Data clears Takuma Sato of blame after Pocono pile-up - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has asserted that data from Takuma Sato's #30 MI-Jack car clears him of any wrongdoing during the opening lap crash in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Sato was slammed by his rivals for pulling down across the track whilst trying to pass the Andretti Autosport pair of Ryan-Hunter Reay and Alexander Rossi.

Title contender Rossi labelled the Japanese driver as 'disgraceful' after the crash, accusing Sato of turning left whilst going down the straight towards Turn 2.

The pair also entered into a short spat across social media where the debate continued over who was to blame.

In an attempt to quell the argument, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has since released video of Sato's onboard with a statement backing their driver.

The statement reads: "Following the events on Lap 1 of Sunday’s IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway, we are relieved that all drivers emerged unhurt from the crash. Normally in a situation of this nature, it is not necessary for a team to comment but following the accusations levied at Takuma, and after reviewing Takuma’s onboard data and camera, we feel that a clarification is necessary. 

"The data and video clearly shows that Takuma did not turn down the track into Alexander in this incident and in fact the first steering wheel movement made by Takuma was to the right, as he tried to correct his car after the initial contact.

"This sort of accident is part and parcel of this type of racing and with track position being vital at every stage of each race is, in our view, a part of the sport.  It’s a racing incident and we as a team wish to publicly state that we stand behind our drivers and have absolute faith in their ability to race and perform at the highest level for RLL.

"This was a racing incident which unfortunately may have some championship implications. A crash at Pocono impacted our title aspirations in 2015 while second in the standings so we know the frustration drivers and teams experienced.  As always, we are thankful for the quick response of the AMR Safety Team."