Force India Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez’s run to sixth place on Sunday in Malaysia was made all the more impressive by the fact he had been battling severe sickness all weekend long due to a stomach infection.
Perez was ill from the Thursday onwards at Sepang, but managed to qualify ninth before finishing as the leading midfield driver in the race, crossing the line sixth.
The Mexican feared he may be forced to retire mid-race due to how he was feeling, but was thankful to pick up another decent haul of points for Force India.
“It was probably the hardest race of my career, on a weekend in which I feared I would need to give up. It is an amazing result just to make it to the finish,” Perez said.
“I just kept going out of willingness to do it and I have to thank the doctors for helping me out.
“Having a good start was the key to my race and so was passing [Stoffel] Vandoorne during the first few laps. After that, I was able to manage my race and it was all pretty uneventful.
“We were able to extend the first stint and manage our tires well. I was only under pressure from [Sebastian] Vettel, but that was not really my fight.
“We scored some more important points for the team and I am happy to come home with a good result after such a difficult weekend.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.