Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has announced that it will be parting ways with veteran racer Takuma Sato for next season.
The popular Japanese driver had driven for the team for the past four years, recording four wins in that time and winning his second Indy 500 in August of 2020.
Sato also raced with RLL for the 2012 season, with stints at AJ Foyt and Andretti Autosport filling the five-year gap until he found his way back to the team in 2018.
“It was a privilege and honor to have Takuma with us twice over the years,” said Team co-owner Bobby Rahal.
“We appreciate the commitment and the energy he brought every day to the track and to everything that we were doing as a team.
“Of course, we are forever indebted to him for bringing the PeopleReady car home first in the 2020 Indy 500. It was a special moment for me personally, for Mike [Lanigan] and his family and for our entire team. What a fantastic victory.
“I always really enjoyed working with Takuma. His dedication and commitment to not just his craft, but also the team was unquestionable.
“We wish him all the best on his next opportunity. Would like to think we will always remain friends because we just enjoyed each other’s company.”
Rumors of Sato’s departure from the team had been present for much of the latter part of this past season, even though RLL is preparing to enter three cars full time in 2022.
The only confirmed driver at this stage is Graham Rahal in the #15 entry, with two seats yet to officially be filled.
The 44-year-old driver has not yet announced if he has any other deals lined up for next season, but the list of open seats has grown considerably smaller in recent weeks.
If Sato does decide to hang up the helmet, it would put an end to a largely successful 12-year IndyCar career, which followed on from seven seasons in Formula 1.