Castroneves leads Brazilian contingent on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. MIAMI, FL (1/29/03) - Brazilians have the opportunity to support their fellow countrymen and celebrate "CARNAVAL", in a special Brazilian cheering section during the...
Castroneves leads Brazilian contingent on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
MIAMI, FL (1/29/03) - Brazilians have the opportunity to support their fellow countrymen and celebrate "CARNAVAL", in a special Brazilian cheering section during the Toyota Indy 300, the IRL IndyCar Series season-opener, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
A total of six Brazilian drivers: Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone, Airton Dare, and Vitor Meira, are expected to compete in the Toyota Indy 300 at speeds exceeding 200 miles-per-hour at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
All six Brazilian drivers come to the Toyota Indy 300 with outstanding credentials. Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske, is the two-time defending champion of the Indianapolis 500. De Ferran, also of Marlboro Team Penske, won the Champ Car championship in 2000 and 2001 before moving to the IRL IndyCar Series in 2002. Kanaan, along with Michael Andretti and Dario Franchitti, is part of the Andretti Green Racing team that will be making its IRL IndyCar Series debut at the Toyota Indy 300. Giaffone, of Mo Nunn Racing, who finished fourth in IndyCar Series driver points last season. Dare was the IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year in 2000, and Meira sat on the pole at last year's IndyCar Series season finale at Texas.
Four of the six Brazilian drivers currently reside in South Florida, making Homestead-Miami Speedway a popular venue to open the 2003 season.
"It's always nice to have the atmosphere and weather that we've had in Miami." said Castroneves. "So if people miss this race, they are going to miss a good show. People don't miss it; it's going to be a good one."
"I love it here at Homestead-Miami Speedway," added de Ferran. "This is the home track for me, since we live just north of here. To have the season opener here it's fun, there's a lot of friends and family that come over here. Psychologically, it's great to have the season opener here, it's next to my home, friends and family."
Tickets for the Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway are available by calling (305) 230-RACE, visiting TicketMaster, or on the internet at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com. For seating in the Brazilian section, make request to a Homestead-Miami Speedway ticket agent by calling (305) 230-RACE.
BRAZILIAN DRIVERS AT THE TOYOTA INDY 300:
Helio Castroneves (Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Residence: Miami, FL): Member of Marlboro Team Penske and winner of each the past two Indianapolis 500s, Castroneves finished second in the IndyCar Series season championship in 2002. In addition to racing in the IRL IndyCar Series, Castroneves will compete in the True Value IROC Series for the second straight year in 2003.
Airton Dare (Hometown: Bauru, Brazil; Residence: Miami, FL): Dare, the IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year in 2000, registered his first career IndyCar Series victory at Kansas Speedway last season. Interestingly, Dare began his racing career at jet-ski competitions in Brazil.
Gil de Ferran (Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Residence: Ft. Lauderdale, FL): Veteran driver for Marlboro Team Penske, de Ferran was the 1992 British Formula 3 Champion and the Champ Car Champion in 2000 and 2001 before moving to the IndyCar Series following the 2001 season. A two-time race winner in 2002, de Ferran finished third in last year's Indy Racing League championship.
Felipe Giaffone (Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Residence: Indianapolis, IN): Driving for Mo Nunn Racing, Giaffone was victorious last season at Kentucky Speedway and finished fourth in points in 2003. For his accomplishments, Giaffone was selected as one of 12 drivers to compete in the year's True Value IROC Series.
Tony Kanaan (Hometowm: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; Residence: Miami, FL): The 1998 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and winner at the Michigan Speedway in 1999, Kanaan moved from CART to the IRL IndyCar Series this off-season. He will make his IndyCar Series debut at the Toyota Indy 300 as a member of Andretti Green Racing.
Vitor Meira (Hometown: Brasilia, Brazil; Residence: Brasilia, Brazil): Driving for Team Menard, Meira earned his first career pole and finished a career best third at last year's IndyCar season-finale at Texas.