Greetings from sunny Sao Paulo where the track activity today was plentiful. In our fourth round of IZOD IndyCar Series competition, the field took to the 11-turn street circuit for a day full of practice and qualifying. The Andretti Autosport cars started the day with a strong showing, placing all four drivers inside the top 10 during the afternoon’s practice session. Qualifying showed true to the strength of the Andretti Autosport quartet this weekend as all four cars will start tomorrow’s 75-lap race from 10th or higher on the grid.
Ryan Hunter-Reay secured his second pole position of the season today on his way to claiming a new track record in Brazil. He turned a fast lap time of 80.43 seconds in the DHL Chevrolet. "I gave it everything I had and it's great to get the DHL Chevrolet up front again and on pole,” said Hunter-Reay. “That's three of the four races this year that we've been on the front row and twice on pole. I'm so happy for the guys and everything they've done for me. Tomorrow's when the challenge is though.”
Also setting records today was teammate E.J. Viso as he recorded his best career qualifying effort of second place, as well as his first appearance in the Firestone Fast Six in 2013 for Team Venezuela. Said Viso, “To be starting on this track on the front row is great. I’m very grateful for the great car that team gave me today. It was good enough for the front row, and I have a lot of faith in them that tomorrow we are going to have a good car in the race that is going to stay and keep that pace. Congratulations to my teammate Ryan – he did a great job and I’m very happy for him to get the pole position.”
GoDaddy driver James Hinchcliffe joined Viso and Hunter-Reay in the Firestone Fast Six and will roll of from the fifth grid position tomorrow. “You like to be in the Firestone Fast Six, but obviously there was a bit more pace if you look at the teammates… I tapped the wall on my fast lap in Q3 – probably cost us little bit of time,” said Hinch. “Probably could have been an Andretti Autosport one-two-three, so I feel bad I let the team down in that respect. I think we’ve got a solid race car; we can definitely race from fifth tomorrow. We just need to keep our nose clean and finish. The last couple of evens have been hard and we’ve got to get the Go Daddy car Chevy back up front.”
Hinchcliffe went on to congratulate his teammates on their accomplishments, “Congrats to Ryan on the pole, great run. E.J. is really the star of the show, to me. He did a hell of a job on that second run.”
Continuing the strong showing for Andretti Autosport was Marco Andretti in the RC Cola Chevy. Andretti will start from 10th tomorrow. “We were kind of on our own, setup wise. We were way different than the teammates, and it ended up biting us a bit. But I still think we have a podium car that we can change to and a podium would be a great finish for the RC Cola crew tomorrow – we can do it from 10th.”
You can catch all the action from Brazil by tuning into NBC Sports Network (Verizon FiOS 90/590, DirecTV 220, DISH 159 and AT&T UVerse 640). Coverage will begin on Sunday with qualifying airing at 1 a.m. ET followed by live full race coverage at 11 a.m. ET. If you can't make it to the television, listen along with the broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, on SiriusXM (Channel 211) and IndyCar.com.
Be sure to follow the official Andretti Autosport Twitter feed (@FollowAndretti) for live twitter coverage and a behind-the-scenes look at race day from the Sao Paulo Indy 300. For a unique perspective on our racing life, check out the Twitter feed of team owner Michael Andretti’s K9 friend at @AndrettiK9.