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The Borg-Warner Is Taking A Long Road Trip

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, November 30 2017

Japan’s Takuma Sato, the winner of the 2017 Indy 500, is taking the Borg-Warner Trophy home with him.

RacinToday.com

If Evgeni Malkin of the two-time/reigning NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins can take the Stanley Cup to Russia…why can’t Takuma Sato accompany the Borg-Warner Trophy around Japan?

It’s an idea whose time is now. Open-wheel racing’s iconic hardware has left the United States for the first time in its 82-year-history, traveling to Japan for a 15-day celebration of Sato’s victory in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

The Borg-Warner Trophy left its permanent home at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on Tuesday, flying from the United States to Tokyo for a variety of festivities to honor Sato as first Japanese winner of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and Honda’s 12th Indy 500 victory.

Stops on the Japanese tour include a variety of events in Tokyo, the Twin Ring Motegi race circuit and the Japanese cities of Nabari and Fukuroi. Sato, a native of Tokyo, edged three-time 500 winner Helio Castroneves of Team Penske by 0.2011-seconds to win the 2017 Indianapolis 500 in a thrilling finish May 28.

“I think it is very special that the Borg-Warner Trophy is traveling to Japan,” said Sato, who won the 500 driving for team-owner Michael Andretti of Andretti Autosport. “The trophy represents winning the greatest race in the world, and I am very proud to have won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and have my image on the trophy.

“For nearly two weeks, the trophy will be seen throughout Japan by fans and media. I am honored to be the first Japanese driver to win the Indy 500 and extremely grateful the Borg-Warner Trophy will be traveling outside the United States for the first time ever to celebrate my team’s and Honda’s accomplishments. Let’s do it again next year, too!”

Sato will defend his 500 title as a member of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Sato joined RLL during the Verizon IndyCar Series offseason and will be paired with Graham Rahal on the Honda-powered team co-owned by three-time CART and 1986 Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal.

The Borg-Warner Trophy will cover approximately 12,780 miles _ roughly 25.5 times the distance of the Indianapolis 500 _ during its journey, which will end when it returns to the IMS Museum on Dec. 12. The distance of the trip will exceed the record career Indianapolis 500 mileage total set by four-time winner A.J. Foyt Jr., who covered 12,272.5 miles at Indianapolis during his 35 starts from 1958-92.

Winning the Indianapolis 500 comes with the honor of having one’s face sculpted onto the world-famous trophy. Separate squares are affixed to its sterling-silver body, on which each winner’s face, name and winning year are permanently etched.

Every Indianapolis 500 winner’s face is immortalized on the trophy, dating back to Ray Harroun, who won the inaugural race in 1911. There also are two sets of dual victors’ faces on the trophy from the era when primary drivers often shared cars with relief drivers, L.L. Corum and Joe Boyer in 1924 and Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose in 1941.

Famed sculptor William Behrends has created each winner’s face in clay since Arie Luyendyk won in 1990, a total of 28 likenesses. That final image is cast in a sterling-silver, bas-relief likeness the size of an egg and placed on the trophy.

The only likeness on the trophy not cast in sterling silver is a 24-karat gold portrait of Tony Hulman, who saved IMS when he purchased it in 1945 following World War II. Hulman’s image was added in 1987. The Hulman-George family continues to own the Speedway today.

“BorgWarner is thrilled to be bringing the Borg-Warner Trophy to Japan to honor Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500,” said Scott D. Gallett, vice president of marketing, BorgWarner Inc. “It’s BorgWarner’s honor to help celebrate Honda’s 12th Indy 500 win and Takuma’s first 500 win in their home country.

“We are very proud to show the Borg-Warner Trophy to the people of Japan, race fans, media members and our employees. This historic and iconic trophy which weighs 110 pounds and stands over 5-feet tall represents the wonderful history and tradition of the Indianapolis 500 and its winners dating back the first 500 in 1911.”

In 1935, the Borg-Warner Automotive Company (now called BorgWarner) commissioned Gorham, Inc., of Rhode Island, through Spaulding Jewelers of Chicago, to create the trophy at a cost of $10,000.

Unveiled at a February 1936 dinner in New York hosted by then-IMS owner Eddie Rickenbacker, the Borg-Warner Trophy officially was declared the prize for Indianapolis 500 winners. It was first presented that same year to champion Louis Meyer, who said, “Winning the Borg-Warner Trophy is like winning an Olympic medal.”

The trophy was refurbished in 1992 and is valued today at $3.5-million. It officially stands 5-feet- 4 ¾ inches tall and weighs the aforementioned 110 pounds.

BorgWarner has supplied the turbochargers used by every Verizon IndyCar Series team since 2012. Honda is a longtime engine supplier in the series through Honda Performance Development and has won the Indy 500 12 times in the last 14 years.

“We are very happy that the Borg-Warner Trophy is traveling to Japan this week as part of Honda Racing THANKS DAY at Twin Ring Motegi,” said Art St. Cyr, president, Honda Performance Development. “The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most important races in the world and to have Takuma Sato win the 2017 event in a Honda-powered car was certainly an historic part of the event’s legacy. Honda’s 12 wins in the Indy 500 are something everyone in our company is very proud of.

“For the Borg-Warner Trophy to be traveling to Japan, representing the 500 and taking its magic directly to Honda associates and fans in Japan will make for a very special day.”

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BORG-WARNER TROPHY JAPAN TOUR ITINERARY

Tuesday, Nov. 28 _ Borg-Warner Trophy departs Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum for Japan via van to Detroit. Trophy was flown from Detroit to Minneapolis to Tokyo (seated in First Class).

Thursday, Nov. 30 _ Borg-Warner Trophy arrives in Tokyo.

Sunday, Dec. 3 _ Honda Racing THANKS DAY with Takuma Sato, Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Japan.

Monday, Dec. 4 _Tokyo Dome, Tokyo.

Wednesday, Dec. 6 _ BorgWarner Plant visit with Takuma Sato, Nabari, Japan.

Thursday, Dec. 7 _ NSK Warner Plant visit, Fukuroi, Japan.

Friday, Dec. 8/Saturday, Dec. 9 _Honda World Headquarters visit, Tokyo.

Sunday, Dec. 10 _Takuma Sato Fan Day, Tokyo.

Monday, Dec. 11 _Takuma Sato Award Event, Tokyo.

Tuesday, Dec. 12 _ Borg-Warner Trophy departs Tokyo to Minneapolis and then Detroit before being driven to the IMS Museum to complete trip.

 

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, November 30 2017
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