IndyCar – Round 4: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 preview

streets-of-sao-paulo-mapWhat: 4th Annual Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300
Where: Anhembi Sambadromo Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Who: Will Power. In three races at the circuit, Power has three poles and three wins. Granted Power’s not having quite the start of the season he’s used to, you have to put him at the top of the list here simply because of his domination. Teammate Helio Castroneves enters the event as points leader, so being in front of the home crowd is sure to energize. Takuma Sato has been quick all season, but comes off his first career win after finally putting it all together at Long Beach
When: 11am Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, May 5

Storylines
It’s been a little over a year since Will Power’s last win. Since cranking off three wins in a row early in 2012, Power has had more misfortune than luck. He finished second yet again in points and has started off 2013 pretty flat. If there’s ever a place Power can turn it around, it’s here in Sao Paulo. Power has dominated every event here, winning three races and three poles in three events.

Takuma Sato could very easily be in the points lead right now if a few things go his way. That being said, he still enters the Sao Paulo weekend second in points and coming off his first career IZOD IndyCar Series victory. Taku’s street course prowess puts him at the top of the list for a win here, having driven all the way up to 3rd from 25th last year. This course has typically been kind to him, so look for Takuma to be in the mix all day.

Since winning the season opener at St. Pete, James Hinchcliffe’s had a rather miserable season. He was the victim of poor circumstance at Barber, being tied up in the first lap incident between Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia. At Long Beach, he was eliminated from competition by his own hand after attempting  a rather ill fated move on Tony Kanaan. Hinch has had two decent rides at Sao Paulo, but ultimately nothing to write home about. Can he get things turend around here?

Somehow, Oriol Servia managed to take his Lotus from 23 to 11th at Sao Paulo last season.  The year before, he had a 5th place finish after starting 16th in an underfunded Newman-Haas ride. With pressure on due to PanDRR’s 11th hour sponsorship search to continue operations after the Indianapolis 500, Servia has to deliver a quality finish without tearing up equipment. If there’s a driver to count on in the clutch, it’s Oriol Servia. The cagey Spanish veteran has everything he needs to deliver a good result, hopefully saving PanDRR’s season.

By The Numbers
0-Number of wins by Will Power since his 2012 victory in Sao Paulo
1-Number of drivers who has won pole and the race at Sao Paulo; Will Power
3-Brazilian drivers startign the event; Points leader Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Ana Beatriz
4-Honda powered drivers in the Top Ten in points.
.9-Roughly the length of the Flagholders Stretch at Sao Paulo, almost one mile long.
67-Number of the driver with the fastest lap at Sao Paulo last season; Josef Newgarden
1:21.4045-Track record set by Will Power in 2012

A Lap Around