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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)
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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