IndyCar Brazil Saturday notebook
The following cars will receive 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes:
#6 Legge (carryover penalty from Long Beach race)
#15 Sato (engine change after Practice 2)
New tire specs, used already: The Firestone primary and alternate tire specifications are new for Brazil, but both specs have already seen race action this year at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. The specs feature updated tread compounds applied to the same Firehawk street course tire construction used throughout 2011.
The Firestone rain tire for this weekend is the same rain spec used in the last half of 2011.
Chevy seeks to make strong impression: Chevrolet's Agile and Prisma are favorites of taxi operators in São Paulo. It's no coincidence as Brazil boasts one of the strongest global retail markets for the General Motors brand.
The race weekend on the street circuit will be the first for the IZOD IndyCar Series engine manufacturer.
"With Chevrolet's strong presence in Brazil, we have a tremendous opportunity to showcase the relevant technology in the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 engine in front of thousands of fans," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing IZOD IndyCar Series Program Manager. "We are looking forward to giving them something to cheer about as our teams and drivers take to the streets of São Paulo."
Promoting the Mazda Road to Indy: Raphael Matos may not be racing at the Sao Paulo Indy 300 but he is busy promoting Indy car racing in his home country.
Matos, who hopes to secure sponsorship to return to the IZOD IndyCar Series, represented the Mazda Road to Indy during a press conference at the Sao Paulo street circuit.
"I am working with Mazda to help promote the Mazda Road to Indy here in Brazil," Matos said. "I am the only driver to win on every step of the ladder, and I think having my speak on behalf of ladder and INDYCAR can help bring more Brazilian drivers to Star Mazda, Indy Lights and USF2000."
Matos, who competed in endurance sports car races earlier this year, was joined by Firestone Indy Lights driver J.V. Horto of Juncos Racing, who has been in his home country promoting the event.
"It's a big thing to be involved in this event," Horto said. "I want to help the (Mazda Road to Indy) and hopefully helping the series will help me and other Brazilian drivers. The more we can get the media and sponsors interested in the ladder series, the better it can be."
A.J. Foyt will miss the Sao Paulo event: "I'm still not 100 percent (staph infection following knee in January surgery) and I felt with Indy coming up I didn't want to put myself through that long trip to Brazil," Foyt said.