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Castroneves Visits with Mayor of Sao Paulo About Race

January 21, 2011

Photo courtesy of Americo Teixeiro



SAO PAULO, Brazil - Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Shell -Pennzoil Team Penske Dallara/Honda that will compete this season in the IZOD IndyCarSeries, visted his home country of Brazil recently. While there, he met with the Mayor of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, and the two discussed the upcoming Sao Paulo Indy 300.

In an effort to improve an already terrific event that made an impressive debut on the IndyCar schedule last season, Castroneves gave the Mayor a detailed presentation that outlined improvements that should be addressed in various areas of the circuit. The native Sao Paulo driver borrowed from his many years of experience and methods he has seen put to effective use at other temporary street course circuits around the world.

One of the specific areas that were addressed was the construction of the rumble strips or "gators" in the corners of the track. Castroneves talked about the functionality and the safety of using the concrete "gators" that were used on the Sao Paulo circuit during the inaugural event. The three-time Indy 500 winner brought samples of a crush resistant plastic that can be affixed the temporary circuit with bolts and then taken off at the conclusion of the event in order to improve the efficiency and safety of the corners.

"Mayor Kassab has always been open to suggestion on how to improve the Sao Paulo Indy 300," said Castroneves. "His willingness to listen certainly influenced my decision to share my ideas with the Mayor and his team."

The Mayor also shared details of the progress that has been made in preparation for the May 1 event, including improved drainage and resurfacing of the circuit.

Mayor Kassab was very interested in learning from Castroneves' perspective and his experience as a driver, as it applies to the racing circuit. The meeting was also attended by the mayor's chief advisors and members of his cabinet. "We strive to make the Sao Paulo Indy 300 the best race possible and Helio's contribution to the event is very important and most appreciated," said Mayor Kassab.

Castroneves was accompanied to this meeting by his father, Helio Castroneves Sr., who resides in the area.