Words by Tom Firth, Photo by Doug Patterson
Takuma Sato claims victory at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, in a highly intense running of the race. Sato becomes the first Japanese driver to win at Indianapolis in a highly intense edition of the Indianapolis 500.
Sato finished ahead of Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Dale Coyne Racing’s Rookie driver, Ed Jones. The race winning move came with two laps to go when Takuma Sato went back around Helio Castroneves and held the lead from then on out.
Elsewhere, the race saw a spectacular accident between Scott Dixon and Jay Howard on lap 48. Both drivers are ok, but it was an incredibly frightening and spectacular accident, which saw Howard get into the wall, before heading back down into the path of Dixon, sending the Ganassi driver airborne into the catch fencing as a result.
Conor Daly had contact with the wall, with Jack Harvey collecting his debris, forcing both cars to retire. Later 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier had contact with the wall. Buddy went to hospital, complaining of chest pains following his accident.
Current Formula One driver, Fernando Alonso retired on lap 179 with an engine failure in his Honda powered McLaren-Andretti-Honda entry. Alonso ran up front, leading the race at one point, before a restart put him back to 9th place, from then he was running well, competing with Tony Kanaan when the engine let go. Alonso wasn’t the only driver to suffer from a Honda engine failure, with Ganassi’s Charlie Kimball and Alonso’s teammate this weekend, Ryan-Hunter-Reay also retiring from the race. RHR was leading at the time the engine gave in.
With 17 laps to go, Will Power, James Hinchcliffe, Oriol Servia and James Davison were involved in a multi-car accident. All the drivers were checked and cleared from the medical centre.
It’s been a particularly dramatic Indy 500, with many cautions, including several for debris. I felt very tense watching the race throughout and can’t say it was the most enjoyable running of the Indianapolis 500 I’ve sat through. We did see lots of overtaking and lots of drama, and a surprise winner however.
Standout performances included Takuma Sato, Fernando Alonso, Ed Jones, Alexander Rossi and Max Chilton. The race saw 15 leaders, and 35 lead changes in total.
- Takuma Sato – Andretti-Autosport Honda
- Helio Castroneves – Penske-Chevrolet
- Ed Jones – Dale Coyne Racing Honda
- Max Chilton – Ganassi Honda
- Tony Kanaan – Ganassi Honda
- Juan Pablo Montoya – Penske Chevrolet
- Alexander Rossi – Andretti Honda
- Marco Andretti – Andretti Honda
- Gabby Chaves – Harding Racing Chevrolet
- Carlos Munoz – AJ Foyt Chevrolet
- Ed Carpenter – ECR Chevrolet
- Graham Rahal – RLL Honda
- Mikhail Aleshin – SPM Honda
- Simon Pagenaud – Penske Chevrolet
- Sebastian Saavedra – Juncos Chevrolet
- JR Hildebrand – ECR Chevrolet
- Pippa Mann – Coyne Honda
- Spencer Pigot – Juncos Chevrolet
- Josef Newgarden – Penske Chevrolet
- James Davison – Coyne Honda – DNF
- Oriol Servia – RLL Honda – DNF
- James Hinchcliffe – Schmidt Honda – DNF
- Will Power – Penske Chevrolet – DNF
- Fernando Alonso – Mclaren-Andretti-Honda – DNF
- Charlie Kimball – Ganassi Honda – DNF
- Zach Veach – Aj Foyt Chevrolet – DNF
- Ryan Hunter Reay – Andretti Honda – DNF
- Sage Karam – DRR Chevrolet – DNF
- Buddy Lazier – Lazier partners Chevrolet – DNF
- Conor Daly – Aj Foyt Chevrolet – DNF
- Jack Harvey – Andretti Honda – DNF
- Scott Dixon – Ganassi Honda – DNF
- Jay Howard – Schmidt Honda – DNFA full recap is coming soon.
Alonso’s performance, although cut short by an engine failure, was nothing short of amazing. I’ve been watching the Indy 500 for 25+ years and I’ve never seen a performance like Alonso’s by a first time participant. I just sat there in amazement as he made passes on the outside in the corners. Those type of passes usually don’t end well, but with his skills and talents he was able to pull it off. I have a renewed appreciation for what Alonso can do in a race car. I certainly hope he returns to Indy at some point in the future.
I really feel for Alonso with his Honda engine letting go, but at the same time it’s great to see Sato win it.
If Fernando is going to continue to be a backmarker in F1 then I’d much rather see him race in Indycar full time.
We were crushed when we saw Alonso’s motor pop. I really though it was going to come down to a battle between him and Sato. It’s a real shame that Rossi got caught out in the pit exchanges and timing of the yellows.
As a somewhat Alonso fan…. Honda is REALLY making me hate them.