IRL: Kanaan teams with Marco Andretti in Brazil

Kanaan teaming up with another Andretti in Brazilian karting event this weekend. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (Nov. 5, 2003) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan has already worked with two members of the Andretti family in 2003; first with Michael and...

Kanaan teaming up with another Andretti in Brazilian karting event this weekend.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (Nov. 5, 2003) - Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan has already worked with two members of the Andretti family in 2003; first with Michael and then with Michael's father Mario. This Saturday he'll add a third Andretti to his list when he teams with Michael's 16-year old son Marco during a star-laden go-kart event in his home country of Brazil.

Kanaan, who drove the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone to a win and nine top-five finishes in pursuit of the 2003 Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar? Series championship, will be part of a four-man team in the 500 Miles of Granja Viana Go-Kart Race. In addition to Andretti, Kanaan will be paired with Formula One drivers Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa, who also hail from Brazil.

"This race is something I really look forward to every year. It's a lot of fun," said Kanaan. "This year will be very cool since we've added Marco to the team. It will be our first time as teammates, but I doubt it will be our last."

The youngest racing Andretti won eight events this year and notched 13 podium finishes on the way to winning the 14-race Skip Barber 2.0-liter Formula Dodge Eastern Region title. Andretti, who was also crowned Eastern Region Rookie-of-the-Year, is looking forward to the opportunity.

"I'm excited, but I'm nervous, too," said Andretti. "Tony has never even seen me drive. He just told me to come down and race. I don't really know what to expect. I'm sure it will be the toughest competition I've ever raced against, but it's definitely exciting. It's an unbelievable opportunity."

In addition to Kanaan's high-profile team, several other international open-wheel racing stars are also scheduled to compete, including Juan Pablo Montoya, Alex Zanardi, Jimmy Vasser, Christian Fittipaldi and Oriol Servia.

Kanaan and Michael Andretti started the 2003 season as teammates at Andretti Green Racing, the IRL team Michael owns along with partners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree. In April, Mario Andretti tested Kanaan's car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway while Kanaan recovered from injuries sustained in a crash during the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi on April 13.

Kanaan, Barrichello and Massa are two-time defending champions of this weekend's event, which begins at 10:30 p.m. (BRST). The race pits teams of drivers against each other over the course of 12 hours on a 1,200-meter (approximately three-quarters of a mile) road course located outside the city of Sao Paulo. An estimated 70 karts and 150 drivers are expected to compete in this year's event.

-agr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya