By Amy Konrath

IZOD Indy Car SeriesToday’s IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:

1. Teams face quick turnaround for Brazil trip

2. Pagenaud to compete in Pikes Peak Hill Climb

3. Of note


1. Teams face quick turnaround for Brazil trip: Paul “Ziggy” Harcus and Kyle Moyer huddle over a stack of packing manifests as a whirl of activity surrounds them as the team packs all the equipment needed to field the team’s four-car lineup  in the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on May 5.

More than 400,000 total pounds will be swallowed by two 747-400F cargo airplanes for the 5,000-plus-mile trip between Indianapolis and São Paulo, Brazil, in the first logistical leg overseen by SOS Global.

The behemoth planes will take off for Viracopos-Campinas International Airport in the state of São Paulo, where INDYCAR and entrants’ cargo will be off-loaded and trucked to the venue. Firestone Firehawk tires, fuel and Dallara parts and equipment, which was shipped via ocean cargo vessel, will catch up with the air freight April 29.

With 25 entrants for the fourth IZOD IndyCar Series race on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit – all of whom competed in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 21 – the turnaround time is brief as teams have scheduled times April 26 to unload at the airport. Each entrant is limited to 9,000 total pounds, which necessitates economy of packing.

“It’s a major undertaking to get everything packed,” Harcus said, “and the paperwork side is another undertaking. Then you have the consumables; you have to make sure you take enough that you need but not waste it. We’re organized; we’ve done it quite a few times with Brazil and Japan.”

Activity at the Indianapolis shop doesn’t cease while much of the workforce is away next week. Preparations for the May 11 Opening Day of practice for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including prepping a fifth car for regular Firestone Indy Lights driver Carlos Munoz, continue full tilt.

“We have some people back here finishing up for the ‘500,’ ” Harcus added. “The shop-based team has everything laid out (equipment will be retrieved May 7 at the airport) and ready when we return for another quick turnaround so it does help. We’re ahead of the game.”

2. Pagenaud to compete in Pikes Peak Hill Climb: Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports driver Simon Pagenaud will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado on June 30.

The event falls on the weekend between IZOD IndyCar Series races at Iowa Speedway (June 23) and Pocono Raceway (July 7). An Open Test is scheduled for July 4 at the 2.5-mile Pocono oval.

Honda will field cars, motorcycles and an ATV in nine classes along with announcing that it will be a major event sponsor. Honda entered a single vehicle the previous two years, and also had entries in the 1990s.

The vehicles will be developed and driven by Honda associates (aside from Pagenaud), under the banners of Honda Performance Development and Team-Honda Research. Pagenaud’s Pikes Peak vehicle entry and racing class will be announced at a later date.

3. Of note: Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Zach Veach will introduce recording artists Gavin Degraw and Jon McLaughlin during the 500 Festival “Rev Your Engines” kickoff celebration April 27 on Monument Circle in Indianapolis. … VIZIO and Hulu will be associate sponsors on the No. 8 NTT DATA car driven by Ryan Briscoe for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in the Indianapolis 500.


The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues with the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on Sunday, May 5 on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The race will be televised live at 11 a.m. (ET) by the NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211 and The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Firestone Freedom 100 on Friday, May 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network live, during the network’s coverage of Carb Day.