Vitor Meira has decided to call time on his ten-year IndyCar career, with the Brazilian announcing that he has accepted an offer to race in the country’s high-profile Stock Car Championship.
“Everything has a beginning and an end,” he emotionally told Brazilian media. “I just have to thank all teams in Indy for the whole fantastic experience I have acquired over the past ten years.”
“I had some proposals to continue racing in the United States, but I strongly believe that the right decision at this time will be to enter Stock Car, one of the best categories of touring cars in the world.”
Meira made his IndyCar Series debut in 2002 with Team Menard at Kentucky Speedway, and at just his fifth race he claimed his maiden pole position.
He later joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing before moving on to Panther Racing. It was with Panther that he had his best ever season, finishing fifth overall in the 2006 Drivers’ Championship with six podium finishes.
For the past three years, Meira has driven for AJ Foyt Enterprises. In 2009, he sustained two broken vertebrae after a collision with Raphael Matos during the Indianapolis 500, which ended his season. Last year, he finished 15th in the championship standings, with his best finish being fifth place at the incident-filled Toronto round.
The Foyt team’s announcement that it had signed former Andretti Autosports driver Mike Conway to drive its #14 ABS Supply-sponsored car meant that Meira was back on the driver market, before he elected to take up the drive with the Officer ProGP Chevrolet team in his homeland.
In all, Meira contested 112 IndyCar races, earning two pole positions and 14 podium finishes.