The previous System 1 driver, now a 12-year veteran of the IndyCar Collection, 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 feel we’ve run sturdy automobiles at Indy for a number of years now, and we’ve had drivers who we thought may do them justice,” Coyne informed Autosport.
“They usually confirmed pace – Sebastien [Bourdais], Ed Jones, Alex Palou… and going again a bit additional, Justin Wilson.
“However clearly it’s one factor to assume your guys can win it for you, and one other factor to know you might have an Indy 500 winner – a two-time winner – in your automobile. Takuma received Indy two instances in 4 years! That’s large. And the latest win was simply final 12 months.
“So sure, I feel he’d be very sturdy for us within the 500. It’s signal that he’s already received it for 2 totally different groups.
“However clearly there’s lots of different tracks on the schedule the place I feel Takuma can be sturdy. He received Lengthy Seashore for A.J. Foyt , he’s received on a brief oval [Gateway for RLL in 2019] and he’s received on street programs [Barber Motorsports Park and Portland for RLL in 2018].”
Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Picture by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images
Requested if he thought Sato, now 44, may be 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 successful his fourth Indy 500 in Might.
“Who received the Indy 500 this 12 months? And what age is he?” Coyne mentioned.
“You see among the greatest 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 feel he listens and appreciates technical exchanges. He has lots to contribute however he’s open to concepts, too.”
Requested what it will take to get the deal carried out, Coyne replied: “There are some necessary particulars to finalise. I’d say we’re 80 p.c 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 12 months at RLL, whereas the squad auditions different drivers for its new third full-time entry – Santino Ferrucci, Christian Lundgaard and Oliver Askew.