For the first time in the history of the Indianapolis 500, which dates back to 1911, the race did not take place in the month of May, but the delay was worth the wait for Takuma Sato who took the checkered flag, winning the 104th running of the race. With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the event to August, Sato, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, led 27 of 200 laps and averaged 157.824 mph topping Scott Dixon of New Zealand. Sato, of Tokyo, Japan, celebrated as Michelle Collins, director of marketing and public relations for BorgWarner, presented him with the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy in Victory Circle. Sato’s teammate, Graham Rahal finished the race in third place.
The Borg-Warner Trophy is one of the most well-known and elaborate symbols in the history of professional sports. Created in 1936, the sterling silver trophy now stands at 5 feet, 4-3/4 inches and weighs 110 lbs. Sato’s likeness will be the 107th face to adorn the trophy in honor of his second Indianapolis 500 win.
“It is always a privilege for BorgWarner to be involved in the Victory Circle celebration, and in light of the challenges all of us have faced in 2020, being able to carry forward this tradition brings even greater meaning,” said Collins. “It is with great admiration that I present the Borg-Warner Trophy to Takuma Sato, in recognition of his hard-work, dedication and excellence both on and off the track.”
Fans from around the world cheered on Sato from their homes – after the decision was made to not allow spectators to attend the race – as he captured his second Indianapolis 500 win at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). For Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, it was their second Indianapolis 500 win. Starting the race in the third position, Takuma Sato paved his way to victory by never relinquishing the lead during the last 15 laps.
BorgWarner’s relationship with the Indianapolis 500 goes beyond the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy. The company has long been the official supplier of turbochargers for the much-anticipated race, boosting each of the NTT IndyCar Series cars with its Engineered for Racing (EFR) turbochargers since 2012. With speeds reaching more than 200 mph throughout the race, the EFR turbochargers are recognized for their high performance in the most demanding situations. Low-weight Gamma-TiAl (titanium aluminide) turbine wheels and shaft assemblies give a quick boost response while the patented dual-row ceramic ball bearing cartridges offer more thrust load capacity, durability and turbine efficiency at low expansion ratios.
In addition to powering the cars with its turbochargers and the company’s continued care of the Borg-Warner Trophy, BorgWarner also annually adds $20,000 to a rolling jackpot it created in 1995. The prize money is slated to go to the next back-to-back winner of the Indianapolis 500. With a new winner in Victory Circle this year, the jackpot continues to grow and $380,000 will be up for grabs by Sato in 2021, adding to the excitement of next year’s racing event.