Sao Paulo Indy 300 race start Last year's race was blighted by a scary first-corner crash involving Marco Andretti And weather played its part as well

While generally not a long-distance flyaway series, the IndyCar Series understands the number-one rule of running a profitable business – keep your fans happy. With a massive fan base in Brazil, not to mention several household names and compatriots competing, Brazil will again turn on its best as Sao Paulo hosts Round 4 of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series. Our IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon takes a look at the action at this weekend’s Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300…

São Paulo is the final stop before the famed "month of May". It is the final hit-out before all focus turns to the Indy 500, and in such a competitive series, positive momentum heading into the month’s events will be critical.

The circuit design, with a mix of slow to medium speed corners and numerous overtaking opportunities was well received after the inaugural race last year, and Will Power returns with a goal of remaining the only man to win here. For the latest of the late brakers and plenty of chances to pass, there should be no shortage of action throughout the field.

Highlights from last year’s dramatic São Paulo Indy 300, won by Penske’s Will Power

The most popular men in the field will be Hélio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, with plenty of media work surely due to keep Ana Beatriz, Vitor Meira and Raphael Matos occupied also. Castroneves though may find himself unpopular with IndyCar officials, as a series of questionable incidents, crashes and overtaking mishaps has put the series veteran under the microscope. No doubt Roger Penske and Will Power have requested a “friendly” chat with Hélio over the last fortnight after the coming-together in Long Beach last time out.

Power himself is unstoppable at the moment when it comes to qualifying, maintaining a perfect 3-0 pole position record through the season so far. While not all have converted to wins, there is certainly no other position he would rather start. A thrilling race beckons, so make sure you catch it.

[Images via LAT, video via IndyCar Series]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.