Sunday, May 5, 2013

Live from Trackside - Sao Paulo Indy 300

Sunday, May 5
5:00 p.m.
Just about to head out from the hotel to the airport. Happy to be leaving Sao Paulo with a 10th-place finish!

It was a really solid day for the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car. I really can’t say enough about the Chip Ganassi Racing guys, not just the help from my teammates but these guys in pit lane were rock solid.  We had great pace; we were able to get quicker all day long, pass cars, and move forward. We were able to take advantage of a pretty aggressive strategy. Heading into Indy we needed another good result. Another top-10 will really help our momentum and confidence as we head toward the big one!

Pre-race on the grid.
The No. 83 guys in action!
9:45 a.m.
Well, the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car was way better for warm-up this morning! We definitely made some improvements overnight. Thanks to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team for their hard work, as always. It will be interesting to see how the track develops throughout the race. It looks like it should be dry all day!

Taking some time to focus before lunch and engineering meetings, then it'll be time for driver intros!

Race day ready!
Hot practice pit stops.
7:30 a.m.
It's race day! Looking forward to getting started here in Sao Paulo for the race today. The weather looks great, the track will be quick, and most importantly... the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car will be fast!

I missed out on watching the premiere of "INDYCAR 36" last night, so let me know how it turned out!

Heading out for morning warm-up in a few. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for on-track updates!

Saturday, May 4
4:00 p.m.
Qualifying was a little disappointing for the No. 83 car today. We'll start P17 tomorrow. We were struggling a bit with the feel here; this place is really low-grip. In qualifying we didn't quite get the best out of the tires and maximize that one lap on sticker reds. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has a good plan for tomorrow. I think we've got some changes to make to the car overnight. The guys will go back and look at it, and I'm going to work a bit on the sections where I'm losing time. We'll be in good shape when the race starts tomorrow!

I've got a bit of time with my engineers before the drivers meeting. Then it's dinner and early to bed! Thanks for the support everyone.

Practice 2.
10:15 a.m. 
Good morning! Just finished up our first practice session here in Sao Paulo. It was pretty good for the No. 83 team. We focused on getting the car better, just trying to catch up with the changes to the track this year. The track was rubbering in, with some guys on new tires while we were on used. The next session at noon (local) will be closer to qualifying conditions for us, so we'll be ready for that.

Practice pit stop
Friday, May 3
2:45 p.m.
My engineer Brad and I walked the track earlier before lunch. It looks like the improvements they made will make for a good race on Sunday. I'm looking forward to getting out on track tomorrow in the No. 83 to see how the changes feel in the car.

Just finished up an interview here in the paddock. More updates later!

9:45 a.m.
Good morning! We had a slightly later start than normal today, as we have all day to prep the cars before practice tomorrow. I ended up finding a movie in English on TV (my Portuguese is still not quite up to par) last night before bed. The whole No. 83 team (including me!) got some much-needed rest so we're ready to go today.

Today's schedule includes the track walk at noon and a quick video shoot for IMSP. And of course, lots of time working with the team! We started a good streak of top-ten finishes here in Brazil last year, so hopefully we can do that again.

Sao Paulo! The track runs parallel to the highway, where those cars are currently driving!
Thursday, May 2
6:00 p.m.
It's been a good first day here in Brazil. I was able to do a bit of work with my engineers, get in a quick workout, and catch up on a few emails. We stay in a hotel inside the actual race circuit here in Sao Paulo, which makes all things needed for a race weekend just a quick walk away! We'll have the track walk tomorrow but we won't get the cars on track until Saturday morning. It looks like the rain will stay away this weekend!

Heading down for some dinner then getting a good night's rest!

2:00 p.m.
Ola from Sao Paulo, Brazil! After a long evening of travel, we arrived here in Sao Paulo around 10 a.m. local time (just an hour ahead of Indy's Eastern time), and went straight to the track to get the cars unloaded and prepped for the race weekend. With only two on-track days and a somewhat light schedule otherwise, I have lots of time to spend with my engineers and team for qualifying and race strategy.

We had a pretty good result here last year, and I think the No. 83 Novo Nordisk car will be fast again through the streets of Sao Paulo. With the off-weekend, we had a bit of extra time last week to spend debriefing from Long Beach and preparing for the upcoming race weekend. We'll be looking for another top-10 in qualifying, and then we'll work hard to stay consistent throughout the race and move up from there. With good strategy and a bit of luck, we'll have a strong start to the month of May.

Here's a quick race weekend schedule. Follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin, and check out live timing and scoring here.
Saturday, May 4:
  7:30-8:45 a.m. Practice
  11:05 a.m.-12:05 p.m. Practice
  1:35-2:45 p.m. Qualifying (on NBCSN Sunday, 1 a.m. Eastern)
  6:30 p.m. INDYCAR 36: Charlie Kimball on NBCSN
Sunday, May 5:
  7-7:30 a.m. Warm-up
  11 a.m. Sao Paulo Indy 300 race (live on NBCSN)
All times Eastern.

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