Experience Triumphs at the Brickyard
Helio Castroneves, a true racer who has already made so much history in American motorsport and IndyCar, arguably achieved the most impressive accolade of his career last month, becoming just the fourth driver in the history of the prestigious Indianapolis 500 to take a fourth title at “The Brickyard”.
There are a number of factors that make this victory so special. The Sao Paulo native has had to wait 12 years since his last win in Indy and, for the first time, he wasn’t racing in the 500 mile race for Roger Penkse’s team. Helio had been moved from Penske’s IndyCar program to compete for the team in the IMSA series, and then he only particpated in a handful of races. In the end, Castroneves moved away and signed with Meyer Shank Racing, but was only granted a part-time contract.
Despite all of this Helio still had his sights set on making history on the 30th May this year. Forbidding his team from making any changes after fine tuning the car towards the end of practice, the Brazilian qualified 8th on the grid, kept out of trouble, avoided the various accidents and took the win in front of 135,000 fans to bring back his iconic ‘spiderman celebration’.
This unique story continues as, due to the nature of his agreement with the team, the reigning Indy 500 Champion did not make an appearance the following weekend in Detroit. In fact, the Brazilian won’t be back in his MSR Honda until September the 12th at the Portland GP, and then at the final round in Laguna Seca.
Is there a possibility of ever seeing Castroneves full time again? Well, according to the 46 year old “the old guy’s still got it…”
Photo from Meyer Shank Racing