Sato wins IndyCars at Long Beach

Takuma Sato has broken through for his first IndyCar win

Takuma Sato has broken through for his first IndyCar win

Former Formula One driver Takuma Sato has become the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race with victory on the streets of Long Beach.

Starting fourth, Sato made the most of a strong start and good pit stops to take the lead after the first round of pit stops. In a race which featured a number of caution periods, Sato kept his head and scored the first win for A.J. Foyt Racing since 2002 (Airton Dare) at Kansas Speedway. The legendary Foyt who missed the race while resting at home in Texas ahead of surgery for sciatica.

Sato was guaranteed the victory when Tony Kanaan brought out a late race caution after he crashed into a tyre barrier. Graham Rahal crossed in second, while Justin Wilson climbed from 24th on the grid to finish third.

Pole sitter Dario Franchitti finished fourth and JR Hildebrand finished fifth at Long Beach for the second consecutive year.

Scott Dixon had a tough race after starting from the rear the Kiwi was spun on the opening lap by Tristan Vautier. Dixon suffered a puncture and lost a lap coming to the pits for repairs, which included a punctured tyre.

Will Power found himself as high as second behind Sato, but then a poor middle stint of the race on the primary tyres put him back in the pack. Any chance he had of recovering to a strong finish was ended when he was struck by Vautier when leaving his pit box. Power was forced to come back around for more repairs and finished 16th.

His team-mates fared little better, with Helio Castroneves falling out of contention early after damaging his front wing, and A.J. Allmendinger retiring with a mechanical problem.

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Unofficial Results
Pos. Driver Laps Running / Reason Out
1 Takuma Sato 80 Running
2 Graham Rahal 80 Running
3 Justin Wilson 80 Running
4 Dario Franchitti 80 Running
5 JR Hildebrand 80 Running
6 Marco Andretti 80 Running
7 Simon Pagenaud 80 Running
8 Simona de Silvestro 80 Running
9 Helio Castroneves 80 Running
10 Scott Dixon 80 Running
11 James Jakes 80 Running
12 Josef Newgarden 80 Running
13 Ana Beatriz 80 Running
14 Sebastien Bourdais 80 Running
15 Will Power 80 Running
16 Tristan Vautier 80 Running
17 Ed Carpenter 80 Running
18 Oriol Servia 80 Running
19 Alex Tagliani 79 Running
20 Tony Kanaan 78 Contact
21 Charlie Kimball 78 Running
22 EJ Viso 53 Running
23 AJ Allmendinger 51 Mechanical
24 Ryan Hunter-Reay 49 Contact
25 Mike Conway 38 Electrical
26 James Hinchcliffe 34 Contact
27 Sebastian Saavedra 1 Contact

Points after 3 of 19 rounds

1 Hélio Castroneves 99
2 Takuma Sato 93
3 Scott Dixon 89
4 Marco Andretti 87
5 Justin Wilson 81
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 73
7 Graham Rahal 66
8 Will Power 62
9 Simona de Silverstro 62
10 James Hinchcliffe 61
11 Charlie Kimball 60
12 Tony Kanaan 59
13 Simon Pagenaud 58
14 Oriol Servia 57
15 JR Hilderbrand 54
16 EJ Viso 52
17 Alex Tagliani 50
18 Sebastian Bourdais 48
19 Josef Newgarden 46
20 Dario Franchitti 44
21 Tristan Vautier 42
22 James Jakes 40
23 Ed Carpenter 36
24 Ana Beatriz 30
25 Sebastian Saavedra 25
26 AJ Allmendinger 18

 

 

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