Final preparations for Russian Grand Prix being made

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The Sochi International Street Circuit is nearing completion after the final layer of asphalt was laid ahead of its first hosting of the Russian Grand Prix this October.

The grand prix will be the first in Russia for 100 years, with two races being held in St. Petersburg in 1913 and 1914 before the outbreak of World War One, and it fulfils the long-term goal of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to take the sport to Russia.

All of the arrangements for the race to go ahead appear to have been made, with FIA race director Charlie Whiting visiting the circuit last month to see how the development was going.

“The last time I was here, it was a big building site. It’s been a year since I’ve been here and it looks beautiful now,” he said. “The track itself is going to be really fast and the drivers will love it. I’m sure of that.

“It’s clear that everything has been done really nicely. It will be a fast track, and I think it will be a really competitive track as there will be at least two or three places where drivers can overtake properly. I think that will be a very interesting track and a very spectacular race.”

Now that the final layer of asphalt has been laid, the last few arrangements can be made for the race which will take place on October 12th.

Of course, the race has come under intense scrutiny following the MH17 disaster and ongoing tensions in the region. Despite calls for the race to be cancelled, the eleven Formula 1 teams have confirmed that they will follow the lead of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, for the race.

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)