Double duty for Rahal, Walker, Bell in Long Beach

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It’s a different kind of double duty for three different individuals in the IndyCar paddock this weekend in Long Beach.

As was the case last year, Bobby Rahal, Derrick Walker and Townsend Bell will spent their weekends bouncing between IndyCar duties and commitments in the supporting American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

With a combined five cars, Rahal will be busiest. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing IndyCar team expands to three cars with Mike Conway joining Graham Rahal (right, with Ed Carpenter at St. Petersburg) and James Jakes. Meanwhile Rahal’s BMW ALMS team has its two new BMW Z4s in action in the GT class.

Walker is team manager at both Ed Carpenter Racing (IndyCar) and Team Falken Tire (ALMS). The Falken Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finished third in GT in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by “Fresh from Florida” with drivers Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers and Nick Tandy.

Bell is the only one of the three racing this weekend, as he’ll be in action in a West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari F458 Italia in GT co-driving with Bill Sweedler, and providing his insights and analysis from the booth for NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar coverage.

If you see either of these three in a free moment this weekend, you’ll have caught them at a rare time.

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)