Team Penske’s return to sports car racing got off to a rough start in the opening minutes of the Motul Petit Le Mans, as polesitter Helio Castroneves was involved in an incident with Matteo Cressoni in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 in the opening hour.
With the race beginning on a wet track surface, Castroneves in his No. 6 Oreca 07 Gibson lost the lead to Tequila Patron ESM’s Pipo Derani on the first lap, but held down second through a flurry of pit stops as teams begin pitting for slick tires with the track drying very quickly.
After rejoining the race, still in second behind Derani, Castroneves was lapping the aforementioned Cressoni when the Ferrari driver broke loose entering the Turn 10 chicane.
Castroneves was an innocent victim as Cressoni subsequently spun into him, sending both drivers into the gravel.
However, even though he lost a lap getting removed from the gravel trap, Castroneves only sustained minor damage to the rear bodywork.
Team Penske immediately went to work replacing the damaged bodywork, and Castroneves was able to quickly rejoin the fight.
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)