Friday, April 29, 2011

What to watch for at Brazil

What to watch for at Brazil

The IZOD IndyCar Series enters round four of their 2011 season, traveling to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. In 2010, this race was the season opener, it was a very exciting race, with many overtaking opportunities, 2011 looks to be just as good. The race will be televised live on VERSUS , with coverage starting at Noon EST. IndyCar Garage gives you five things to watch for heading into Brazil.

1. Will Power and everyone else
Power has started on pole for every race of 2011 and won the 2010 Brazil race with a late pass of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Power dominance early in 2011 has made him a near lock to repeat as the Mario Andretti Road-Course Champion, and even stronger effort to capture his first championship. Unless Power gets punted again by his teammate Helio Castroneves, he will be
around at the end, probably on the podium.

2. The best road/street course to pass on.
Brazil offers the longest stretch of IndyCar racing on the entire schedule, over a mile straightway awaits after turn 10, and heading into turn 11 many drivers are offered the best passing zone on the track, as Ryan Hunter-Reay found out in 2010 while running in P1.

"The circuit in Sao Paulo will be challenging. They've really repaved a lot of it and done away with some curbs. It was new last year and I think it will be pretty new again this year. It's going to keep us on our toes, being that it is a two-day weekend - practice, practice, qualify, race. It's going to happen quick and we're going to have to adapt" said Ryan Hunter-Reay .

3. Heading back home for several drivers
Five IZOD IndyCar drivers are natives of Brazil, including Helio Castroneves, Vitor Meira, Raphael Matos, Ana Beatriz, and fan favorite Tony Kanaan. Meira took home his only podium of 2010, with a third place finish, and Matos captured 4th while driving for then Deferran-Dragon Racing. Tony Kanaan is the highest of the five in the championship, as he trails only leader Dario Franchitti and second place Will Power. Watch on Sunday as the expected capacity crowd of over 50,000 cheers for their native drivers.

4. Second chance for Marco Andretti
The 2010 season started horribly for Marco Andretti, "Last year's incident took me out of the race way too early. I was disappointed I didn't get to do more in Brazil so I'm looking forward to going back. I think the Venom car and the team as a whole should be strong this weekend. We've made some big gains on street courses and the cars are starting to feel good on these types of circuits." Marco needs a strong finish to makeup for his mistake at Long Beach when he took out himself and Sebastien Bourdais in the pits, and also to get back in the championship hunt. Good news for Andretti is that Mario Moraes will not be in a IndyCar at Brazil.

5. A fourth different winner?
The IZOD IndyCar Series has had three races with three different winners, two of those, Franchitti and Power were to be expected, but the third, Mike Conway was a huge surprise two weeks ago at Long Beach. Will there be another shocking winner? Or will it be another Penske/Ganassi car visiting victory lane? Read below to see IndyCar Garage’s predications for the Fast Six and the top three finishers.

Race Predications for Sunday:
Firestone Fast Six: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson, Ryan Briscoe, Dario Franchitti

Podium: 1st Ryan Hunter-Reay , 2nd Tony Kanaan, 3rd, Helio Castroneves

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