Updated: 04/22/2013 08:36 | By Agence France-Presse

Sato first Japanese driver to win IndyCar race

Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar series race, delivering a dominant performance to win the Grand Prix of Long Beach.


Sato first Japanese driver to win IndyCar race

Takuma Sato celebrates becoming the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar series race, on April 21, 2013, delivering a dominant performance to take the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Sato drives the No. 14 car for A.J. Foyt Racing.

Sato, who drives the No. 14 car for A.J. Foyt Racing, led 50 of 80 laps on the 1,968-mile (3,167-kilometer) Long Beach street circuit and held off American Graham Rahal in a race that ended under caution because of an accident involving Tony Kanaan.

Sato was making his 52nd IndyCar start and his previous best finish was second at Edmonton in 2012.

He had nearly pulled off an upset in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 when he battled Dario Franchitti for the lead and the win on the final lap.

Both drivers made contact, with Sato slamming into the outside wall. He finished 17th, while Franchitti won the Indy 500 for the second time.

There were no mistakes from Sato on Sunday.

He started from fourth on the grid and overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for second place on lap 23.

He assumed the lead on lap 30, when race leader Will Power of Australia pitted under a caution.

From there, Sato held off all challengers and led Rahal across the finish line under caution after Brazil's Kanaan slid into a tyre barrier on the first turn of the 79th lap.

England's Justin Wilson finished third -- after starting 24th.

"Takuma made it look too easy," said team director and race strategist Larry Foyt. "It made me so nervous watching it out there. He just drove a flawless race. I've never seen a race like that. Just a perfect race. It just all came together."

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。