IndyCar - Andretti Autosports Brazilian Preview
Sao Paulo, Apr. 24, 2012: Andretti Autosport will add a fourth car to its lineup this weekend for the São Paulo Indy 300. In addition to Ryan Hunter-Reay (DHL / Sun Drop Citrus Soda, No. 28), Marco Andretti (RC Cola, No. 26) and James Hinchcliffe (GoDaddy.com, No. 27) in Chevrolet-powered cars, Ana Beatriz is entered in th e Ipiranga-sponsored No. 25 Chevrolet for her hometown race.
James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27
Hinchcliffe heads into São Paulo ranked fifth in the point standings after capturing his career-best third-place in Long Beach. He finished ninth last year at the São Paulo Indy 300.
"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 São 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." Did You Know: Hinchcliffe is the only Canadian to receive both the 'Greg Moore Legacy Award' (2010) and the 'Gilles Villeneuve Award' (2007).Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, No. 28
Hunter-Reay finished second at São Paulo in 2010 after leading 20 laps, and has qualified fourth and second in two starts at the Brazilian street circuit. He is currently sixth in the IZOD IndyCar point standings.
"I'm 100 percent focused on winning in Brazil. The São 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."
Did You Know: Hunter-Reay's sixth-place finish at Long Beach continues a hot streak that dates back to the middle of the 2011 season. In the last 14 IndyCar races, Hunter-Reay has finished in the top-10 eleven times.
Marco Andretti, Team RC Cola Chevrolet, No. 26
"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 São 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." Did You Know: Marco is featured in the 20th anniversary edition (May 2012) of RACER magazine, comparing his era of racing with the era of his grandfather, Mario. About teammates, Marco said "I think myself, Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and James (Hinchcliffe) have a good relationship, we're real to each other and I find something works I'll pass it on and the same in return. Why? Because right now the biggest focus is to move the team forward to beat Penske and Ganassi. But still, you want to beat a teammate."
Ana Beatriz , Team Ipiranga Chevrolet, No. 25
The São 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 São 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."