Rough Sao Paulo surface forces qualifications to be postponed
The IndyCars struggled on rough concrete sections
Three rounds of IZOD IndyCar Series qualifications were postponed to four hours before the start of the São Paulo Indy 300 on March 14 based on driver feedback relating to the slippery concrete surface of the one-third-mile Anhembi Sambodromo frontstretch.
Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the sanctioning Indy Racing League, met with drivers and team owners/managers to devise a schedule that seeks to provide a safe racing environment and a good show for spectators and the worldwide viewing audience.
The scheduled mid-afternoon qualifications March 13 were replaced by an hour-long third practice session for all cars. Drivers had two earlier sessions totaling 150 minutes. Promoter Bandeirantes brought in grinding equipment overnight to work on the concrete surface as drivers transition from the asphalt and the 180-degree Turn 11 of the 2.6-mile, 11-turn course.
A big crowd turned out on Saturday in Sao Paulo
After a 15-minute warm-up session at 8 a.m. (local; 7 a.m. ET), qualifications will follow. VERSUS’ race coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. (ET).
The Indy Racing League issued this statement:
We continue to work with circuit designer Tony Cotman and the promoter to fine tune the track with the feedback we’ve received from the drivers. This process is no different than any other new circuit we visit for the first time. Tony Cotman has done a great job creating a fast and racy track that will be a challenge to these world-class competitors while putting on a great show for our enthusiastic fans. We appreciate our drivers’ feedback as we want to make this a track they will enjoy to drive.
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