SAO PAULO – On the final turn of the final lap, James Hinchcliffe finally saw an opening – and made sure he squeezed into it.
Hinchcliffe made a last-ditch move on Takuma Sato, going past the Japanese driver on the inside of the last bend to win IndyCar’s Sao Paulo 300 on Sunday.
The Canadian was barely even sure that Sato was finally behind him by the time the checkered flag went down in front of him.
“I don’t think I was sure until after we crossed the line,” said Hinchcliffe, who earned his second victory of the season and his career. “I didn’t think we had it.
“It wasn’t really until I crossed the line that I realized, ‘We got it!’ ”
The Canadian, also the winner in the opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., moved from third to second with three laps to go and then dueled with Sato before finally making the gutsy move as right before the finish at the Anhembi street track.
Despite losing the race, Sato leaves Brazil with the lead in the drivers’ standings. American Marco Andretti, who finished third Sunday, moved to second for the championship.