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IndyCar Long Beach 2013: Sato makes history with maiden win

"We had a good race going and I was set for a fifth-place finish until Servia took me out with half a lap to go," said Kanaan. "It's really frustrating ... I was the leading Chevy car out there and it was looking like a good points race for us. I'm really disappointed on how it turned out."

"With two laps to go, I had a run on Tony," explained Servia. "I was on the push to pass, I don't think he saw me coming. I got in his inside and he closed the door. I was there. I cannot disappear!"

Servià initially had 30 seconds added to his final race time for causing the crash, dropping him from sixth to 18th place in the final results - a very costly penalty indeed - but this was rescinded after the team appealed the decision, with Servia vehement that he hadn't been to blame and that the clash didn't merit a penalty.

"It was one of those deals where you both want the same space in the corner so you crash," he said. "I'm angry with him, he's angry with me. That's what happens in racing."

Despite Kanaan's parlous position stuck in the tyre wall, the race director opted to keep the yellows limited to a local caution for just long enough to put Sato onto the final lap. When the full course caution did come out it confirmed Sato's maiden IZOD IndyCar Series victory over Rahal by a nominal 5.3612s, with Wilson in third making it the first all-Honda podium since last June at Detroit.

Team manager Larry Foyt praised Sato's perfect drive while lamenting that his father, motor racing icon AJ Foyt, wasn't able to be present at Long Beach to see the team's first win in almost 11 years as the 78-year-old was at home in Texas preparing to undergo surgery for ongoing problems with sciatica.

"I wish he was here, we hate it because he is definitely our big leader and he is the big boss man. This is for him," said Foyt. "Takuma made it look too easy. It made me so nervous watching it out there. He just drove a flawless race - I've never seen a race like that, just a perfect race. And the car was great, the engineers did a great set up - and what a pit crew!"

AJ's absence didn't dampen the celebrations in victory lane one bit, however, as the team celebrated Sato rewarding Foyt's faith signing him as the team's lead driver. In the process he'd become the first Japanese driver to win a race in the US open wheel series. "Just fantastic," said Sato afterwards. "An incredible feeling ... Put it this way, it was an easy win," he added, praising the car which had been perfect to drive all afternoon.

"It was just a perfect weekend to be honest. The team did a tremendous job. Pit stops, right calls, the power was great and I was comfortable in the car and able to push everything," he added.

Previously runner up at Edmonton in 2012, Sato has also come tantalisingly close to winning in 2011 at Sao Paulo and memorably last year in the Indy 500 when he wrecked at the start of the final lap while challenging Dario Franchitti for the lead. As luck happens these are the next two venues on the calendar over the coming month.




Related Pictures

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Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet, retained the lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings Sunday, April, 21, 2013 with a 10th-place finish in the Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)
JR Hildebrand, driver of the #4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet, finished fifth Sunday, April, 21, 2013 in the Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)
Oriol Servia, driver of the #22 Charter Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet, finished sixth Sunday, April, 21, 2013 in the Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)
Takuma Sato wins the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Larry Foyt (L) celebrates after his team won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21 2013. (Photo Credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The AJ Foyt Racing pit crew celebrates after Takuma Sato won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21 2013. (Photo Credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti leads Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway, James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato to the start of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
The cars funnel into turn 1 at the start of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21 2013. (Photo Credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The AJ Foyt Racing team celebrates after winning the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 21 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Olek135i - Unregistered

April 22, 2013 4:20 PM

Congratulations to Sato! He has been a great drivr who just never seem to get a break. I remember hi move on Alonso in Montrel and then aseeing some guys in Indy witha Alonso FEARS Sato!!!! sign. Stll my favorite sign to date.



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