|Last year's race was wet|
Next on the schedule for the Chevrolet V-6 powered teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series is the SÃ£o Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil; a 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. As has been the case for the first three events of the season, it will be the first appearance in Brazil for the 2.2 liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected purpose-built Chevrolet racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel.
After a well-organized journey of over 5,000 miles, the Bowtie teams and drivers will face a circuit that presents a set of circumstances unlike any other. The engineers from Chevrolet and its partners have been working tirelessly with our team engineers in preparation for a successful trip to South America.
"Every track and circuit on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule poses a unique set of challenges for our Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 powered teams," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing IZOD IndyCar Series Program Manager. “This weekend's race on the Streets of SÃ£o Paulo (Brazil) will be no exception. In addition to the multiple changes in the track surfaces, at over 7,000 feet above sea level, the temporary circuit has the distinction of being the highest in elevation of all the tracks on the schedule. As a result, the thinner air at SÃ£o Paulo’s high altitude puts a new dynamic into the equation for engine cooling and turbocharger workload."
Adding to the heightened level of anticipation surrounding the SÃ£o Paulo race is the first exposure of Chevrolet’s newest racing entrant to one of the largest groups of Chevrolet owners world-wide. Brazil boasts one of the strongest global retail markets for the Bowtie brand.
"With Chevrolet's strong presence in Brazil," Berube concluded. “We have a tremendous opportunity to showcase the relevant technology in the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 engine in front of thousands of fans. We are looking forward to giving them something to cheer about as our teams and drivers take to the streets of SÃ£o Paulo."
Although this weekend’s fourth race of the IndyCar season is the debut for the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 on the Streets of SÃ£o Paulo, many of the Team Chevy drivers have deep history there, not only on the track, but family roots as well.
Will Power, winner of two races this season in his Team Penske Chevrolet, Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Long Beach, heads to Streets of SÃ£o Paulo undefeated in IndyCar competition on the circuit. He is the only winner in the two-year history of the event, winning last year from the pole.
The trip to SÃ£o Paulo is homecoming for both native sons Helio Castroneves and Rubens Barrichello. Castroneves, winner of the 2012 season-opening race at St. Petersburg also piloting a Team Penske Chevrolet, has been a fan favorite since the series’ first SÃ£o Paulo event in 2010.
Barrichello, a former Formula One star now competing full time in the IZOD IndyCar Series, will make his inaugural IndyCar start on the streets of his hometown behind the wheel of his KV Racing Technology Chevrolet.
Tony Kanaan, another fan favorite from the KV Racing Technology Chevrolet stable, will make his third start in IndyCar competition in his native Brazil. He calls Salvador, Brazil his home.
Also joining Team Chevy in her native country will be Ana Beatriz. She will pilot a fourth Chevrolet entry for Andretti Autosport and hails from Itabira, Minas Gerais, Brazil
The SÃ£o Paulo Indy 300 is set to start on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. ET with live television coverage on NBC Sports Network.
Live radio coverage will be on XM Radio Channel 94 and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 212. In addition, IndyCar live timing and scoring with the radio broadcast can be found at www.indy.car.com.
CHEVROLET IN THE IZOD INDYCAR SERIES – FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POINTS LEADER: “It is going to be an interesting weekend as SÃ£o Paulo presents new challenges. This is one of my favorite street courses and the passing points make it a circuit where you really get tested as a driver. The Verizon Team Penske team is going to keep working hard and hopefully we can continue to keep the momentum going."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PENSKE LOGISTICS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 2ND IN STANDINGS: “Always exciting to go back to Brazil and race in front of the home crowd. This is such a fun circuit to drive, the fans are great and I am excited to see what the Chevy engine can do there. We hope to have good weather and get a good finish for the Penske Logistics car."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 5TH IN STANDINGS: "The fans (in Brazil) are incredible and it's one of the most vibrant atmospheres that we come across all year long. I really love the country and am looking forward to heading back. From the on-track side, it's a very challenging circuit. But the Go Daddy Chevy has had good pace at the street circuits so far this year, so hopefully that all transfers to SÃ£o Paulo. Of course, the other big question mark there is the weather. The race last year was probably the most challenging conditions I've ever raced in. A street circuit in the rain is one of the toughest combinations a driver can come across. Just finishing the race last year felt like a win. Big rain falls like that aren't uncommon there, so we will have to do our best to prepare for all sorts of different conditions."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 6TH IN STANDINGS: "I'm 100 percent focused on winning in Brazil. The SÃ£o Paulo track shares a lot of characteristics with (the tracks at) Long Beach and St. Petersburg. We were fast at both of those places already this year, so you go in expecting to be quick with the DHL/Sun Drop car. We qualified on the front row here last year, and our whole team is optimistic going into the weekend because we've shown that we have the pace to run at the front on street circuits. The bottom line is we're going there to get a win at place where I really enjoy the track."
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 7TH IN STANDINGS: “I am excited to go racing in Brazil this weekend and have another good showing in the Hitachi Team Penske car. The Streets of SÃ£o Paulo are such a great circuit and the huge fan base makes it a fun event to be a part of. We are working hard preparing for the race and I look forward to seeing how the Chevrolet engines favor us on the long straightaway."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 9TH IN STANDINGS: “Well what can I say about Brazil? It is the best week of the year for me and the one that time flies by so fast, so I have to make sure I enjoy every single moment. I am so happy that IndyCar races in Brazil and what I have been telling people is that we changed addresses…the fans that used to come to Interlagos to watch me now they will come to Anhembi. There was such a great energy with me racing here in the past and I want the same thing at the Sambodromo. On the track side I was able to drive on the simulator and learn what is left and what is right…now we go to the real track and learn from there. I can't wait to get the car out on the track."
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, 10TH IN STANDINGS: " We're all excited to get back down to Brazil. Last year it was a great track for us and was the first time we were running legitimately up front with guys like (Scott) Dixon, (Oriol) Servia and (Ryan) Briscoe. I really enjoyed running in the wet for a few days as well, but the National Guard car was really good in all conditions that weekend. The National Guard Chevy guys have all been working hard this year and that's paid off with how competitive we've been. All the times that IndyCar has run in Brazil the racing has always been exciting and I'm sure that will be the case this year too."
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET. TIED FOR 11th IN STANDINGS: “I have a strong belief that the CITGO | PDVSA – KVRT car is going to be fast in Brazil especially after the strong performances we have had on the street courses so far this year. We had a decent setup at St. Petersburg and Long Beach and I believe, with hard work, we can continue to improve and get stronger. Going to Brazil is always nice. The crowd there has a lot of energy. The Brazilian fans are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic which always makes for an amazing race weekend."
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, TIED FOR 11TH IN STANDINGS: “As always I am looking forward to the race in Brazil. On one hand it is always very busy with sponsor and other commitments, but on the other, I am racing in front of my son Leo, my family and my countryman and the excitement and atmosphere they bring to this race is very special. Since we have raced in Brazil, first on the oval in Rio and now on the streets of SÃ£o Paulo, I have always wanted to win this race, but when Rubens (Barrichello) agreed to come and race with KV Racing, I made him a deal… he could win here in Brazil if I get to win the Indy 500. We will have to see how things go in the race. I may have to go back on that deal."
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 18TH IN STANDINGS: "I've been happy with our pace so far this year. The results don't show it, but we've been really fast at each of the first three events, which is encouraging. We were easily one of the fastest cars at Long Beach, and we were on a different strategy that could have worked out. I think we can expect to be just as fast at SÃ£o Paulo. I love the track and I had a lot of fun in the wet last year. I really like it when it's treacherous (in the wet), because it really comes down to car control. I think we could capitalize on that this year if it happens again."
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 23RD IN STANDINGS: “We have a lot of very experienced, international-traveled personnel on our team. They knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Heck, I am the new one for Brazil on this team. This is my first trip there. It was impressive to watch our new team coordinate our equipment for the long trip as well as preparing the race car too. Our team did a great job unloading all of the equipment and cars from the Long Beach race and turning it over for the Brazil trip. As a new team, we were early in the load-in process at the airport too. But our guys were ready for the Friday morning loading. I was impressed with the skill our crew had in preparing everything for the trip. Many of our guys have been to the Brazil races before, so they have given me a heads-up on food, travel and other items. I have been studying the in-car cameras around the circuit in Sao Paulo. I have a little bit of an idea of the track. Of course, there are a few modifications to this year’s circuit too. The last two years have had rain at the Brazil race and I really don’t expect anything different this year. We have had rain conditions in the last two race weekends at Barber and Long Beach. We’ll have to adjust to the dry and wet surface."
ANA BEATRIZ, NO. 25 TEAM IPIRANGA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET: NOTE: The SÃ£o Paulo Indy 300 will be Beatriz's first start for the 2012 IndyCar season and her first outing with Andretti Autosport. The Brazilian native ranked 24th on her home town circuit in 2011. "It's always very special for me to race in my hometown. The Brazilian fans are big racing fans and love to welcome IndyCar. It is one of the best races on the schedule and busiest for me but it is still fun. It will be my third year racing in SÃ£o Paulo and I am really looking forward to being back in the car with Ipiranga and Andretti Autosport. I had a great experience and interactions with the team and my new teammates at Long Beach – it was a good preparation for this weekend."