Ecclestone unconcerned by Bahrain GP

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Bernie Ecclestone has no reservations over the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix despite widespread protests in the run up to last year’s race.

In 2011, the race was postponed due to violence flaring up in the wake of the Arab Spring, with the safety of all personnel thought to be at risk should the GP have gone ahead. One year later, there were still violent protests to deal with, but the race went ahead regardless without any interruptions, although two members of the Force India team flew home for fear of their safety.

When asked by Reuters if he was worried about the race, Ecclestone said “No concerns, none at all.

“I haven’t had any negative reports from anybody there. Somebody who actually lives there came to see me yesterday and said everything’s very normal.”

Ecclestone also suggested that any action would hinder peace efforts in Bahrain.

“I think they are talking now anyway, so I don’t think they’ll upset the talks by making protests. It didn’t help them last year, so if they had any brains they’d just get on with their talks.”

Bahrain has hosted a grand prix since 2004, acting as the curtain raiser for the 2006 and 2010 Formula One seasons. Following the violence in 2011, many believed that the Sakhir International Circuit’s place on the calendar was under threat, and the lack of popularity among drivers and fans could see the race be dropped in the near future. For now though, Bahrain will host the race for a ninth time on April 21.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)