Charlie Kimball (pictured), Dario Franchitti, Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal will be forced to suffer 10-spot grid penalties for the first race of the next IZOD IndyCar Series event — the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader on June 1 — due to unapproved engine changes this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Chip Ganassi Racing pilots Kimball and Franchitti swapped Hondas before yesterday’s Pole Day qualifying, while Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) and Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) switched their own Hondas before this morning’s Bump Day activities. Newgarden and Rahal are currently the two fastest second-day qualifiers, with Newgarden at 225.731 miles per hour and Rahal at 225.007 miles per hour.
Per IndyCar rules, full-time entrants can only use five fresh engines from the mid-March Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park to the season finale in mid-October at Auto Club Speedway. Entrants are only allowed to change powerplants once they meet a mileage threshold of 2,000 miles or receive IndyCar’s approval.
Newgarden and Rahal are each now on their third engines of the season, while Kimball and Franchitti are both on their second engines.
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)