Tomas Scheckter’s bid for victory in IRL’s first overseas race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan ended when he crashed, leaving Scott Sharp to coast home.

Tomas Scheckter’s bid for victory in IRL’s first overseas race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan ended when he crashed, leaving Scott Sharp to coast home.

After starting fourth in the race, Scheckter was spot on for victory. The South African led 36 laps and also set the fastest lap of the race.

Scheckter was trying to overtake Tony Kanaan on lap 168 to take the lead, when his car made contact with the turn four wall. He crashed and finished in 16th place.

"We had a good car all day long," Scheckter said. "I heard that there was oil in Turn 3 or 4, and it just became a bad situation. I'm sorry for Team Target and Toyota that we didn't win."

Later the race was marred by another crash when Scott Dixon and Kanaan made contact in lap 177, sending both drivers into the wall. Both drivers were taken to hospital. Dixon hurt his wrist, while Kanaan had X-rays of his right leg and left arm. Eleven of the 24 cars crashed during the race. Nine caution periods covered 64 laps. Three of the top four starters crashed.

Swede Kenny Brack finished second, Felipe Giaffone was third, Michael Andretti fourth and Al Unser Jr was fifth.

The victory was the eighth in Sharp's Indy Racing League career. It also lifted him into the lead in the season standings four points ahead of Kanaan.

"I think some of the moves that guys made out there were not good," Brack said. "I wasn't happy with some of the drivers out there today.”

The teams now gear up for the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

Original article from Car