins in British Formula 3 over the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In 2002, Sato moved to Formula 1, competing for Jordan-Honda in 17 races, where he earned one top-five finish.

Sato moved to the British American Racing (BAR)-Honda F1 team for the next three seasons, first as a test and third driver then competing full time. His top F1 season was 2004, when he finished eighth in the championship with 10 top-10 finishes, including five top-fives. In 2006, he joined the new Super Aguri-Honda F1 team and competed there until the team withdrew after four 2008 races.

"I have really missed racing last year and can't wait to get started in this new challenge with such a great team," Sato said. "To me, KV Racing Technology is a team with massive potential and great team spirit. With such a great champion as Jimmy leading the team, I am really confident that we will soon be a strong combination. I am also really motivated by the chance to be fighting at the front of the field, something I have missed in recent seasons. I want to thank sincerely everyone who has continued to support me through difficult times and look forward to enjoying success together very soon."