Takuma Sato was overjoyed after fulfilling a life-long dream by winning Sunday's 101st Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport following a late battle with Penske's Helio Castroneves.

Sato started fourth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was in the mix at the front of the pack for much of the race, sitting second for the final restart with 12 laps to go.

Sato lost a place to Castroneves before picking off Max Chilton for P2 and then sweeping into the lead of the race with six laps remaining.

Castroneves tried on multiple occasions to pull a pass on Sato, only for the Japanese racer to remain strong in defence and cover the inside line well, holding on to finish two-tenths of a second clear at the chequered flag.

"Unbelievable feeling. I cannot thank this whole team enough," Sato said in Victory Lane after the race. "Look at these guys. Fantastic.

"It was obviously a tough, tough race. But Helio really drives fair. I can trust him. I can really trust him coming from the outside.

"It was fantastic race. What a race. Hopefully the crowd enjoyed it. It's beautiful. I dreamed of something like this since I was 12. I can't thank everyone enough for their support."

The result sees Sato become the first Japanese winner of the Indy 500, with the nation's previous best finish being Tora Takagi's run to fifth in 2003.

Sato also rises to third in the IndyCar drivers' standings, 11 points shy of new leader Castroneves.

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