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ECR Ready to Make Sao Paulo Debut
Author: Tom Blattler
So it wasn’t as difficult as it would seem for the new Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka-sponsored operation to prepare for the long distance trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil and this weekend’s fourth stop on the 16-race IndyCar Series, the Sao Paulo Indy 300.
With veterans Derrick Walker, Tim Broyles and Bret Schmitt leading the way, the ECR contingent returned from the Long Beach event on Tuesday and was ready to load the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet Dallara machine and equipment by Thursday afternoon for the Brazilian trip.
“We have a lot of very experienced, international-experienced people on our team,” said Carpenter. “They knew exactly what to do. I actually am the new one for Brazil on this team. This is my first trip there. It was impressive to watch a new team organize our equipment for the long trip as well as preparing the race car too.”
Including the Dallara chassis and Chevrolet twin-turbo V-6 engine, the ECR team collected 8,281 pounds of equipment (29 containers) for the South American shipment which left Indianapolis International Airport last weekend.
“Our team did a great job unloading all of the equipment and cars from the Long Beach race and turning it around for the Brazil trip,” explained Carpenter. “As a new team, we were early on the load-in list at the airport too. But our guys were ready for the Friday morning loading.”
“Many of our guys have been to the Brazil races before, so they have given me a heads-up on food, travel and other items,” he said. “My wife Heather and I are looking forward to the trip. I have been studying the in-car camera shots from the last two years around the circuit in Sao Paulo. Of course, there are a few modifications to this year’s circuit too.”
Carpenter will be one of the 26 drivers invading the streets in Sao Paulo Saturday morning at 7:05 a.m. EDT when the circuit opens for practice runs. Ed is expecting a variety of conditions throughout the weekend of competition.
“The last two years have had rain at the Brazil race and I really don’t expect anything different this year,” he explained. “Of course, we have had rain conditions in the last two race weekends at Barber and Long Beach. We’ll have to adjust to the dry and wet surface.”
Carpenter and his new ECR team have been in a learning process during the first three 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series races. The newest organization in the series has been able to finish each race and continue to improve, including scoring a 14th place finish at Long Beach.
“We are collecting data each race and working on the development of the car and the team,” he said. “The Brazil race will be another entry log into our data base as we look to improve with our new team.”
In addition to preparing for the Sao Paulo Indy 300, the ECR team has begun its coordination for the prestigious Indianapolis 500-Mile Race set for May 27, the world’s biggest motorsports event. Carpenter, the last oval track winner in the IndyCar Series with his Kentucky victory, believes his team has a solid foundation for the month of May.
“The Indy 500 is so important for Ed Carpenter Racing and Fuzzy’s Vodka that we have been working on those plans for some time now,” said Carpenter. “Nothing against the other events in the IndyCar Series, but the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world. It’s our Super Bowl. And I can’t wait for the month of May to get started.”
Sunday’s Sao Paulo Indy 300 will be televised live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 11 a.m. EDT.
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