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Chip Ganassi Racing preview

Sao Paulo

Story Highlights

  • 2010 Championship team heads to Brazil
  • Franchitti and Dixon looking for the victory

It's 11 hours by air from Indianapolis for our team and freight.

Mike Hull

Managing Director Mike Hull on Brazil: "Brazil is hands-down one of the best street circuits we've ever raced. Instead of hairpins, it has medium speed corners that lead onto long straights. What that does is allows for a double pass - one-half way down the straight with another at the end of the long straights. Street circuits as well as natural terrain road tracks should pay attention to this configuration for the passing opportunity that it provides for cars that are so equally matched. Dario and Scott have had fast Target cars at St. Pete, Barber, and Long Beach, so our plan is to use that momentum to be at the front on Sunday in Brazil. It's 11 hours by air from Indianapolis for our team and freight, and one hour east of Eastern Daylight Time, so watch us on VERSUS at 12:00 PM EDT Sunday May 1."

Best of Brazil: Rio hosted five CART races on a 1.864-mile oval in Rio de Janeiro from 1996-2000. In those five visits to Rio, Team Target earned one win (Montoya, '99), one pole (Zanardi, '96), five top-fives, seven top-10s and led 275 laps -- more than all other current INDYCAR teams. In 2010, the IZOD IndyCar Series made their first appearance on the streets of Sao Paulo which resulted in a double top-10 finish for Team Target.

Starting Strong: With their win at St. Petersburg in Round 1 with Dario Franchitti, Team Target has won seven of the last 14 IZOD IndyCar Series races and has had at least one car in the top-three in the first three races of the season. The TCGR lineup remained the same in 2011 with Franchitti and Scott Dixon, the drivers who have won the last four championships.

Walk of Fame: Target Chip Ganassi Racing and former driver Jimmy Vasser were inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on April 14 in Long Beach. Past recipients of the honor include Michael Andretti (who won his first and last Indy car race at Long Beach), Danny Sullivan, Bobby Rahal, six-time Long Beach winner Al Unser Jr., Gary Gabelich, Parnelli Jones, Chris Pook, Newman/Haas Racing, Brian Redman (first Long Beach winner), Dan Gurney and Phil Hill.

Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Kellogg's Team

Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Photo by: Bob Heathcote

New Colors: The No. 10 car will sport the red, blue, and yellow Kellogg's colors this weekend at the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. The Kellogg Company has been a leading producer of convenience foods for over 100 years. Today the company manufactures in 18 countries and sells their products in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, log on to www.KelloggsRacing.com.

Franchitti Factor: The Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 is the fourth street/road event of the IZOD IndyCar Series' first quarter. With a win at St. Petersburg and consecutive third-place finishes at Barber and Long Beach, Franchitti is in a familiar spot atop the points.

Climbing the Ranks: Franchitti currently sits ninth on the All-Time Career Poles list tying Paul Tracy with 25 poles. He earned his first pole in 1997 in Toronto where he finished 26th. Franchitti scored his last pole at the 2010 Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at the season finale in Homestead, finishing eighth.

Starting Out Front: Franchitti started on pole in the 2010 Sao Paulo Indy 300 in the Streets of Sao Paulo and finished the race in seventh. Last year was the first IndyCar race held in the Streets of Sao Paulo.

Milestone Weekend: Franchitti will be making his 100th road/street course start this weekend in Sao Paulo. He made his first road/street course start in the 1997 Sunbelt Indy Carnival Australia at Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia where he started 12th and finished ninth.

Boston.com Blog: Stay up-to-date with Franchitti by following his blog on Boston.com. He gives fans a rare glimpse into the lifestyle of the reigning series champion. The blog runs each Monday following an IZOD IndyCar Series event.

Long Beach Recap: Franchitti started the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in seventh. He steadily worked his way forward throughout the course of the 85-lap event and moved into the top-three on a lap 66, turn one restart that shuffled up the running order. After avoiding contact on the restart, Franchitti drove on to his third podium in as many races this season, regaining the points lead in the process.

Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team

Seeking Victory: With a victory in 2011, Dixon will extend his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to seven. Dixon currently has 26 wins across 14 different tracks.

Starting Young: Dixon is the fifth youngest driver to ever win an Indy car race. He was 20 years old when he won at Nazareth Speedway on May 6th, 2001. Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Graham Rahal, is the youngest driver to ever win an Indy car race. He won at St. Petersburg in 2008 at the age of 19.

Series Regular: Jimmy Vasser holds the all-time record of 211 consecutive starts. Dixon with 108 (trailing Tony Kanaan who will have 135 in Brazil) is the only other active driver with a streak of more than 100 consecutive starts. His streak began in 2004 at Michigan International Speedway and has continued in to the 2011 season.

Long Beach Recap: Dixon started eighth in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He ran as high as sixth, but the lap 66 restart was not kind to the No. 9 Target Team as contact sent them into the pits to repair suspension damage. Dixon returned to the race in 19th and picked up one spot to finish 18th.

-source: cgr

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Series INDYCAR
Tags brazil, champions, dixon, franchitti, izod