Japanese driver Takuma Sato becomes the first Japanese driver to win the Indy 500 in the USA, as he kept behind Brazilian Helio Castroneves and denied him a chance at a fourth win for him at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”. Japanese driver 40-year-old Sato, hadspent seven seasons without winning any in Formula One at defunct teams Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri.
Mean while On Sunday, the Spanish driving master, one of F1’s modern greats Fernando Alonso who is with Andretti Autosport team made a challenging carrier change from Formula One to IndyCar looked for a thrilling finish went to a malfunction and still in with a shot in seventh place.
As per the indycar.com
“They call him “Taku,” and now he will be remembered.
It was easy to overlook Takuma Sato before. He shared his Andretti Autosport garage with five teammates, four of them with higher
When the green flag dropped on the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, the motorsports world was keeping a close eye on another foreign driver, two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain.
Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi, another Sato teammate, had qualified on the outside of the front row. The team’s best driver in recent years has been Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the 2014 Indianapolis 500 and the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Then there’s team owner Michael Andretti’s 30-year-old son, Marco, who has shared his father’s affinity for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by almost winning five times — finishing second once, third three times and fourth once.
That left rookie Jack Harvey, who was making his series debut, and Sato, who wasn’t retained by AJ Foyt Racing and became an offseason free agent. Sato, from Tokyo, eventually switched places with Carlos Munoz, a two-time Indy 500 runner-up with Andretti who was hired by Foyt this season.
But when the checkered flag ended a dramatic Sunday duel at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sato and his No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda fended off a challenge from three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves of Team Penske to celebrate his greatest victory in 124 career series starts.
“It’s beautiful,” Sato said. “I dreamed of something like this since I was 12.”
“‘Taku’ did an awesome job,” Michael Andretti said.
Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the Indy 500. Tora Takagi had the highest previous finish of fifth in 2003.
“This will be mega big,” Sato said of the anticipated reaction in Japan. “I cannot imagine how it’s going to be.”
After his only other series victory at Long Beach in 2013, Sato went home for a press conference and was met by about 300
“I know they (flew) over from Japan today,” Sato said of his supporters. “Many, many people came.”
He recently admitted he was still uncomfortable on the high-speed 2.5-mile oval at IMS, and the results reflected what has been a challenging and ongoing adjustment from previously racing in Formula One on just road and street courses. His best Indy 500 finish in seven previous starts was 13th, twice.
But Sato showed he’s still fearless, just like on the last lap of the 2012 Indy 500, when he tried to dart inside for the lead on Dario Franchitti and crashed in Turn 1.”