Sato edges Carpenter in thriller to win Bommarito Automotive Group 500

Takuma Sato crossed the line to beat Ed Carpenter by the narrowest of margins, coming from the back of the field to win a thrilling Bommarito Automotive Group 500 only a week after his frightening crash at Pocono Raceway.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver had qualified fifth but after an early mistake, running wide on the marbles and contacting other cars, the Japanese found himself plumb last before a bold early strategy switch allowed him to take advantage of a late caution period caused by the spinning Sebastien Bourdais.

Like Sato, Carpenter and Tony Kanaan also took advantage of the caution period to pit, moving to the front of the field. It soon became a three-horse race for the victory, Carpenter passing Kanaan with four laps remaining to close on leader Sato.

It made for a thrilling finish, Sato and Carpenter literally side by side racing towards the chequered flag, Sato taking the victory by just .0399s to claim his second win of the season.

“Winning (from) pole at Barber was very significant – just the domination of the weekend is always great credit for the team and satisfaction,” Sato is quoted on “But this win is so special – beside Indy 500, obviously nothing like (that). This is just so emotional. Gave me unbelievable boost. (It’s) a great story.”

Victory for Sato, the fifth of his career, means that he moves to sixth in the drivers’ standings with 382 points, 34 points behind Will Power with two rounds remining at Portland and Laguna Seca.

Motorsport Technology