Sato could land $380,000 jackpot for back-to-back Indy 500 win

Takuma Sato will stand to gain an extra $380,000 on top of his seven-figure race winnings, should he win the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Every year Borg-Warner adds $20,000 to a bonus prize it started in 1995 for a driver who can win the Indy 500 in back-to-back years, but only once has it been paid out – to Helio Castroneves in 2002.

The Brazilian star won $160,000, and the fund returned to $20,000 but it has now built up to $380,000 – or (¥41,300,000) – should Sato drive his Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry to victory lane on Sunday 30 May. Should he fail to do so, next year there will be $400k on offer to this year’s winner.

“The Indianapolis 500 is a cherished pastime for our company and the rolling jackpot, on top of the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy®, brings an added level of excitement to the race,” said Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO of Borg-Warner Inc.

“We are delighted to have accumulated this sizeable reward and eager to witness the next back-to-back victor claim the prize for their remarkable accomplishment.”

Back-to-back wins are rare at the Indy 500, with only five drivers ever accomplishing it since the race’s inception in 1911. The quintet of consecutive winners include Wilbur Shaw (1939-1940), Mauri Rose (1947-1948), Bill Vukovich (1953-1954), Al Unser (1970-1971) and Castroneves (2001-2002).

As ever, this year’s winner will also have a sculpted replica of his or her face added to the iconic Borg-Warner Trophy and will also receive a miniature version of the Borg-Warner Trophy – officially named the BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy, but known to all as the “Baby Borg” since its inception in 1988.

Meanwhile, A new startup IndyCar team, Top Gun Racing, will field a single-car entry for series returnee R.C. Enerson in this year's Indianapolis 500 to complete a 35-car entry.

The Chevrolet-powered machine - one of 17 in the field, along with 18 Hondas - was dressed in a livery evoking the 1970 Indy 500 winning Vel's Parnelli entry piloted by Al Unser Sr.

Top Gun is one of three teams that are joining the IndyCar regulars for the year's biggest event.

Sage Karam has been entered by Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for its only confirmed outing of the year, while 2010 rookie of the year Simona de Silvestro returns for the first time since 2015 with the female-crewed Paretta Autosport entry, which has a technical alliance with Team Penske.

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