Brazil's Castroneves on the lead for Sao Paulo Indy 300 race

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Helio Castroneves will enjoy his trip back to his homeland as the IndyCar racer hopes to give the Brazilian fans good reason to celebrate.

Brazilian race driver Helio Castroneves is having his best season beginning in the IndyCar series as he heads to his homeland for this weekend’s race on the streets of Sao Paulo. The race in one of Brazil’s main cities and is not far from where he was born (Ribeirão Preto) which makes the race on the 5th of May very special for him.

It will be the final race before the Indianapolis 500 which the Brazilian won three times (2001, 2002 and 2009). But for this weekend, Castroneves concentrates on taking the victory in the Sao Paulo 300.

For the first time in his career, the Penske pilot comes to his homeland as the championship points leader and plans to not lose the position.

"I'm very happy to come to Brazil as the championship's leader. We've began the year in a very good situation. We had a very good pre-season," he said.

Podium: second place Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet with Bill Foster, Mayor of St. Petersburg
Podium: second place Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet with Bill Foster, Mayor of St. Petersburg

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Castroneves started the season at Saint Petersburg finishing second on the street circuit. The Alabama road course race also saw him on the podium in third. However, the race on the streets of Long Beach was not kind to the Brazilian as he ended 10th but enough to keep him on top of the points fight.

Sao Paulo will be the first race for IndyCar outside of the United States, and the one race where Castroneves wants to win!

"Chevrolet's engine got a 15 horse-power (HP) evolution. Firestone tires have more adherence and Penske's team was very efficient in absorbing these changes and make the car well adapted to them," adds the 37 years old race driver, who attributes his leadership to a year-long experience with the DW12 chassis.

Now, Castroneves is focusing his efforts on Sao Paulo Indy 300 race, on which he got a third place position in 2012.

"I always enter each race to win but to (also) be realistic. This is where a planned job comes, because the regularity in the points is fundamental to reach the end of the championship and get the title," said Castroneves.

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Special feature
Tags brazil, castroneves, indycar, penske, sao paulo