IZOD IndyCar reveals some Brazil race details…

Sao Paulo track should have some passing spots, making for better street racing.

The IZOD IndyCar Series just announced some details for their March 14th season debut on the Sao Paulo street circuit.

A portion of the 2.6-mile, 11-turn circuit courses through the Sambodromo which has permanent grandstands along the route that are used annually for the Carnival celebration parades. This area will include the start/finish line and extend onto one of the three lengthy straight-aways. The backstretch is 9/10 of a mile, with a tight right-hander into the Sambodromo.

"Two of the long straight-aways have relatively slow corners leading onto them," said track designer Tony Cotman "There are some good 90-degree turns at the end of the straights, and on one occasion a little tighter than that.

"It's a track that's challenging but can create some exciting racing and will provide a challenge for the teams deciding on their down force levels for both qualifying and the race…Less down force generally means less grip. Combine that with the longest straightaway of any track in the IZOD IndyCar Series and overtaking should be exciting. It should be a spectacular sight for the fans at Turn 11 watching the cars braking from about 185 mph to 50 mph as they enter the Sambodromo.

"Running through the middle of the stadium that hosts Carnival, which holds about 30,000 people, I think will be an electric atmosphere for the drivers. That portion of the track through the stadium is concrete and everywhere else will be asphalt, so there will be some surface changes. That's always good for the racing. From the grandstand perspective, how could you have run around it or not use it?"

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, a native of the state of Sao Paulo, who is scheduled to give the track a look this week, is optimistic about the layout.

"With long straight-aways, it's certainly going to be fast and you definitely will have challenges…No question it will be a good race and the people are so excited to have 'Formula Indy' come to Brazil."

Race promoter Bandeirantes agreed that the race is a huge event for the city and community.

"Brazilians love motor racing and most Brazilians know the names of the drivers Рnot only the five Brazilian drivers in the series, but all of them, the cars they drive and even the owners of the teams," said Milton Longobardi, director of marketing for the Ṣo Paulo Tourism board. "This is really exciting for the people of Ṣo Paulo; they're waiting for the race and very proud to host the opening of the 2010 season."

Extensive thought and planning has been dedicated to the logistics of the circuit layout, with a convention center and major hotel inside the circuit that will be especially convenient for teams, series officials and event promoters.

"Everybody we're working with is incredibly motivated to showcase the event," Cotman said. "I'm sure there will be some fine-tuning in the future, but to be perfectly honest it's no different than going to any of the temporary circuits where we currently race. It will be fast. It will be fun. It will be exciting. It will be safe. Most importantly, from a fan's perspective, they'll see a lot of action."

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