RacerViews was at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with our photographer, Jim Fonseca. Here we look at the Indycar race. We will feature 5 of our favourties before we show the rest.
The race in brief
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Amid the Victory Circle celebration for Takuma Sato, conspicuously absent and certainly missed was the team’s inspirational leader, A.J. Foyt.
Foyt was watching the NBC Sports Network’s broadcast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from his Texas home as he faces midweek surgery to relieve back pain that makes it difficult to walk, so the all-time Indy car victory leader couldn’t congratulate the first Japanese winner of an Indy car race in person.
The celebration, nonetheless, was hearty as A.J. Foyt Racing claimed its first victory since July 7, 2002, at Kansas Speedway with Airton Dare behind the wheel. The last win for the team on a road/street course was by Foyt on Oct. 1, 1978, at Silverstone. It was A.J. Foyt Racing’s 44th victory.
Sato, who started fourth, led Graham Rahal across the finish line under caution as the No. 11 car driven by Tony Kanaan slid into the tire barrier in Turn 1 on Lap 78 of 80. It was the best finish for Rahal since finishing second at Texas last June. Justin Wilson, who won that race at Texas Motor Speedway, advanced from the 24th starting position to finish third.
“I think we just performed the way we ought to each and every weekend,” said Rahal, whose father and team co-owner, Bobby Rahal, was a Long Beach race runner-up four times. “We came out here and the Midas/Big O Tires car was right there all week. To be honest, it just feels phenomenal to get this result.”
Pole sitter Dario Franchitti finished fourth and JR Hildebrand finished fifth at Long Beach for the second consecutive year. (www.indycar.com)
Ana Beatriz was 14th and on the lead lap
It was second place for Graham Rahal upon his return to his father’s team
Sebastian Saaveda would not make it far in the race retiring on the opening lap after contact
Oriol Servia here fighting with Rahal took 6th
Defending Champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay would retire on lap 49 after contact
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Interview by Jim Fonseca, April 2013
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