2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Helio Castroneves unveiled his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy for the fourth time Thursday, March 3 at the Indiana Statehouse.
Castroneves, a native of Brazil, became the fourth four-time “500” winner when he captured the 105th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” last May 30. He etched his name alongside this race’s greatest names in A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears by joining their exclusive club of four-time winners.
SEE: Borg-Warner Trophy Unveiling Video
"I'm beyond lucky to get to have another face added to the Borg-Warner Trophy,” Castroneves said. “It's an exciting time to get to celebrate this special moment at the Indiana Statehouse, as well. It's been such a great experience making my full-time return to INDYCAR with Meyer Shank Racing. Last year was just the start of a really great partnership together, and now we begin the drive for five."
Among the guests present at the trophy unveiling were Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Penske Entertainment President and CEO Mark Miles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles and BorgWarner Inc. Global Director of Marketing and Public Relations Michelle Collins.
“This is one of the most historic unveilings of a likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy we’ve ever had as Helio’s image now appears for the fourth time on this beautiful trophy,” Boles said. “It’s exciting to get to celebrate something that only A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears have done and place Helio alongside those iconic names. While Helio isn’t from Indiana, he definitely knows what it means to be a Hoosier, and we are proud to stand in the Indiana Statehouse today for this very special occasion.”
Said Collins: “Today is a special day for everyone involved as we get to finally unveil the winning driver's image on the Borg-Warner Trophy. BorgWarner is proud to be able to reward Helio Castroneves' hard work on the track, winning his record tying fourth Indianapolis 500, with this beautiful sterling silver likeness created by sculptor William Behrends. The unveiling of the winning driver's image is a fun and memorable annual event that showcases the winner's likeness, along with all the other past winners of the Indianapolis 500 dating back to 1911 when Ray Harroun drove to victory.
“Helio and everyone at Meyer Shank Racing performed flawlessly on Race Day last May to put their names atop the record book. Helio is a wonderful ambassador for the sport, and everyone at BorgWarner is proud to be associated with him. We recognize his greatness and never-ending smile on and off the track.”
As part of the unveiling ceremony, Holcomb presented Castroneves with the flag flown at the Indiana Statehouse on the day of his historic win. Castroneves reciprocated by giving Holcomb an iconic bottle of milk, the drink enjoyed by all Indy 500 winners in Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Castroneves’s image on the world-famous trophy was created once again by sculptor William Behrends, who has crafted the sterling silver, bas relief images of all winners for the trophy since 1990.
Commissioned by BorgWarner in 1935, the sterling silver trophy stands more than 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs approximately 110 pounds, honoring every winner since 1911 with their sculpted faces affixed to the iconic trophy.
Through a multi-phase process, Behrends begins creating the likeness of the drivers. Castroneves visited Behrends at his studio in Tryon, North Carolina, for an in-person session to produce a full-scale clay model of his face. While Behrends has sculpted Castroneves’ face three previous times for his wins in 2001, ’02 and ’09, this was the first time Castroneves visited Behrends’ studio. Until 2015, Behrends created the faces on the Borg-Warner Trophy from 360-degree, black and white photos taken the morning after the race.
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.
Later this year, Castroneves will receive his fourth 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. Meyer Shank Racing also will receive a memento commemorating the victory: its first the BorgWarner Championship Team Owner’s Trophy. Castroneves’ Indy win also was the first in NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition for the team.
Tickets for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the GMR Grand Prix and all Month of May events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are on sale at IMS.com.