AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in 2017, is making his mark on history once again by becoming the 107th face to adorn the Borg-Warner Trophy® following his second Indy 500 victory in 2020. Sato’s image on the trophy was officially unveiled during a ceremony today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, where it is kept permanently on display. The Borg-Warner Trophy® Unveiling Special was streamed for fans worldwide in celebration of the 100 Days Countdown to the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
“The Borg-Warner Trophy is a revered tradition of the motorsport community and BorgWarner is pleased to carry on its incredible legacy,” said Frédéric Lissalde, President and CEO, BorgWarner Inc. “It is our honor to be a part of the unveiling of this year’s trophy, even more so following a tumultuous year that has taught us much about perseverance. Takuma’s hard work and dedication to his sport is outstanding and on behalf of all of BorgWarner, we extend our congratulations to him for his second badge of honor on this trophy that represents the pinnacle of performance for open-wheel racing.”
Commissioned in 1935, the sterling silver trophy stands more than 5 feet and 4 inches tall and weighs approximately 110 pounds, honoring every winner since 1911 with their sculpted faces affixed to the iconic trophy.
Crafting the life-like sculptures is a privilege that sculptor William Behrends has undertaken since 1990. Through a multi-phase process, he begins creating the likeness of the drivers based on a series of 360-degree photos. He then invites the winning driver, in this case Sato, for an in-person session to produce a full-scale clay model of his face. The life-size clay image is used as a reference when Behrends works on the smaller model, which is created out of a mixture of oil-based clays. The clay model is eventually turned into a mold and then cast in wax, which is sent out to a jeweler to be transformed into sterling silver. Behrends ends his process by polishing and buffing the image before attaching it to the Borg-Warner Trophy.
“I am thrilled to once again have my face become a permanent fixture on the Borg-Warner Trophy,” said Sato. “William’s work is extraordinary, and it is amazing how much detail he can fit into the sterling silver sculptures. The effort he puts into making each individual winners’ personality and character is quite special and it was an honor to experience this thorough and remarkable process once again.”
Fans cheered on Sato from the comfort of their own homes during the 104th Indianapolis 500 in August 2020, following the decision to not allow spectators to attend the race in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sato drove for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, averaging a speed of 157.824 mph and leading 27 of 200 laps of the race.
Later this year, Sato will be receiving a BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy, also known as a Baby Borg, which is a miniature replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy that will feature a duplicate of his sterling silver image. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will also receive a memento commemorating the victory: the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s Trophy.
BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) is a global product leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles. Building on its original equipment expertise, BorgWarner also brings market leading product and service solutions to the global aftermarket. With manufacturing and technical facilities in 96 locations in 24 countries, the company employs approximately 50,000 worldwide. For more information, please visit borgwarner.com.
The Borg-Warner Trophy, BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy, and BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s Trophy are trademarks of BorgWarner Inc.
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