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Takuma Sato is first driver from Japan to win Long Beach Grand Prix

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA (BDCi) — Takuma Sato started in fourth place but waited for his turn as he won the 39th Annual Long Beach Grand Prix for the first time.

Sato posted a best lap time of one minute and nine seconds and seemed to have the race in hand after lap 30 as he was not really threatened.

Graham Rahal finished second, Justin Wilson third after starting 24th and pole sitter Dario Franchitti was fourth.

Photo by: Janete Weinstein

It was not the best day for the Brazilian drivers as Tony Kanaan looked like he was going to finish in fifth place but wound up crashing with just two laps left in the race and finished 20th. Helio Castroneves started the race in sixth place but never really was a threat and finished in tenth place. Ana Beatriz who had trouble with her car during qualifying, started in 22nd place and finished a respectable 14th place.

Castroneves with his tenth place finish still leads in the IZOD IndyCar standings with an 11 point lead over Scott Dixon.

Defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay who won the last race in Alabama, had a disappointing day as he crashed out of a turn on lap 49 and was done for the day.

The worst crash of the day happened early on the second lap as Colombian driver Sebastian Saavedra crashed into the wall and was unable to continue.

The next IndyCar race will be May 5th on the street circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


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