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IndyCar Driver of the Year vote: 8th

You voted Takuma Sato into 8th place in Crash.net's IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 poll!
Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012:
8. Takuma Sato

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Birthdate: January 28, 1977
Team: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
2012 starts: 15
Poles: 0
Wins: 0
Top 5: 2
Top 10: 5
Championship points: 281
Championship position: 14th
Crash.net IndyCar Driver of 2011 position: 15th

After years of finding innovative ways of crashing out of races in various championships, Takuma Sato has been on the verge of a real breakthrough in the past couple of years and it's great to see Crash.net voters recognise that with a big hike in his Driver of the Year standing in 2012.

Last year he became the first Japanese driver to claim a pole position in IndyCar (and he did it a second time to show it was no fluke.) This year he moved to Rahal Letterman Lanigan and got his best race results in the series to date, with third place in Sao Paulo soon eclipsed by the runners-up spot in Edmonton.

But an outright win still eluded him, with his best chance coming in the biggest race of the year. He went into the final lap of the Indianapolis 500 battling for the lead with Dario Franchitti, but ended up in the outside wall as the Scot went on to claim victory. If things had gone differently then our view of Sato would have been transformed overnight, but maybe he'll pull it off in 2013?

Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 results so far:
8. Takuma Sato
9. Justin Wilson
10. Dario Franchitti


Related Pictures

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Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato celebrate on the podium after the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott, LAT Photo USA. Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA
Leader Dario Franchitti (#50) forces challenger Takuma Sato (#15) as low as possible entering turn one on the 200th and final lap. Sato crashed with Franchitti going on to win. 96th Indianapolis 500 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 27 May 2012. (c)2012, F. Peirce Williams.LAT Photo USA. LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Challenger Takuma Sato (#15) slides toward the wall as leader Dario Franchitti (#50) and Scott Dixon (#9) slip by. Franchitti went on to win. 96th Indianapolis 500 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 27 May 2012. (c)2012, F. Peirce Williams.LAT Photo USA. LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Takuma Sato tests for the OAK Racing sportscar team [Pic credit: PAB/Bernard Bakalian]
Takuma Sato (#15) during practice at Indianapolis. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams. LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Takuma Sato (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Graham Rahal drive their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, and James Hinchcliffe bring their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson speaks with Oriol Servia in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson with a light moment prior to his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson stands in Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2015 Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sage Karam walks pit lane prior to his qualification attempt for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Justin Wilson flashes across the start/finish line during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson greets the fans during pre-race festivities for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his second place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his third place finish Sunday, August 22, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya will start the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course next weekend with a 34-point advantage in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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