Japan’s Takuma Sato held off Scott Dixon over the ultimate 20 laps on Sunday to seize the 104th Indianapolis 500, taking his second Indy 500 victory after his first front-row begin.
The 43-year-old from Tokyo, who additionally received in 2017, saved New Zealand’s Dixon at bay down the stretch earlier than a crash by Spencer Pigot with 5 laps remaining introduced out yellow flags and the race completed underneath slow-speed warning circumstances.
“It is unbelievable,” Sato stated. “It is nice. I am proud to win once more.”
Sato, who began from the skin of row one, drove his Honda-powered Dallara throughout the end line after 200 laps across the 2 1/2-mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval simply forward of Dixon and American Graham Rahal in third in a ceremonial end.
Ten minutes earlier, Dixon was racing simply behind Sato on the identical straightaway desperately making an attempt to cross him however unable to get by.
“I knew Scott was coming proper by means of,” Sato stated. “Popping out of flip 4 he was screaming. I simply held him off.”
Sato automobile proprietor Bobby Rahal, the 1986 Indy 500 winner, was fearful when the winner came across slower visitors with 9 laps remaining.
“Takuma ran exhausting all day lengthy,” the elder Rahal stated. “I used to be fearful when he bumped into that visitors however he received by means of it fairly good. After which the accident. Who is aware of what would have occurred the final 5 laps?”
That is the haunting query dealing with Dixon, who led 111 laps however settled for his third runner-up end at Indy after 2007 and 2012 – all three of them coming underneath warning.
“It is undoubtedly a tough one to swallow for positive,” Dixon stated. “It is exhausting when it slips away like that.
“Congratulations to Sato. He drove his pants off at the moment.”
Sato, the primary Asian driver to win the Indy 500, waved the Japanese flag on the winner’s platform.
“I hope this provides a bit of enhance for his or her power,” Sato stated. “Thanks for the help.”
The oval basic was moved from its common late Could date resulting from Covid-19 issues that delayed the beginning of the season till June and prevented spectators from attending.
The race held on a knife’s edge after Sato handed slower visitors however any closing drama was ended when US racer Pigot crashed within the fourth flip and skidded into the tip of the barrier on the fringe of the monitor the place pit row begins. Pigot was awake and alert and walked from the automobile however was hospitalized for statement.
The race was completed underneath warning quite than halted and restarted as Dixon hoped would possibly occur.
“Gas mileage, I am unable to see how they have been going to make it,” Dixon stated. “They simply determined to go and run it.
“I assumed they have been going to throw a pink flag. We’d have had an fascinating 5 laps.”
Dixon led after a restart with 28 laps remaining however a couple of laps later, Sato made the essential cross on the skin on the entrance straightaway and Dixon may by no means overtake him.
“We had the mindset and the gas to get to the tip,” Dixon stated. “However you let it slip and that is what occurs.”
Pole-sitter Marco Andretti settled for 13th with two-time System One champion Fernando Alonso of Spain ending 21st and 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud of France in 22nd.
Dixon handed pole-sitter Marco Andretti on the skin of the primary flip of the race and dominated early.
A crash by Spanish rookie Alex Palau despatched leaders to the pits on lap 125, with Dixon out first.
Alexander Rossi nudged Sato as each tried to exit pit row. Rossi, the 2016 Indy 500 winner, was penalised and despatched to the again of the sector for what the chief steward dominated “an unsafe launch.”
“I do not even need to speak concerning the penalty,” Rossi stated. “I’ll have an extended speak with someone about that. It is clearly irritating.”
Quick-charging Rossi crashed 12 laps afterward the skin of flip two.
“We have been by no means planning on being that far again. We simply misplaced it,” Rossi stated. “Numerous soiled air again there.”
Sunday’s outcomes from the 104th Indianapolis 500 on the 2.5-mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval:
1. Takuma Sato (JPN), Dallara-Honda, 200 laps in three hrs 10 minutes 5.0880 secs at 157.824 mph (253.993 km/hr)
2. Scott Dixon (NZL), Dallara-Honda, zero.0577sec behind (underneath warning)
three. Graham Rahal (USA), Dallara-Honda, identical lap
four. Santino Ferrucci (USA), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
5. Josef Newgarden (USA), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
6. Pato O’Ward (MEX), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
7. James Hinchcliffe (CAN), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
eight. Colton Herta (USA), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
9. Jack Harvey (GBR), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
10. Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
11. Helio Castroneves (BRA), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
12. Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
13. Marco Andretti (USA), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
14. Will Energy (AUS), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
15. Zach Veach (USA), Dallara-Honda, s.l.
16. JR Hildebrand (USA), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
17. Max Chilton (GBR), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
18. Charlie Kimball (USA), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
19. Tony Kanaan (BRA), Dallara-Chevy, one lap down
20. Rinus VeeKay (NED), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
21. Fernando Alonso (ESP), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
22. Simon Pagenaud (FRA), Dallara-Chevy, two laps down
23. Ben Hanley (GBR), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
24. Sage Karam (USA), Dallara-Chevy, s.l.
25. Spencer Pigot (USA), Dallara-Honda, six laps down, crash
26. Ed Carpenter (USA), Dallara-Chevy, 13 laps down
27. Alexander Rossi (USA), Dallara-Honda, 57 laps down, crash
28. Alex Palou (ESP), Dallara-Honda, 79 laps down, crash
29. Conor Daly (USA), Dallara-Chevy, 109 laps down, crash
30. Oliver Askew (USA), Dallara-Chevy, s.l., crash
31. Dalton Kellett (CAN), Dallara-Chevy, 118 laps down, crash
32. Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Dallara-Honda, 176 laps down, crash
33. James Davison (AUS), Dallara-Honda, 196 laps down, mechanical
season standings after seven races:
1. Dixon 335, 2. Newgarden 251, three.
O’Ward 218, four. Rahal 214, 5. Pagenaud 212, 6. Sato 207