HRC To Welcome Champion Race Driver Takuma Sato as Executive Advisor

TOKYO, Japan, February 19, 2024 -- Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) has signed an advisory contract with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, who has been competing in the world’s top categories of automobile racing, including the FIA*1 Formula One World Championship (F1), the world’s most prestigious automobile racing, and the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500), known as “the greatest spectacle in racing.” As Executive Advisor of HRC, Sato will provide advice and support in all aspects of the automobile racing activities of Honda and HRC. 

After graduating from the then Suzuka Circuit Racing School (currently, Honda Racing School Suzuka or HRS*2) in 1997, Takuma Sato demonstrated his outstanding talent, including winning the British Formula 3 title. In 2002, Sato began competing in F1, and achieved a third place podium finish in the 2004 U.S. Grand Prix.

In 2010, Sato began competing in the IndyCar Series. The Indy 500 is known as one of the world’s three most prestigious automobile races, along with the F1 Monaco GP and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Sato is the only Japanese-born driver who won the Indy 500 championship twice.

In the 2024 season, Sato will be competing in the Indy 500 race which will be held on Sunday, May 26, for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, striving to win his third Indy 500 title.   

Takuma Sato has already been providing strong support to Honda driver development initiatives as Principal of HRS. In addition to this role, as Executive Advisor of HRC, Sato will provide advice and support in formulating driver development strategies and programs Honda will pursue inside and outside Japan, race entry plans and the operational structure for racing activities.

Moreover, in planning and launching of HRC-brand products, HRC will leverage Sato’s experience and knowledge as a world-class racing driver and strive to further enhance the HRC brand image. 

*1 FIA: Fédération Internationale de lʼAutomobile.
*2 HRS: A racing driver/rider development school operated by Honda Mobilityland Corporation.

■Comment of Takuma Sato

“I am very proud to be appointed as HRC Executive Advisor. This represents my bond with Honda, which has been supporting my challenges to realize dreams for so many years and came this far hand-in-hand. In addition to passing on the skills and experience I have amassed to future generations, I will still be a challenger and continue to take on new challenges together with Honda/HRC without losing the spirit of ‘No Attack, No Chance.’ Through such challenges, I will strive to contribute to the further advancement of Honda motorsports activities.”

■Comment of Koji Watanabe, President of Honda Racing Corporation (HRC)

“We are very pleased to welcome the new Executive Advisor of HRC, Takuma Sato, who has continued to advance and win laurels as a racing driver. As the Principal of HRS, Mr. Sato has already been making a great contribution to our efforts to develop young race drivers, but now he will broaden his involvement as the Executive Advisor of HRC. We feel very encouraged that he will provide more multifaceted support for Honda motorsports activities. We believe that people are attracted to Takuma Sato not only because of his driving skills, but also because he has been demonstrating strong belief and continues to take on challenges to win. We laud his bold challenge of competing in the Indy 500 again this year, and sincerely hope that he will achieve the special milestone of winning the Indy 500 for the third time. Together with fans, HRC/Honda will be rooting for him with all our heart.”

■Takuma Sato accomplishments (to date)

Graduated from Suzuka Racing School – Formula (SRS-F)

Won the British Formula 3 Championship
Won the Masters of Formula 3
Won the Macau Grand Prix

Made F1 debut with Jordan Honda

Joined B·A·R Honda

Finished third in the F1 U.S. Grand Prix (9th Round)

Joined Super Aguri Honda

Began competing in the IndyCar Series, with KV Racing
Competed in the 94th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500) and finished 20th 

Became the first Japanese driver to secure pole position in Race 8 of Indy Car Series 

Joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Achieved his first podium finish (third place) in São Paulo (Race 4)
Came close to winning the 96th Running of the Indy 500, crashing on the final lap

Joined AJ Foyt Racing
Captured his first IndyCar win in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, becoming the first Japanese-born driver to win an IndyCar Series race

Joined Andretti Autosport
Won the 101st Running of the Indy 500 and became the first Japanese-born driver to win an Indy 500. Received the Prime Minister’s Award for this victory

Re-joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Assumed the role the Principal of Suzuka Circuit Racing School (currently, Honda Racing School Suzuka)
Finished third in the 103rd Running of the Indy 500 race, approximately 0.3 sec behind the winner

Qualified third, the highest among any Japanese-born drivers, in qualifying for the 104th Running of the Indy 500.
Won the Indy 500 championship title for the second time

Finished 14th in the 105th Running of the Indy 500

Competed in the Indy 500 with Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing

Joined Chip Ganassi Racing to compete in the oval rounds (5 races)
Finished 7th in the 107th Running of the Indy 500