IndyCar »

Marco Andretti set for landmark 100th race

For everyone in the paddock, preparation for St Pete has been all about team mates needing to work closely together for the benefit of the squad as a whole - as Marco was quick to agree.

"I can say we're three guys with the same goal in mind," he said of his relationship with Andretti Autosport team mates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe. "We all share the same goal. We're all big‑picture thinkers. We're going to work together. We're all going to be truthful to each other and we're going to work together to the last lap because that's the only way we're going to be able to beat these bigger teams.

"We've been progressing nicely as a team. I think me, myself, James and Ryan have been working great together. So far, so good!," he said. "We all share the same goal. We all want to win races. It's all business with us, and the business is racing ... We're going to just focus on winning races, period."

Heading to the traditional season opener on the streets of St Petersburg in Florida, Marco said that he always enjoyed the race here - but hoped he'd get further into the race than he did in 2011.

"Hopefully I don't go upside down in turn one!" he joked. "I think it's going to be great for the fans as usual. I'm a big fan of that place."

Marco's enthusiasm for St Petersburg was shared by his team mate James Hinchcliffe who'll be replacing Danica Patrick in the lime green GoDaddy.com livery in 2012. "I'm beyond excited to race in St Pete this weekend," said the young Canadian driver. "It will be my first time racing this circuit after sitting out last year waiting on sponsorship to come through. It's such a good feeling being able to start the season with everyone else."

St Petersburg was the adopted US home of Dan Wheldon, which will give the weekend an added poignancy as the first IndyCar race since the tragic death of the British two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, something that was particularly on Marco's mind in the run-up to this weekend's race action.

"Obviously, we're going to be driving with very heavy hearts because of Dan Wheldon," he admitted, having been Wheldon's team mate at Andretti Green in 2006. "He was proud to call that place home, so we're going to go there and try to enjoy ourselves and we're going to compete because Dan was a competitor."

Marco will be wearing a special design on his helmet at St Pete in remembrance of Wheldon, combing Marco's traditional look with a "Lionheart" design on the back of the helmet like Wheldon had worn

"The first thing I thought [was that] I don't want to do too much because a lot of it is being thrown in Susie's face, his wife," said Marco. "But I called her and said I'd like to do something, and and basically my painter worked with Dan's, and we came up with something. So excited to see what it looks like!"




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marco Andretti`s helmet for St Petersburg sports a custom design commemorating Dan Wheldon [Picture Credit: Marco Andretti/Twitter]
Marco Andretti`s helmet for St Petersburg sports a custom design commemorating Dan Wheldon [Picture Credit: Marco Andretti/Twitter]
Marco Andretti in the #26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Marco Andretti celebrates his first IndyCar Series victory in five years, at Iowa Speedway. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe go wheel-to-wheel during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The field scatters as the drivers avoid the cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud on the podium after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on pit lane prior to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay navigates the Turn 9 Esses during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe enters Turn 3 during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay enters Turn 3 during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe flashes across the start/finish line during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti sit in the Esses of Turns 4 and 5 after contact during the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe exits Turn 5 during the final practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Maxx - Unregistered

March 21, 2012 5:15 PM

Face it, if his name was Mark Smith, and his dad didn't own a race team, he would be out of racing by now. He seems to have no clue how to set-up, or improve a race car on any given race day. He needs a strong team mate to guide him through that process.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.