Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has responded to the comments accusing Takuma Sato of causing the frightening crash on the opening lap at Pocono last weekend.
Five drivers, including Sato, were eliminated from the race due to the crash. Alexander Rossi, who was involved, hit out at the Japanese driver, labelling his driving as ‘disgraceful’
However RLL has responded to the accusations aimed at Sato, insisting that the data shows that he was not at fault for causing the incident.
“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,” read a team statement.
“Normally in a situation of this nature it is not necessary for a team to comment but following the accusations levied at Takuma Sato, 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.”
RLL added that it will stand by its drivers going forward, and that it understands the frustrations of other drivers whose championship challenge has been hampered.
“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.”
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