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AJ Foyt Racing confirms Takuma Sato return for 2014 season

The aggressive Japanese driver will return to AJ Foyt Racing one season after capturing his first career victory at Long Beach.

Chris Trotman

Takuma Sato will remain with AJ Foyt Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season, the team announced on Tuesday.

It was a tale of two seasons over the course of one calendar year for Sato and Foyt in 2013. On one hand, the pairing picked up Sato's first IndyCar victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach and led the championship standings entering the Indianapolis 500. But on the other, it was a downhill spiral after Long Beach as the team only picked up a single top-10 (Milwaukee) during that span and dropped to 17th in the championship standings by the end of the season.

He was able to score a pole position, at Houston, late in the season to establish some momentum entering the winter and that's what Sato is focusing on entering the second year of the partnership.

"It is great news that I will continue to drive with ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing next year," Sato said in a Tuesday news release. "We had some great results in our first year. I know what the team is capable of and what I am capable of in the coming season."

In addition to Sato, the complete band will stay together, as chief engineer Don Halliday and associate engineer Raul Prados will also remain with the team for their third-consecutive season.

"Working with AJ, Larry, Don and all the boys is just fantastic," Sato added. "This team is really special for me. I always felt that the team was behind me and it gave me the confidence to go for the win in races. I'm very excited to continue to build this great relationship.

"We know what we need to focus on next year. We are anxious to test the new Honda (twin turbo) engine. From what I hear, the engine will put us in a great position to be up front more often in 2014. I am convinced that we can be a contender in the championship."

Sato has earned a reputation for being one of the most aggressive drivers in the paddock during a 10-year career that has also spanned stops in Formula 1 and IndyCar.

After driving for KV Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, it appears that Sato has finally found a home that appreciates his aggressive style as Foyt has been quoted on numerous occasions praising Sato for his desire to win at all costs.

Now it's up to Sato, Foyt and Halliday to channel that aggression into results and return the team to championship form next season.