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Franchitti wins dramatic Indy 500 as Sato crashes on last lap
27th May 2012, 19:37 at 7:37 pm #131466
For the second year in a row the Indianapolis 500 was decided in a hugely dramatic moment on the final lap.
Takuma Sato launched a bold attack on Dario Franchitti for the lead at the beginning of the last lap, but spun out and crashed.
The race had seen a record-breaking number of lead changes up to that point. Heading into the final caution period Tony Kanaan held the lead, but was passed by the two Ganassi cars of Franchitti and Scott Dixon.
The two red cars continued to swap the lead until Sato split them with two laps to go, before launching his unsuccessful attack on Franchitti. He was classified 17th.
Franchitti fought back from dead last early in the race having been hit by EJ Viso during his first pit stop.
A nasty crash early in the race eliminated series leader Will Power and Mike Conway – and forced Helio Castroneves to take avoiding action to miss hitting a flying wheel:
Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time, becoming the tenth driver to do so. Unusually, all three have come under caution on the last lap.
Franchitti needs one more to reach the record tally of four held by AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
After the race Franchitti paid tribute to Dan Wheldon, thanking the fans at the track for taking part in tributes to him during the race weekend.27th May 2012, 19:42 at 7:42 pm #202344
Gutted for Sato, I would have loved to have seen him win.
Well done to Franchitti, a great comeback after a very difficult start.27th May 2012, 19:44 at 7:44 pm #202345
Good to see a fellow Scot win, but would have been great for Sato. Still, there’s always next year, and he drove a brilliant race.
I think I might take more of an interest in IndyCar for the rest of this season.27th May 2012, 19:45 at 7:45 pm #202346
If Sato would have just been a bit more patient. Would have loved to have seen a normal finish.
But Dario did a great race and is a great champion! Congratulations.
Now up for the coca-cola 600 for the real triple header today :)27th May 2012, 19:47 at 7:47 pm #202347
Sato only had to wait 2 more corners, but big congrats to dario, great tribute to dan wheldon27th May 2012, 19:47 at 7:47 pm #202348
I was appalled by the pit-lane (sorry pit-road!) shunt. Impressive fight-back from Dario though, especially given it doesn’t seem he’s happy with the DW1227th May 2012, 19:49 at 7:49 pm #202349
First time watching the Indy 500, and I really enjoyed it. Gutted for Sato, but an awesome finish nonetheless.27th May 2012, 19:54 at 7:54 pm #202350
I enjoyed those last laps, the rest of it was plain boring. And the ending wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting… damn you Takuma…! it’d have been a perfect sunday: Mark at Monaco, Taku at Indy, but oh well…27th May 2012, 21:31 at 9:31 pm #202351
Always scary to see a car heading towards those fences. They’re basically industrial strength cheese graters. Not that I have any suggestions for anything else, but I just think they’re nasty.28th May 2012, 0:20 at 12:20 am #202352
Terrific as usual, great drama. Glad no one got hurt.
Mike Conway has had a couple of wild crashes at Indy. The team didn’t see that his front wing was damaged after he ran into two pit crew members on his last stop. They should have replace the damaged front nose section which caused the crash.
I would have loved to see Sato win. He obviously thought his best chance was to get Dario on the first corner of the last lap, but he should have waited one or two more. The way the tow was, even if Taku would have made the pass I think Dario would have got him back. http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-franchitti-honda-wins-thrilling-indy-500/
Next up, Detroit GP June 3rd. Can’t wait.28th May 2012, 4:22 at 4:22 am #202353
i really enjoyed the race. anyone else notice those cars are built like tanks?28th May 2012, 7:48 at 7:48 am #202354
I would have cried myself to sleep had it have not been so hot last night.
Poor Sato. He completely, utterly, and totally had that won. All he had to do was wait 1-and-a-half more corners.28th May 2012, 8:05 at 8:05 am #202355
@ajokay I’m not sure about that. We saw throughout the race the timing of getting the slipstream right was crucial. ‘Breathing’ off the throttle to get a run later on the lap was extremely difficult to get right. I think he was right to go for the move but if he had made it stick I wonder if Franchitti would have got him back coming out of the last corner…28th May 2012, 8:08 at 8:08 am #202356
@keithcollantine Not sure about that. Sato had the fastest car in those last few laps, and had he made that move stick, Dario would have lost some momentum and would have been more worried about Dixon passing him than him passing Sato into 3.28th May 2012, 13:28 at 1:28 pm #202357
@F1 Yankee – The cars need to be very strong to handle the stress of the ovals, which is very different than the road courses. A nice bonus with the new car is that they can take some bumping and banging and keep going. The Rear Wheel Guards really cut down on rear tire punctures. I don’t know if they’ll keep the cars on the ground on high speed rear impacts though.
Rubens said “Nothing in my racing life prepared me for those restarts,’’ admitted Rubens Barrichello, whose oval debut was plenty impressive as he ran in the Top 10 much of the day before finishing 11th.
“It was madness. Those last 20 laps were like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute but it was amazing to be part of it.’’ http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-an-indy-500-to-remember/P1
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