James Hinchcliffe wins nail-biter on streets of Sao Paulo

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Monday 6th May, 2013 - 4:30am

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James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe

Canadian James Hinchcliffe pulled off a stunning last corner victory in a grandstand finish to the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil.

Takuma Sato was headed for his second successive win after his historic Long Beach effort however Hinchliffe overtook the Japanese driver on the final turn of the 75-lap race.

Hinchcliffe beat Sato at the flag by .3463s, turning around his previous two outings when he did not finish after winning the season-opening race at St Petersburg.

The victory means Hinchcliffe becomes the first Canadian to win in Brazil since the late Greg Moore in 1998.

Marco Andretti maintained his consistent top 10 form to claim third just ahead of the Panther Dreyer & Reinbold driver Oriol Servia.

“There’s no cooler way to win a race  — in the last corner of the last lap,” Hinchcliffe said.

“Takuma was making that race car really wide and he was defending the inside pretty well, almost too well a couple times. He just outbroke himself just a little bit and I was able to do a high-low (pass) and got the win.”

Sato inherited the lead when JR Hildebrand was called into the pits on lap 57 under a caution period.

On lap 72 Hinchliffe overtook Josef Newgarden and was .2180s adrift of Sato.

“That’s IndyCar racing. That’s what it’s about,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “It seems that so many of these races go down the last turn of the last lap. That’s what makes this such a great sport. I’m glad we came out on the good end of the stick for sure. It’s awesome to have two cars on the podium.”

Sato, who drove the final 38 laps on a set of Firestone alternate tyres, takes a 13-point lead over Andretti in the championship standings heading into the showcase Indy 500 on May 26

Helio Castroneves, who led in points in the first three races, is third after finishing 13th at 11-turn street circuit.

His Australian Penske team-mate Will Power started from 22nd and made up 11 positions before his Chevy caught fire putting him out of the race on lap 17.

“The guys did a good job,” said Sato, who started 12th in the No. 14 ABC Supply car and led 22 laps.

“It was a really solid day for us. It was a great, great race, and we’re carrying good momentum into Indianapolis.”

Pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay finished 11th.

VIDEO: Race highlights

VIDEO: Top-three

Result: Sao Paulo

Pos Driver Car/Engine Laps Time/Delay
1 James Hinchcliffe Dallara/Chevrolet 75 2h 09:34.7383
2 Takuma Sato Dallara/Honda 75 0.3463
3 Marco Andretti Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
4 Oriol Servià Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
5 Josef Newgarden Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
6 Ernesto Viso Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
7 Dario Franchitti Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
8 Simona de Silvestro Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
9 Simon Pagenaud Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
10 Charlie Kimball Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
12 Alex Tagliani Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
13 Hélio Castroneves Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
14 Sébastien Bourdais Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
15 J.R. Hildebrand Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
16 Tristan Vautier Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
17 James Jakes Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
18 Scott Dixon Dallara/Honda 75 3:24:12.
19 Sebastian Saavedra Dallara/Chevrolet 75 3:24:12.
20 Justin Wilson Dallara/Honda 73 2 Laps
21 Tony Kanaan Dallara/Chevrolet 72 3 Laps
22 Graham Rahal Dallara/Honda 71 4 Laps
23 Ed Carpenter Dallara/Chevrolet 71 4 Laps
24 Will Power Dallara/Chevrolet 17 Mechanical
25 Ana Beatriz Dallara/Honda 6 Mechanical

Points after 4 of 19 rounds

Pos Driver Points
1 Takuma Sato 136
2 Marco Andretti 123
3 Hélio Castroneves 116
4 James Hinchcliffe 112
5 Scott Dixon 101
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 94
7 Justin Wilson 91
8 Oriol Servià 89
9 Simona de Silvestro 86
10 Charlie Kimball 80
11 Ernesto Viso 80
12 Simon Pagenaud 80
13 Josef Newgarden 76
14 Graham Rahal 74
15 Dario Franchitti 70
16 J.R. Hildebrand 70
17 Tony Kanaan 69
18 Will Power 68
19 Alex Tagliani 68
20 Sébastien Bourdais 65
21 Tristan Vautier 56
22 James Jakes 53
23 Ed Carpenter 43
24 Sebastian Saavedra 36
25 Ana Beatriz 35
26 A.J. Allmendinger 18
27 Mike Conway 5

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