INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Less than 24 hours after winning the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, Takuma Sato returned to the yard of bricks for the official victory photo shoot. The No. 26 Honda rested parallel to the bricks, flanked by a freshly polished Borg-Warner Trophy which will soon bear Sato’s image.
“This is unbelievable, I’m so happy to see everyone smile and this is a great, great moment,” Sato said.
The 40-year-old sat on the edge of his car surrounded by his crew and the Andretti Autosport team. For Andretti Autosport, this marks back-to-back Monday morning victory photo ceremonies, with Alexander Rossi taking the checkered flag last year.
“Happiness and sharing is what it’s all about, having a big team in Andretti Autosport give everything they have, and yesterday we pulled it off beautifully,” Sato said.
Sato, the first driver from Japan to win the Indy 500, held this nation’s flag proudly overhead as international media captured the historic feat. After posing for a series of photos next to the trophy, Sato flipped his Andretti baseball cap backward to kiss the top of his freshly minted hardware.
When asked about the anticipated reception he’ll receive when he returns, Sato said, “I think it’s probably going to be massive, it’s great news for Japan.”