Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Power was one of the few drivers not complaining about the track surface after last year's outing: "It added to the character how rough the surface was," he said. "The main thing is how good the racing was."
The race starts in the Sambadrome before hitting four turns in quick succession - which might prove particularly interesting in double-file restart situations. Turns 1 and 2 are grouped together as the S do Samba (the Esses of Samba), while turns 3 and 4 form the Curva da Base Aérea (Air Base Corner.) Then there is a short straight along the Avenue Olavo Fontoura before the ninety degree right hander turn 5, the Curva do Anhembi in the Pavilion Expo Park, followed by another right hander at turn 6, the Curva 14 Bis. These corners, together with turn 7 (the Curva do Pavilhão, or Pavilion Corner), turn 8 (the Curva Espéria and turn 9 (the Curva das docas, or Curve of the Docks) follow the rigid grid street layout leading up to the Exposition Pavillion.) The organisers have been at work removing the street curbs around several of the corners in this section of the track.
Turn 10 (the Curva Tietê) is a right hander that leads onto the circuit's signature feature, the mile-long backstretch along the Reta dos Bandeirantes (Flagholders Straight) that runs along the side of the Tietê river that terminates in the vicious turn 11 Curva da Vitória hairpin that slingshots the cars back into the Anhembi Sambadrome and the start/finish line.
“Every circuit should be built with a massive straight like that," said Power after his win from the third row last year. "I think it's great and the reason is you can pass."
There were 93 passes during the 2010 race, and with the added spice of double file restarts to contend with as well this year, the race should certainly prove to be interesting and eventful.
There will be five Brazilian drivers on the grid at São Paulo: Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Ana Beatriz, Raphael Matos and Vitor Meira. Meira had a particularly successful outing here last year, climbing 13 places to finish third, the highest of all the Brazilian drivers in the 2010 race. This year he's got even more to smile about coming into his home event, as he's also celebrating the arrival of his daughter Juliana on Easter Sunday morning. Further extra significance is added to the event by the date of the race - May 1 - being the 17th anniversary of the death of São Paulo local hero and motorsport legend Aryton Senna at Imola in 1994.
It was also announced that IndyCr may be making two flyaway trips to Brazil in 2012. As well as retaining the traditional São Paulo event in its new spot in April just before the Indy 500 build-up, the series may also be holding a second event later in the year in September, on the streets of Porto Alegre in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Municipal and state representatives delivered a letter of intent to IndyCar's CEO Randy Bernard that they were seeking proper funding to host the Grand Prix Mercosur (a Portuguese translation of "free market") in the fourth largest metropolitan area in Brazil of 1.4 million inhabitants, located close to the borders with Argentina and Uruguay.
The event may replace Motegi on the calendar, after it was announced earlier this year that the Japanese circuit was to hold its last IndyCar race