Apr 5, 2012
Ana Beatriz joined James Hinchcliffe at the Andretti Autosport pit stand April 4 to watch Marco Andretti drive the No. 26 Team RC Cola car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during an IZOD IndyCar Series test of the aerodynamic kit for the Indianapolis 500 and at the season finale at Auto Club Speedway.
In three weeks, Beatriz will return to the new Dallara chassis powered by Chevrolet.
Andretti Autosport announced that Beatriz will compete in the São Paulo Indy 300 (April 27-29) and attempt to make her third Indianapolis 500 start in May as a co-entrant for Andretti Autosport with operational support from Conquest Racing. She will drive the No. 25 car with primary sponsorship from Ipiranga, Brazil's leading petroleum and convenience retail company.
"Driving for Andretti Autosport is the biggest opportunity I've had in IndyCar and my career,” Beatriz said. “I am very happy to have Ipiranga supporting me again for these races and Andretti couldn't be a better fit. I am very much looking forward to working with the team, Marco (Andretti), James (Hinchcliffe) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay)."
Beatriz will be the 27th entrant – as a promoter selection -- in the third annual race on the streets of São Paulo that includes the parade route for its Carnival celebrations.
“After the decisions had been made, race promoter BAND asked us to add Ana Beatriz to the field and we were happy to accommodate that request without limiting the field for the race,” INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said.
The team previously announced that Sebastian Saavedra, who won the Firestone Indy Lights race April 1 at Barber Motorsports Park, will be the fourth driver at Indianapolis for the team. He’ll attempt to secure a spot in the Indianapolis 500 for the third consecutive year.
Beatriz, 27, completed a test session with Andretti Autosport in early March at Sebring International Raceway. She has 20 IZOD IndyCar Series starts with a career-best finish of 11th at Toronto in 2011. The Firestone Indy Lights graduate made her first IZOD IndyCar Series start in 2010 at the São Paulo race and is the first Brazilian woman to start in the Indianapolis 500, where she has twice finished 21st.
"This opportunity is a good fit for us as a team,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “Brazil is an important, growing market for many of our sponsors, so to have a Brazilian driver and Ipiranga come aboard with us made a lot of sense. This opportunity came to us late so we are grateful for the operational support provided by Conquest Racing."