The gusto with which Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Mario Moraes and Vitor Meira blew into their vuvuzelas following Robinho’s early strike in the Brazil vs. Netherlands quarterfinal match compensated for the sound that emanated.
“I need some lessons,” laughed Castroneves, wearing the green and yellow of his homeland.
Apex-Brasil hosted a mid-morning World Cup watch party at Watkins Glen International and most of the Brazilian IZOD IndyCar Series drivers – plus a few World Cup followers from Australia and Great Britain – were wrapped up in the tight match from Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
“Right now, nobody (in Brazil) is working,” Kanaan said during the first half. “As a culture, that’s what we grew up watching – soccer and racing – so it’s a big deal. We’ve been home for a couple of weeks (since racing June 20 at Iowa Speedway) so I’ve been watching a lot.”
In the second half, when the Dutch scored two goals to move ahead and time became the enemy, the vuvuzelas were the closest item to pick up and pound on the picnic table.
Dejected from being knocked out of the tournament, the drivers nonetheless turned their attention to the business at hand (the first track activity of the weekend later in the afternoon). Drivers signed one of the vuvuzelas, which will turn up soon as a IndyCar New Media prize.
Brazil will play host to the 2014 World Cup.
“We have a huge responsibility hosting this thing in four years,” Kanaan said. “We had the IndyCar race there and put on a good show and hopefully we’ll be able to keep it up and have a great World Cup.”