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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 at Indianapolis in 2001, as a rookie, 2002 and 2009. He has since converted to endurance and had planned to participate in only one Indycar race this year: he won it thanks to a perfect strategy and a last pass on the young Palou, 24, less than a minute from the checkered flag.
Nicknamed “Spiderman”, for his ability to climb the fences of the venerable American speed ring, Castroneves won in front of 135,000 spectators, a tonnage reduced by the coronavirus pandemic, instead of more than 300,000 fans in general.
He joined 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. Having 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.
“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), we’re still here,” said the Brazilian after the arrival.
Earlier this year, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona, the great endurance race in Florida, and has only competed in two races this year.
This 105th edition has kept all its promises and Castroneves, who started in 8th position, perfectly managed his fuel consumption to play the win at the end of the race against Palou.
The Catalan, who won at Barber last month, led for a long time but was passed one last time by the Brazilian, in front of thousands of standing spectators, as the leaders joined a group of retarded drivers.
Pagenaud, Indycar champion in 2017 and winner at Indianapolis in 2019, also had a perfectly controlled waiting race. He settled into 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.