Kanaan hopes to continue strong start at home race
Tony Kanaan at Long Beach
Lotus driver Tony Kanaan will be looking to continue his strong start to the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season when he ventures to his native Brazil for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestlé, April 30 – May 1, on the streets of São Paulo, Brazil.
Teammates Takuma Sato and E. J. Viso will also be looking for strong performances this weekend as both drivers try to move-up in the championship standings.
Kanaan, who will pilot the No. 82 Itaipava – KV Racing Technology – Lotus for his home race, currently sits third in the championship race with 87 points just 28 points out of second place and 35 out of first. The 2004 IndyCar Series Champion is one of just four drivers to finish in the top-10 in each of the first three events of the 2011 season placing third in the season opener at St. Petersburg, sixth at Barber Motorsports Park in round two and eighth two weeks ago in Long Beach.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Kanaan has officially made up 25 positions in the first three races (started eighth finished third in St. Pete – 5; started 24th and finished sixth in Barber – 18; started 10th, finished eighth in Long Beach – 2). This does not take into account the fact that following the first pit stop at Long Beach he fell to 26th before fighting his way back to finish eighth (18 positions). Kanaan will be making his second start on the streets of São Paulo. Last year he qualified sixth and finished 10th.
Commenting on racing in his home country Kanaan said, "As soon as I got to Brazil, while I was still on my way home from the airport I decided to go to the track to feel the vibe. I'm very happy to race at home in front of my fans and at a track that's really good for overtaking and that puts on an awesome show for the crowd. It's going to be a busy week for sure, but it's also going to be a rewarding one. We got here in a good spot in the championship and I hope we leave here heading to Indy the same way. I'm very focused and excited for this race. Racing back in my home country is very special."
Kanaan extends streak: Kanaan will be attempting to make his 136th consecutive IndyCar start this weekend, which extends his streak as the active driver with the most consecutive starts (Series record – Scott Sharp – 138, All–time leader – KVRT – Lotus co-owner Jimmy Vasser – 211).
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