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Hitachi Contract Driver Hélio Castroneves of Team Penske Finishes Fourth in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship

Tokyo, September 19, 2017 --- Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. today announced that Hélio Castroneves, driver for the Hitachi Group-sponsored Team Penske, finished fifth at the IndyCar race held in Sonoma, California, on September 17. With his fifth-place finish in the finale of the IndyCar Series, Castroneves earned fourth place overall for the 2017 season.

Castroneves performed solidly throughout the season that began in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 12, and finished strongly in most of his races. The sixth race of the season was the venerable Indy 500, held in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 28 and one of the top three races globally. At Indy, Castroneves fought for top place against driver Takuma Sato and took second, securing a spot on the winner’s podium for the first time in the season. At Road America, the 10th race, held on a conventional track on June 25 at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, he displayed his inherently tenacious style during qualifying to achieve pole position for the 50th time in his career. He continued his strong drive into the race, achieving third place and again ascending the winner’s podium. The 11th race, held at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa on July 9, featured a short oval course where overtaking is difficult. However, Castroneves performed with excellent speed and took a commanding lead, pushing through to a spectacular victory. At the final race in Sonoma on September 17, he persisted strongly to the finish line of this technically demanding course that features great variations of corners and elevation. After a fierce struggle with many drivers, Castroneves finished fifth. This finish placed him fourth overall in the championship standings.

Throughout the season, Castroneves battled for first position in many races and finished races strongly to steadily accumulate points. At the mid-point of the season, Castroneves thrilled motorsports fans worldwide with a battle for first place at the Indy 500, earning a place on the winner’s podium and briefly occupying the first overall position in the championship standings. This season, Castroneves captivated fans with his outstanding speed during qualifying, achieving pole position for the 50th time in his racing career, and displayed the racing skills and speedy instincts of a true veteran.

At the close of this season, Castroneves made the following statement:
“I was so happy to be able to get them a well-deserved victory in July at Iowa Speedway, and that just made this season more special. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many Hitachi executives and employees which is such a highlight for me. I can’t thank them enough for all of the support.”

We would like to thank all of the supporters who warmly encouraged Hélio Castroneves, who was sponsored by the Hitachi Group throughout the year.

Castroneves in the Sonoma Race (final race) on September 17

Castroneves in the Sonoma Race (final race) on September 17

2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Yearly Schedule and Results

Date City Race Finish Position Rank Overall
Mar. 12 *St. Petersburg (Florida) 6 6
Apr. 9 Long Beach (California) 9 9
Apr. 23 Birmingham (Alabama) 4 6
Apr. 29 Avondale (Arizona) 4 6
May 13 Indianapolis (Indiana) 5 4
May 28 Indianapolis (Indiana) 2 1
June 3 *Detroit (Michigan) 7 2
June 4 *Detroit (Michigan) 9 2
June 10 Fort Worth (Texas) 20 4
June 25 Elkhart Lake (Wisconsin) 3 3
July 9 *Newton (Iowa) 1 2
July 16 *Toronto (Ontario, Canada) 8 2
July 30 *Lexington (Iowa) 7 2
Aug. 20 *Long Pond (Pennsylvania) 7 3
Aug. 26 Madison (Illinois) 4 3
Sep. 3 *Watkins Glen (New York) 4 3
Sep. 17 *Sonoma (California) 5 4

*: Hitachi primary-sponsor races (races in which the Hitachi logo is shown in large lettering on both sides of Castroneves’ vehicle)