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Takuma Sato happy to see face on Indy 500 trophy

AFP-JIJI

Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato joined the immortals of IndyCar on Tuesday when the Japanese driver’s face was unveiled as the newest likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy.

The hefty sterling silver hardware, weighing in at 50 kg, includes the raised silver images of every winning driver, a select group Sato joined in May by capturing the signature event in the U.S. open-wheel series, becoming the first Japanese driver to win the Indy 500.

“Wow. That’s fantastic,” Sato said after leaning close to view the details of the 104th likeness on the trophy.

“Today, I look at the face and he’s just a happy man, as I am.”

Sato declared, “He’s actually a better guy,” repeating the line he told sculptor Will Behrends when examining a clay version of the image in the artist’s workshop.

Sato, 40, edged three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves of Brazil and screamed over his car radio as he took the victory.

“I almost want to scream today, because I’m so happy,” Sato said.