Indianapolis 500: Marcus Ericsson becomes second Swede to win race

Marcus Ericsson leads the Indianapolis 50
Marcus Ericsson spent four years in Formula 1 racing for Sauber but left in 2019 to take up a seat in the IndyCar Series in the United States

Marcus Ericsson became the second Swedish driver to win the Indianapolis 500 after a thrilling finish at the famous oval circuit.

The 31-year-old ex-Formula 1 driver held off the challenge of Mexico's Pato O'Ward after a red flag with two laps remaining necessitated a restart.

"I couldn't believe it," said Chip Ganassi driver Ericsson,

"It was hard to refocus but I knew the car was fast enough. I had to do everything to keep them behind me."

He added: "You can never take anything for granted, I was praying so hard there was not going to be a restart with so few laps remaining.

"It was amazing to win it in the end."

Ericsson, who spent four years with Sauber in Formula 1 before leaving in 2019 to take a seat in the IndyCar Series, repeated the feat of countryman Kenny Brack who won the Indy 500 in 1999.

Brazil's Tony Kanaan grabbed third place for Ganassi as team-mate Scott Dixon set the record for most career laps in the lead in the iconic race.

Dixon, who started on pole for the fifth time in his career, led for 75 laps to edge clear of Al Unser on 645 laps. However, the 2008 winner finished outside the top 10 after a late penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

British driver Callum Ilott's hopes of success in his debut Indy 500 were dashed when he became the second driver to retire after hitting the wall on lap 70 of the 200-lap race.

The 23-year-old driver, who is part of the Ferrari Academy and first reserve for Formula 1 team Alfa Romeo, suffered a fractured wrist but escaped serious injury after walking away from the heavy crash.

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