May 1, 2011
IndyCar race in Brazil postponed
By Sports Network
Sao Paulo, Brazil - Persistent rain and standing water forced IZOD IndyCar Series officials to postpone the Itaipava Sao Paulo 300 until Monday at 8:00 a.m. (et).
Fourteen laps in Sunday's scheduled 75-lap race were completed, with most of them run under caution, before officials made the decision to postpone it until the following day.
The first eight laps were marred by a series of crashes due to the inclement weather, including a multi-car incident in the first corner of the opening lap. Dario Franchitti got loose and made contact with Helio Castroneves, which triggered the pileup.
"I'm very upset, because I gave plenty enough room and just wanted to drive and go around the corner, but Dario went up deep," Castroneves said.
Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick and Simona de Silvestro were also caught up in the wreck. Kanaan clipped the right side of Patrick.
"I got hit from everywhere," said Kanaan, who started 21st. "I don't want to blame anyone, because we couldn't see anything. But I'm pretty sure I got hit from behind and from the side. Danica's car all of the sudden came on top of mine. I hit my hand pretty hard."
Kanaan suffered a bruised thumb. He was later cleared by medical personnel to resume racing.
De Silvestro's car also landed on top of Patrick's car during the crash.
"The start was going to be chaotic; I was pretty sure of that," Patrick said.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who started second, was involved in a separate incident just prior to the wreck. Hunter-Reay ran off course before turn one and plowed into the tire barrier. He was able to continue.
After the restart on lap seven, several drivers, including Scott Dixon, spun out on the slippery 2.536-mile Sao Paulo street circuit. Following Vitor Meira's crash on lap nine, officials stopped the race when the rain intensified and made for very poor visibility.
The first red flag lasted for two hours and 23 minutes.
Meira, Castroneves, de Silvestro, Patrick and Kanaan had their cars repaired in time when the race resumed under caution on lap 10.
Five laps were run under caution, with drivers reporting unsafe driving conditions on most areas of the circuit. Therefore, officials stopped the race for the second and final time.
Pole sitter Will Power continued to lead the way. His Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe ran second, followed by Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and Franchitti.
Power won last year's inaugural race in Brazil.