28 May 2012

Dixon second as Franchitti wins Indy 500

11:18 am on 28 May 2012

New Zealand driver Scott Dixon has finished second to team-mate Dario Franchitti in a thrilling Indianapolis 500 motor race.

Scotland's Franchitti took the chequered flag under caution after his car came into contact with the charging Japanese driver Takuma Sato, who crashed into the wall with a lap to go.

It was Franchitti's third win in the event having taken the title in 2007 and 2010. He became just the 10th driver to win at the Brickyard at least three times.

Driving for the Ganassi Racing team, the 39-year-old Franchitti patiently worked his way through the pack after starting 16th on the grid, then won a mad sprint to the finish.

Sunday's incident packed race featured a record 35 lead changes and eight cautions including one just before the end that resulted in a six-lap scramble to the chequered flag.

Ten of the original 33 starters were not running at the end of the 200-lap event.

Will Power, the IndyCar series leader heading into the race, and Mike Conway, both walked away unharmed after a spectacular collision on lap 80, while a handful of other drivers spun out on the notoriously dangerous 4km circuit.

Sato, bidding to become the first Japanese driver to win the race, blew his chance when he tried to cut inside Franchitti on the first of the four turns on the last lap.

He went into the bend too low and spun out of control, slamming into the outside wall and prompting race stewards to unfurl the caution flag, which prevented any more passing and allowed Franchitti to coast to victory.