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500 Miles from Indianapolis: Castroneves in the legend, the magnificent “remorada” of Pagenaud



The Brazilian won the legendary race for the 4th time as the Frenchman climbed to the podium.

The Brazilian Helio Castroneves, 46, won the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, his 4th victory in the most prestigious race in American motorsport, ahead of the Spaniard Alex Palou and the French Simon Pagenaud.

Castroneves had already won in Indianapolis in 2001, from his first participation, then in 2002 and 2009. He therefore joined the list of three absolute … and American legends of the Indycar, AJ Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser Sr (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991), in a very exclusive Club des Quatre.

“What an incredible feeling. I knew it would be a big fight and I’m so happy. Tom Brady won the Super Bowl (at 43, editor’s note), we are still here, ”said the Brazilian after the arrival of this race for which he had just broken the record.

Starting from 8th place on the grid, Castroneves completed the 200 laps in 2 hours and 37 minutes, faster than Tony Kanaan in 2013 (2:40). He won thanks to perfect strategy and a last impeccable pass over the young Palou, 24, two laps from the checkered flag.

Another record, the race was only interrupted twice by yellow flags. The second time was when Graham Rahal, who started to win, came out of the pits with a loose left rear wheel, which came loose and hit head-on the car of Conor Daly, another contender for victory. .

Palou leads the championship

Nicknamed “Spiderman”, for his ability to climb the fences of the venerable American speed ring, where he is very popular, Castroneves won in front of 135,000 spectators, a gauge reduced to 40% by the coronavirus pandemic, instead of 300,000 fans in general .

The Brazilian won in a very small team, Meyer Shank, with a Honda engine, against top teams like Penske, his former team and that of Pagenaud, or even Chip Ganassi and Andretti Autosport.

Earlier this year, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona, the great endurance race in Florida, and has therefore only competed in two races this year, winning them both.

Palou the Catalan, winner at Barber last month and revelation of the start of the season, led for a long time but was overtaken one last time by the Brazilian, in front of tens of thousands of spectators standing. He will console himself with the provisional first place in the championship, while he starts in Indycar and could be the son of Castroneves.

On the French side, Pagenaud, Indycar champion in 2017 and winner at Indianapolis in 2019, also had a perfectly controlled waiting race.

He returned to the leading pack after his last pit stop and finished with a bang, picking up a superb third place in the dying seconds with big points allowing him to get back into the title race.

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