Sao Paulo Race Preview: Team Penske Ready to Start 2010

March 11, 2010

Ready To Roll: Team Penske begins the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season this weekend on the 11-turn, 2.6-mile street circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sunday's Sao Paulo Indy 300 marks the first race for the series in Brazil.

Helio's Homecoming: This weekend's event represents a homecoming for Helio Castroneves, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and the driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Castroneves was born in Sao Paulo and he is excited to race in front of his friends and family this weekend. Castroneves has not raced an Indy car in Brazil since the Rio 200 CART Series race in April of 2000 when he qualified seventh and finished 24th after a gearbox issue ended his day early.

Triple Play: Team Penske expands to a full-season three-car team this season with driver Will Power joining Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe. This is the first time since 1996 that the team has entered the season intending to run a three-car operation. In 1994, Team Penske fielded three cars and finished 1-2-3 in the CART Series championship, winning a record-setting 12 races in one season.

Right There in Black and White: The team recently unveiled the new look of the Team Penske cars at the Barber Motorsports Park open test, February 24-25. For 2010, the No. 3 and No. 6 Team Penske cars, and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske machine, will all carry a sleek black and white color scheme. This will be the first time since 1990 that the team will not race its iconic red and white livery.

Strong Start: During the recent open test at Barber Motorsports Park, Team Penske had two productive days of pre-season testing. The first day saw the fastest overall time posted by Briscoe in the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda. Castroneves was second quickest on day one in the No. 3 Team Penske entry and Will Power posted the fourth quickest time of the day in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. The second day saw the Team Penske drivers sweep the top three positions on the time charts, with Power setting the fast time, followed by Castroneves and Briscoe.

Takin' It To The Streets: The team has high expectations entering the Sao Paulo Indy 300 as street course races are a favorite of all three drivers. Castroneves, Briscoe and Power have all earned temporary road course victories over the last three seasons and the team overall has produced 12 poles and five wins at road/street course venues since 2007. Team Penske is well positioned to start the 2010 season as the first four races are all held at street or road circuits.

Helio Castroneves: "I am really looking forward to racing in front of my hometown friends and family this weekend. The city of Sao Paulo and the race organizers have done a great job getting everything ready and I think it's going to be an awesome event. Now, we need to go to work and make sure Team Penske is standing on top of the podium at the end of the race."

Ryan Briscoe: "It's been a long off-season and I think we're all ready to get 2010 underway in Sao Paulo. Team Penske has worked really hard over the last few months and we're prepared for what we hope will be a great season. We got off to a strong start in pre-season testing and now it's time to see what we can do when we see the green flag."

Will Power: "Starting off the season with a fun street circuit and a new event like Brazil is great for Team Penske and the IZOD IndyCar Series. I'm really excited to be back racing again for Verizon and Team Penske, full-time this season, and we all want the team to get off to a good start in 2010."