Hinchcliffe claims last-lap victory in Sao Paulo
5 May 2013 – James Hinchcliffe overtook Takuma Sato in the final turn of this afternoons Indycar race around the streets of Sao Paulo to claim a dramatic victory. The Canadian, who won the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, got a better run out of the final corner than his Japanese rival, and took the lead for the first time in the race to win.
“There’s no cooler way to win a race - in the last corner of the last lap," said Hinchcliffe, who led the four Andretti Autosport cars finishing in the top 11. "Takuma was making that race car really wide and he was defending the inside pretty well, almost too well a couple times. He just outbroke himself just a little bit and I was able to do a high-low (pass) and got the win.”
The last lap loss was tempered for Sato by the fact that second-place sees him move into the lead of the Championship, "The guys did a good job," he said, "It was a really solid day for us. It was a great, great race, and we’re carrying good momentum into Indianapolis."
Marco Andretti rounded out the podium finishers, with Oriol Servia placing an impressive fourth after starting 13th, representing his best outing since finishing fourth at Milwaukee last June.
Josef Newgarden, who was running .5285 of a second behind Sato on Lap 70 of 75, after starting from last on the grid, made some valiant attempts to get psat the ex-Formula One star, but didn't manage to make one stick. Over the final laps he began to struggle with his rear tyres, and fell back behind Andretti and Servia to finish in a career-high fifth.
Pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay ended up down in a disappointing 11th, while Will Power, who had won the previous three races in Brazil, was forced to retire on lap 19 with an engine fire. The Australian had gained 12 spots from his 22nd starting position, but the eventual retirement bookended a disastrous weekend for his Penske team that also saw teammate Castronevez finish in 13th after qualifying down in 18th yesterday.
Sato now takes a 12-point lead over Andretti in the championship standings heading into the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. Helio Castroneves is third, while Hinchcliffe has moved up to fourth.