Barrichello earns $330k as Indy 500 ‘rookie’

Rubens Barrichello earned more than US $330,000 in Sunday’s Indy 500. At the age of 40 and with an unprecedented 326 grands prix behind him, the famous Brazilian was the highest placed newcomer in the fabled American oval race. It means he was crowned the official ‘rookie of the year’ title for his eleventh place finish, earning him $331,080 in prize money.

“My first oval experience, it was very different than anything I’ve done,” said Barrichello. “It’s a pity that we didn’t finish top ten but I can be proud of that for my first time out.”

Winner Dario Franchitti’s earnings were almost $2.5 million.

Barrichello’s fellow grand prix winner Jean Alesi, however, went home empty handed, having been disqualified for lapping too slowly in his Lotus-powered Indycar.

“It was frustrating but the (105pc) regulation is fair and I leave with a lot of respect for the Indy 500,” said the 47-year-old Frenchman. “I hope to return next year. I will start to prepare now.”

Source:GMM

F1’s Sato almost wins Indy 500

Former F1 driver Takuma Sato almost won Sunday’s running of the fabled Indy 500. Instead, the Japanese 35-year-old, the former Jordan, Honda and Super Aguri driver until 2008, crashed into the wall after an audacious last-lap attempt to pass Dario Franchitti, who went on to win under yellow flags.

The Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz said the move was “brave; it was stupid. It was courageous; it was irresponsible. If it had worked … it would have become the stuff of legend”.

Former Toyota test driver Ryan Briscoe, the polesitter, finished fifth, while ex Minardi and Jaguar racer Justin Wilson was seventh. Rubens Barrichello finished his first Indy 500 11th, while former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais was 20th. Jean Alesi, with his heavily underpowered Lotus engine, was disqualified for running slower than the allowed 105 per cent.

Source:GMM