The previous Formulation 1 driver, now a 12-year veteran of the IndyCar Sequence, has six wins to his title, two of that are on the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport in 2017 and RLL final season.
Though Coyne insisted that there are nonetheless “4 or 5 drivers within the combine” for a DCR seat in 2022, he agreed that the concept of operating Sato was extremely interesting.
“I believe we’ve run sturdy vehicles at Indy for a number of years now, and we’ve had drivers who we thought may do them justice,” Coyne instructed Autosport.
“They usually confirmed velocity – Sebastien [Bourdais], Ed Jones, Alex Palou… and going again a bit additional, Justin Wilson.
“However clearly it’s one factor to suppose your guys can win it for you, and one other factor to know you’ve gotten an Indy 500 winner – a two-time winner – in your automotive. Takuma gained Indy two occasions in 4 years! That’s enormous. And the newest win was simply final yr.
“So sure, I believe he’d be very sturdy for us within the 500. It’s an excellent signal that he’s already gained it for 2 completely different groups.
“However clearly there’s plenty of different tracks on the schedule the place I believe Takuma can be sturdy. He gained Lengthy Seashore for A.J. Foyt , he’s gained on a brief oval [Gateway for RLL in 2019] and he’s gained on street programs [Barber Motorsports Park and Portland for RLL in 2018].”
Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Photograph by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images
Requested if he thought Sato, now 44, is perhaps previous his prime, Coyne referenced 46-year-old Helio Castroneves inking a deal to return to the series full-time with Meyer Shank Racing next year after profitable his fourth Indy 500 in Could.
“Who gained the Indy 500 this yr? And what age is he?” Coyne mentioned.
“You see a few of the finest guys in IndyCar are over 40 now – [Scott] Dixon, [Will] Energy – however they’re nonetheless winners.
“Takuma is as match as anybody, and he’s nonetheless vastly enthusiastic. In the event you put him with an engineer who listens and appreciates him, I believe he listens and appreciates technical exchanges. He has quite a bit to contribute however he’s open to concepts, too.”
Requested what it will take to get the deal completed, Coyne replied: “There are some necessary particulars to finalise. I’d say we’re 80 % there. However there’s willingness on each side to make it occur, and that helps.”
The emptiness within the #51 Dale Coyne with Rick Ware Racing entry has arisen with Romain Grosjean’s imminent departure to Andretti Autosport for 2022.
In the meantime, Jack Harvey is predicted to be confirmed as Graham Rahal teammate subsequent yr at RLL, whereas the squad auditions different drivers for its new third full-time entry – Santino Ferrucci, Christian Lundgaard and Oliver Askew.