Is blood thicker than water? Even if it is, money talks.
Andretti Autosport apparently will not enter a car for Michael Andretti’s cousin Jeff Andretti in the Indy 500, as it will enter three cars for its regular IndyCar pilots, adding A.A.’s Indy Lights standout Sebastian Saavedra in a fourth Ilmor-powered car, and announcing Ana Beatriz in a fifth car.
‘Bia’ Beatriz intends to race car #25 in her ‘hometown’ race in São Paulo at the end of this month, then in the Indianapolis 500 as a Conquest Racing/Andretti Autosport collaboration.
Mike Andretti: “This opportunity is a good fit for us as a team. Brazil is an important, growing market for many of our sponsors, so to have a Brazilian driver and Ipiranga come aboard with us made a lot of sense.”
This means, to me, that Bia has brought a big hunk of money to rent a ride for a couple of races.
Beatriz tested an Andretti car at Sebring International Raceway in March and didn’t wad it up. Who knows if she can qualify for the 500 then race with any success?
‘Bia’ best IndyCar finish in the past two seasons was eleventh place. In the Indy 500, she finished twenty-first two times – not too auspicious.
In 2008 and 2009, in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Beatriz won only two oval races, in Tennessee and Iowa.
Does Bia’s sponsor, oil company Ipiranga, expect to garner much television exposure during May broadcasts from I.M.S.?