2011 marks the second season of IndyCar racing for Ana Beatriz. She is a regular driver for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and her Brazilian sponsor, Ipiranga, hasn’t let her down.
Ana was kind enough to answer 11 fan questions during this 2011 season and, ironically enough, following her 11th IZOD IndyCar Series start. Ana wanted to send a little shout out to the fans and thank them for cheering her on:
“Thanks, fans for all of your support this season – keep those tweets and messages of support coming. Enjoy my 11 in ’11 video and thanks for submitting fan questions for this video series, it’s been fun learning about all the other drivers through these videos.”
Continue to support Ana by following her on Twitter, @BiaRacing, and check out her driver history on IndyCar.com. See her 11 in ‘11 video below.
It’s evident when driving through the streets of Sao Paulo that Brazilians are extremely passionate about motorsport. Ayrton Senna murals are painted on building sides and under bridges all over this massive city. As a result this South American country has not only produced the world’s most legendary driver (Senna) but also some great racing circuits and outstanding INDYCAR drivers.
One of my favorite racetracks is here in Brazil. Without a doubt, it was one of the most unique ovals ever built (the exception being Trenton, NJ). The Circuito de Jacarepaguá in Rio was quite a site to be seen in the mid-90’s when INDYCAR came to town.
Rio, in every definition of the word, was a Roval. Turn 1 was a sharp corner, requiring the drivers to get on the brakes, downshift once (maybe twice) and jump back on the throttle. Turn 2 was wide open all the way to turn 3 which was full throttle for some drivers and then back on to the brakes for turn 4. The layout produced great passing and promoted aggressive driving.
Rio was also the site of one of the most spectacular shunts in INDYCAR history. Mark Blundell essentially tore down the outside wall in Turn 1 when his brakes failed going down the front stretch. He made an attempt to collect his teammate to help soften the impact but he just barely missed. The resulting impact is terrifying and miraculously Blundell emerged from the car unscathed. Fast forward in the above video to the 10:40 mark for video of the incident.
The list of Brazilian drivers who have driven in INDYCAR is long and prestigious. With names like Fittipaldi, Kanaan, and Castroneves, Brazilian drivers have proved that they are and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
Emerson Fittipaldi, one of the greatest drivers in any car, was one of my favorite drivers growing up. “Emmo” was fast, brave, and exciting to watch. Below is video from one of Emerson’s hard fought battles with Nigel Mansell.
For many people when they think of the IZOD IndyCar Series they think of Helio Castroneves. The personable, excitable, and energetic Brazilian 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner has been a staple of the IZOD IndyCar Series for many years now. His personality, passion for racing, and on camera antics have been great for the sport. What some seem to miss, especially lately, is how impressive Helio is behind the wheel.
Tony Kanaan is without a doubt one of the fiercest competitors in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The tough driver from Salvador, Brazil has proved this year that just because he’s changed teams it doesn’t mean he can be ignored. Taking KV Racing Technologies to some of their best finishes in recent memory TK has proudly positioned himself in 3rd position in the overall points standings. If you watched the Indianapolis 500 last year and didn’t pay attention to Kanaan’s drive you missed one of the most exciting and entirely legendary performances a the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Starting 33rd and passing 22 cars to finish in 11th position was nothing short of miraculous. TK showed once again that he’s not lost a step and certainly hasn’t lost any of his nerve, the man is still a master of the outside pass.
After a few races into the exhilarating 2011 IndyCar season, the helmets keep on coming out of the ArtRotondo.com shop. For the first time the ArtRotondo.com company is painting the helmets for IndyCar fan favorite Vitor Meira. For the occasion we came up with a few new designs for the Brazilian. We jazzed up his old design by giving it more life and to more suit Vitor’s personality. These are the first of many helmets of Vitor’s to come.
New look for Vitor
May 1st 2011 will be the IndyCar’s series stop in Sao Paolo, Brasil for the 4th round of the 2011 season. Sadly this day also marks the celebration of life of undoubtedly the finest racing driver ever to have lived on this earth, Ayrton Senna. For the occasion both Vitor Meira and the ArtRotondo.com group came up with the idea to mark this grandiose occasion by paying tribute to him. With that in mind, we made Vitor’s usual design but modified with the Brazilian flag stars and most importantly the back of the helmet is a montage of some of Ayrton’s most memorable racing moments. Each one of these moments was entirely hand painted by Art Rotondo himself. After growing up in an Ayrton Senna influenced household all of our lives, due to our father’s Brasilian origin, it was truly inspiring for us here at ArtRotondo.com to pay tribute to Ayrton but as well to our passed father. We hope the fans in Brasil will enjoy this tribute to a champion and the immense emotions involved with this piece of art the ArtRotondo.com company created and that the IndyCar fans here in North America will do the same and take a minute of remembrance for the greatest racer of all time.
Inspired by Senna
IndyCar rookie Sebastian Saavedra will be in his very 1st full time Indycar season and for the occasion we spiced up his 2011 helmets by putting more clean cut emphasis on his native Colombian flag at the back of the helmet to give the overall more mature look to better suit his current Conquest Racing ride.
Saavedra with a new look
Keep checking back Indycar.com’s blog for our special Indy 500 themed blog which will capture all of our drivers special Indy 500 themed helmets.
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.
“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.”
IZOD IndyCar race weekend as something other than a crazy fan.
Wednesday was a travel recovery (and battle internet connection) day. Need a hint for a 10 hour plane ride? Download white noise to your iPod. Sounds weird, but the additional whirringbuzzyfan noice right in your ears is a lifesaver when your back muscles are screaming at you. We were met at the Sao Paulo airport by sweet Murial from CVC, the event company that has hosted us this week.
Thursday was meeting day. Me and the IZOD crew had some great sessions planning cool stuff for the rest of season. Want to see innovation? Want to see celebs? Want to see speed? It’s-a-comin’! We had dinner at a shnazzy place called Club A with purple walls and smoke oozing down from the ceiling. There were attempts at dancing after dinner, but all I saw were a lot of wax-on, wax-off impressions and some sort of an odd lasso move.
Friday was education day! Professor “Lew,” what would one do without your knowledge? He took me from pit lane to Victory Lane, and then to the garage. Not since my Astronomy class in college have I been so overwhelmed by math and science. I learned all about tech inspections, downforce, tires, carbon fiber, steering wheels and how the drivers sit in molds to have their seats custom made. Lew even made me get UNDERNEATH a car at tech inspection.
Saturday was practice and truly a thrilling day. Rushing around in the heat, hauling radios, drooling over the Apex Brasil suite, hording fruit, dodging groupies, and getting chills from the sound of those amazing engines. The fans here are soooo excited and loving the new game in town. Mobs of people with cameras around the garage entrance, snapping picture after picture (after picture) of our charismatic drivers.
So, Sunday is…well, NOW. I’m looking forward to seeing my first race outside of the stands at the Speedway. Let’s plug in, people! Plug in the fastest drivers and the fastest cars in racing. Plug in the fans. Plug the IZOD into IndyCar!
Get ready! You are going to love, love, love the new IZOD IndyCar commercials. Those hardworking Manhattan-ites from IZOD have been toiling away at this stimulating (can I say that in a blog?) campaign designed to excite our loyal fans and grab new fans who may not grasp the shear coolness of our race series.
This picture of TK is just a sneak peak…watch for the first commercial to start airing this weekend. And check back to indycar.com and @indycarnation on Twitter for more info on a special web site that will go with these commercials.