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Indianapolis 500 Preview: Ana Beatriz

Photo credit: Michael Levitt (via IndyCar Media)

#25 Ipiranga/Lubrizol Dallara-Chevrolet, Conquest Racing/Andretti Autosport

Born: March 18, 1985

Home: Sao Paulo, Brazil

2011 RESULTS: Beatriz was the slowest driver to make the field last year, but started 32nd due to a driver change at A.J. Foyt Enterprises. In her second consecutive Indy 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, she finished 21st, three laps down.

CAREER BEST: Beatriz has finished 21st in both of her Indy 500 starts, in 2010 and 2011. While her starting spot was better in 2010 (also 21st), she crashed out of that race after 196 laps.

OUTLOOK: Beatriz is a part of one of the few Indy 500-centric programs that will actually have a chance at warming up before the race; her sponsors, all of which are Brazilian-based, will back the Sao Paulo native in her hometown race, which directly precedes Indianapolis on the calendar. In effect, she’s running the same program that she did with Dreyer & Reinbold in 2010, with the hope of the same result the following year: a full-time ride with the team, this time Andretti Autosport.

Andretti will work with Eric Bachelart’s Conquest Racing to field the ride for Beatriz, an interesting combination given Bachelart’s withdrawal from the sport this season. Bachelart currently fields a Nissan-powered LMP2 in the American Le Mans Series, so it isn’t as if his team has been dormant this year, but his team has yet to experience the new DW12. Working with Andretti should alleviate the growing pains, but as both Beatriz and Conquest are used to qualifying late at Indy, don’t be shocked if this car qualifies on Bump Day.

– Chris Leone

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IndyCar: Brazilian Drivers Look To Carry Momentum Into Sao Paulo

The Sao Paulo Indy 300 is one of the most popular IndyCar races on the schedule, and a point of pride for the series’ Brazilian drivers. US Race Report’s Chris Leone looks at how IndyCar’s Brazilian stars – Helio Castroneves, Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, and Ana Beatriz – have started the 2012 season, as they each hope to win their home race.