Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Race Report

Circuit: Parque Anhembi (2.54-mile street circuit) Sao Paulo, Brazil
2012 Winner: Will Power (Team Penske Chevrolet) 88.945 mph average
Weather: Partly sunny, warm, 82 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver   

Team

Engine - Chassis

Laps

Average Speed/Notes

1.

5.

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

75

88.070 mph avg,; led 1 lap

2.

12.

Takuma Sato

A.J. Foyt Racing

Honda Dallara

75

+0.3463 seconds; led 21 laps

3.

10.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

75

+1.1376 seconds; led 6 laps

4.

13.

Oriol Servia

DRR Panther Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

75

+1.1745 seconds

5.

25.

Josef Newgarden

Sarah Fisher Hartman

Honda Dallara

75

+1.6516 seconds

6.

2.

E.J. Viso

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

75

+2.8119 seconds

7.

3.

Dario Franchitti

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

75

+3.5961 seconds

8.

8.

Simona de Silvestro

KV Racing Technology

Chevrolet Dallara

75

+4.2772 seconds

9.

23.

Simon Pagenaud

Schmidt Hamilton

Honda Dallara

75

+7.6331 seconds

10.

17.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda Dallara

75

+9.5135 seconds

Other Honda-powered Results:

12.

15.

Alex Tagliani

Barracuda Racing/BHA

Honda Dallara

75

+10.4393 seconds

16.

21.

Tristan Vautier-R

Schmidt Peterson

Honda Dallara

75

+14.3517 seconds

17.

24.

James Jakes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

75

+19.8585 seconds

18.

6.

Scott Dixon

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

75

+29.4261 seconds

19.

9.

Justin Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

72

Running

22.

19.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

71

Running

25.

16.

Ana Beatriz

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

6

Did not finish-mechanical

Sato and Newgarden Star in Thrilling Sao Paulo Finish

In an epic battle, Honda-powered Takuma Sato fought tooth-and-nail with fellow Honda driver Josef Newgarden and Chevy's James Hinchcliffe, with only a last-lap, last-turn pass by Hinchcliffe preventing Sato from winning his second consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series race Sunday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Starting 12th, Sato took advantage of continued excellent pit work from his A.J. Foyt Racing team, jumping from 10th to fourth among the "in sequence" group that pitted on Lap 21. That became an actual fourth on the race track when the out-of-sequence runners pitted just 10 laps later. Passes of local favorite Tony Kanaan and defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay put Sato in the lead, as the Japanese driver sought to follow up his Long Beach victory two weeks ago with a second consecutive win.

Electing to pit out of the lead on Lap 36, Sato then committed to running the remaining 39 laps on a single set of soft compound "red" tires, making just a quick final pit stop under caution on Lap 51 to top off his fuel supply. Resuming in fourth place on the Lap 54 restart, Sato quickly passed both Marco Andretti and Hinchcliffe, then took over at the front when leader JR Hildebrand pitted.

Starting last in the 25-car field after mechanical problems in practice on Saturday, Newgarden took his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda through the field, going "out of sequence" and pitting on Lap 6 during an early caution, and making the strategy pay off as he emerged in second place behind Sato when the green flag waved for the final time on Lap 59.

Matching Sato move for move while searching for his first IndyCar win, Newgarden repeatedly challenged the leader around the 2.54-mile Sao Paulo street circuit while Simon Pagenaud, running third for Honda in his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports machine, faded to a ninth-place finish with handling issues.

As Pagenaud dropped back, both Hinchcliffe and Andretti closed on the leaders, with the first four cars taking the white flag side-by-side and nose-to-tail. As the quartet headed into the final hairpin corner, Hinchcliffe moved to the outside of Sato, then ducked inside in a classic "over/under" pass to claim the victory by just over three-tenths of a second. At the same time, Newgarden was unintentionally caught out in the last-turn shuffle, and dropped to an unrepresentative fifth at the checkers, still the best career finish for the second-year IndyCar racer.

After four road and street-circuit races to start the 2013 season, the IZOD IndyCar Series now returns to the U.S. for the season's signature event: the Indianapolis 500, where Honda will be seeking its 10th consecutive victory. Practice gets underway at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Opening Day on Saturday, May 11. The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 26.

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 4 of 19 rounds):

1. Takuma Sato

136 points (1 win)

6. Ryan Hunter-Reay

94 (1 win)

2. Marco Andretti

123

7. Justin Wilson

91

3. Helio Castroneves

116 

8. Oriol Servia

89

4. James Hinchcliffe

112 (2 wins)

9. Simona de Silvestro

86

5. Scott Dixon

101

10. Charlie Kimball

80

 

Manufacturers' Championship:

1. Chevrolet

33

2. Honda

27

Takuma Sato (#14 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda) started 12th, finished 2nd, his second consecutive IndyCar podium in 2013; moves to the lead in the drivers' championship going into the Indianapolis 500: "We were just hanging on in the final laps. We chose the strategy to pit while leading, with nearly 40 laps remaining, and that was a lot to ask of the tires, along with a slight issue I was having with the brakes at the end. It [the battle for the win] was very close, but we had respect for each other and 'Hinch' [winner James Hinchcliffe] pulled off a great maneuver, so congratulations to him. I didn't think we had a car to win today, but we still got a great result and that is the result of all the hard word from the team and Honda, they never gave up."

Josef Newgarden (#67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Dallara) started 25th, finished 5th, his career-best IndyCar result: "I truly think we had the winning car today, but things just didn't go our way at the end. We had fantastic work from the entire Sarah Fisher Hartman team and from Honda this weekend. We recovered from our early problems and, even though we were starting at the back, I knew we had a great car today. It's just a shame we weren't able to seal it off at the finish."

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "We missed a victory today by just a single corner! Still, it was another great result for A.J. Foyt Racing, and demonstrates that their Long Beach win was not a fluke. This is a team and driver that can contend every race weekend. A first and second in back-to-back races is how you win championships. Josef Newgarden also deserves special mention. He drove a very mature race, coming through the field to challenge for the victory. It's disappointing not to win, particularly after coming so close, but everyone at HPD is working really hard and it's shaping up to be a very competitive season between manufacturers."

  • share: