2012 Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Preview 2012 Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Preview 2012 Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Preview

The IndyCar Series returns to Brazil for the third running of the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 this weekend, and the teams head to South America looking for a final race hit-out ahead of theIndyCar’s Superbowl with the ‘Month of May’ and the Indianapolis 500 following suit.

Our resident IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon previews the action ahead of this weekend’s running of the series’ third visit to São Paulo…

The Circuit


Date: 28-29 April 2012
Lap Length: 2.536 miles / 4.083km
IndyCar Lap Record: 1:21.8958, Will Power (Dallara Honda) – 2011
Event Schedule: Free Practice Session 1A (Group A) Sat 08:05-08:35
Free Practice Session 1B (all cars) Sat 08:35-09:20
Free Practice Session 2 Sat 11:05-12:05
Qualifying Session Sat 14:05-15:20
Sunday Warm-Up Sun 08:30-09:00
Race (74 laps, 186 miles) Sun 12:00-15:00
Past IndyCar Winners: Will Power (Team Penske Dallara Honda) 2011
Will Power (Team Penske Dallara Honda) 2010

The circuit design, with a mix of slow to medium speed corners and numerous overtaking opportunities has been well-received by drivers and fans. For the latest of the late brakers and plenty of chances to pass, there should be no shortage of action throughout the field.


The Players & Form Guide

2012 IndyCar Series Championship Entry List (Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300):

No. Sponsor Entrant Engine Driver
2. IZOD / Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet Ryan Briscoe AUS
3. Shell V-Power / AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet Hélio Castroneves BRA
4. US National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet JR Hildebrand USA
5. CITGO / PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet EJ Viso VEN
6. Truecar / Lotus Cars Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus Katherine Legge (R) GBR
7. SEAT León 1.6T Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus Sébastien Bourdais FRA
8. Brasil Máquinas KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Rubens Barrichello BRA
9. Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Scott Dixon NZL
10. Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dario Franchitti GBR
11. GEICO / Mouser / Petropolis KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Tony Kanaan BRA
12. Verizon Wireless Team Penske Chevrolet Will Power AUS
14. ABC Supply AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda Mike Conway GBR
15. Interush / Panasonic / Mi-Jack Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Takuma Sato JPN
18. Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Dale Coyne Racing Honda Justin Wilson GBR
19. Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda James Jakes GBR
20. Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Ed Carpenter USA
22. Lotus Cars Dreyer & Reinbold Lotus Oriol Servià ESP
25. Petroleo Ipiranga Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Ana Beatriz BRA
26. Royal Crown Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Marco Andretti USA
27. GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet James Hinchcliffe CAN
28. DHL / Sun Drop Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Ryan Hunter-Reay USA
38. TBC Retail Group Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Graham Rahal USA
67. Direct Supply Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Josef Newgarden (R) USA
77. Hewlett Packard Schmidt Hamilton Honda Simon Pagenaud (R) FRA
78. Entergy / Lotus Cars Lotus-HVM Racing Lotus Simona de Silvestro SUI
83. Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Charlie Kimball USA

 (R) Denotes ‘Rookie Class’ driver. Entry list is subject to final confirmation.

One thing the teams will NOT want is a repeat of last year’s Brazil events, which saw the race totally washed out after just a handful of laps and circuit-wide spins by most of the field. On that day, theheavens opened and the monsoonal tides that swept the circuit were a nightmare for those on track and although entertaining for the fans watching on TV, the weather saw the race postponed 24hours, only for Will Power to dominate the Monday race almost from start to finish.

Power also won the inaugural race here in 2010, which means the Aussie would be at the shortest of short odds to do well here again this weekend. Penske have won all of the first three races of theyear so far, two of which from unlikely starting positions.

Whether the rest of the field are up to the challenge remains to be seen, especially reigning series champion Dario Franchitti, who has started the season in disastrous form and has not yet recorded a single-digit finish while arch-rival Powerhas two wins out of a possible three.

Basically, the question is, can anyone do anything about the runaway Penske train, or will it be business as usual for the Shell, Verizon or Hitachi machines of Helio Castroneves, Will Power or Ryan Briscoe?

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Matthew Lennon
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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.