INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 - The city of Sao Paulo will stage the opening round of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

Scheduled for March 14, the event represents the return of Indy-style racing to Brazil thanks to the partnership between the Sao Paulo municipality, the Indy Racing League and TV Bandeirantes and BandSports.

"The arrival of the IZOD IndyCar Series confirms Sao Paulo's nature of staging great worldwide events. It is a gift to the citizens of Sao Paulo who will be able to watch up close great racecars and drivers. It is also a great opportunitty for business for the city that becomes the capital of motoracing in Latin America," said Mayor Gilberto Kassab.

The event marks the first IZOD IndyCar Series street race in Brazil. Sao Paulo is already home to the Brazil Formula 1 Grand Prix staged at the Interlagos racetrack. Now the city concentrates two of the most important motorsports events worldwide.

"While our primary focus continues to be building the sport of the IZOD IndyCar Series domestically, the race in Sao Paulo affords us a unique opportunity to visit a country that has a huge passion for open-wheel racing. With strong support from our major partner Aprex-Brasil, a significant television package from TV Bandeirantes, a large number of drivers from the country and the opportunity for a unique course, it makes sense from both a business and competition standpoint," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for the sanctioning Indy Racing League.

The IZOD IndyCar Series has a long history of Brazilian driver participation since its founding in 1996, including this year's field highlighted by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, 2004 IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan, veteran driver Vitor Meira, and up-and-coming IndyCar Series stars Raphael Matos, the 2009 Apex-Brasil IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, and Sao Paulo native Mario Moraes.

The race will be broadcast in 175 countries.

-credit: irl