Sao Paulo: Andretti Autosport preview



* Will turn 23 years old on Saturday (March 13) as he prepares to start his fifth season of IZOD IndyCar Series competition (65 starts)

* Posted two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 2009

     "I'm going into SÃo Paulo with a very open mind.  None of us are really sure what to expect, it's a new circuit for everyone but it promises to be a great addition to our schedule.  I think it will be a great race for the fans, but my main goal will, obviously, be to finish strong and take as many points as we can for the Venom car.  I want to start the season as strong as possible."


* Making his first start for Andretti Autosport after signing with the team over the off-season

* Drove to a runner-up finish in last year's season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg

     "I've been looking forward to this weekend for a long time for a number of reasons.  First, I can't wait to get to my first IZOD IndyCar race weekend with Andretti Autosport and my new teammates.  This team knows how to win and has so much to offer.  We all know we have lots of work to do heading into the season, but everyone within the team is very determined to make the most of every opportunity on track.  Second, we are starting a new era in IndyCar racing as the IZOD IndyCar Series.  It's an exciting time in the sport and to be kicking of the season in Sao Paulo, Brazil is the perfect way to do it as the Brazilian fans are so passionate about our sport.      "With our limited pre-season testing and a short two-day race weekend in Brazil we are left with a very small window to nail the set-up on Saturday heading into qualifying.  We will have to be more aggressive than usual with our approach, but with four Andretti Autosport cars on track we are very optimistic we can make the most of the situation.  I just can't wait to go racing."  


* A native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, he is one of four former IZOD IndyCar Series champions entered in Sunday's season-opener

* Hoping to replicate last season's hot start when he stood as the only series driver to record three top-five finishes in first three events of the season

     "As a Brazilian getting ready to open the season in Brazil, it is hard to explain the excitement and the pressure that I'm feeling. Our fans in Brazil are so passionate for us and so supportive of us, but they will expect nothing less than a win on Sunday. It's going to be a challenging circuit, but I'm looking forward to getting in the Team 7-Eleven car and getting the season going."


* Coming off a career-best fifth-place finish in the 2009 series standings

* 2009 season featured five top-five finishes, including a third-place result in the Indianapolis 500

     "Competing on a new circuit is always a challenge. Not only are you working throughout the weekend on the set-up of the race car, but you also have to learn a new track, as well.  It's hard enough to make sure the car is dialed-in, so drivers really have to maintain their focus to not only prepare for the race from a technical standpoint, but also become familiar with each and every turn on the track. Hopefully, we'll get the Go car comfortable right away and get off to a good start."

-source: andretti autosport

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Series IndyCar
Teams Andretti Autosport