We teased this last week in looking at the testing calendar for the IndyCar Series, but there was a big surprise down at Dale Coyne Racing. Indeed Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, is back in an IndyCar for the first time since 2006 as he tests today at Sebring.
Luyendyk’s driving career includes a record number of starts, 66, from 2002-2010 in Indy Lights although that included just one career win, the Chicagoland Speedway season finale in 2008. He has also served as a TV commentator for Versus and NBCSN’s Indy Lights races, driven IndyCar’s two-seater for guests and most recently, returned to racing earlier this year in Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks series.
Still, this is one of the longest stints outside the current IndyCar in years. Whether this is a sign of a serious move into Coyne’s team for 2014 or merely a one-off to garner some press remains to be seen.
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)