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Super Aguri has announced that Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide will be the team's race drivers for the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Takuma joins Super Aguri from the Honda Racing F1 Team where he achieved eighth position in the 2004 Drivers' Championship with 34 points, helping the team to complete the season in second place in the Constructors' Championship.
Takuma's Formula One debut came as test driver for B.A.R Honda whilst driving to win the British F3 Championship in 2001. After a season racing at Jordan Grand Prix, Takuma joined the recently named Honda Racing F1 Team as third driver in 2003 and secured a full race seat with the team for the following year. Takuma became the first Japanese F1 driver for 14 years to stand on the podium when he came home in third position to clinch his maiden trophy at the 2004 United States Grand Prix.
Yuji Ide commences his Formula One career with the Super Aguri Team. This opportunity follows his successful career in the All Japan Championship Formula Nippon Series, where he came second in the 2005 Championship. Since 2003 Yuji has driven in both the Formula Nippon and Super GT Series (formerly All Japan GT Championship) GT500 Class Series' and has gained experience in French Formula 3 (Signature), All Japan GT Championship GT300 Class, All Japan F3 Championship and a number of Japanese national Kart Championships since his motorsport career began back in 1990.
Takuma Sato: "Everyone at Aguri has done a great job to make the team happen in such a short period of time. I am extremely excited to be working with the team and especially with Aguri-san who has achieved huge success in motorsport.
“Yesterday I was delighted to shakedown the car for the very first time with all of the boys who have done such a great job. We know that there is a lot of hard work to do, but we are up for the challenge and I am really looking forward to it."
Yuji Ide: "This year will be very exciting and challenging. I would like to thank Suzuki-san for giving me the opportunity to drive in Formula One. I drove an F1 car for the first time yesterday and I was nervous, but very excited. The car is powerful! I would also like to thank the whole team for working so hard to get the car ready for yesterday's shakedown. We had no problems and now I am very much looking forward to testing in Barcelona next week."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "I am grateful that these highly experienced drivers are joining my team. Although I expect a tough year as it is our first in Formula One, with these two drivers I will put all my efforts into creating a positive outcome."
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