Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012: 6. Helio Castroneves

Birthplace: Sao Paulo, Brazil Birthdate: May 10, 1975 Team: Team Penske 2012 starts: 15 Poles: 1 Wins: 2 Top 5: 5 Top 10: 12 Championship points: 431 Championship position: 4th Crash.net IndyCar Driver of 2011 position: 19th

Helio Castroneves looked a bit of a spent force at the end of 2011 - just look at that miserable 19th position he found himself in last year's Crash.net Driver of the Year vote for how dreadful a time it was for the dancing Brazilian. He really needed something to rejuvenate his prospects in 2012 - and fast.

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He certainly got it, with victory straight out of the box at St Petersberg. It was lovely to see the 'Spider-Man' back in exuberant action, and he won over our hearts as well by finding the 'Dan Wheldon Way' street sign to salute in his post-race celebrations.

He went on to hold off stiff competition from Takuma Sato to win again later in the season at Edmonton, and while he never really factored into the 2012 championship battle he nonetheless finished a strong fourth place at the end of the year. That proved he's emphatically back in form again, and that any suggests of retirement remain firmly in the fictional realm.

Top 10 IndyCar Driver of the Year 2012 results so far: 6. Helio Castroneves 7. Sebastien Bourdais 8. Takuma Sato 9. Justin Wilson 10. Dario Franchitti