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Team pulls out of Sao Paulo race

20 April 2012

Alex Tagliani will not be on the grid for the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil next weekend, after Bryan Herta Autosport announced on Twitter that it would not be joining the first overseas trip of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season.

"After not finishing the last 2 races & falling out of the top 22 in points, Team Barracuda-BHA has elected not to send our cars to Brazil next weekend," said the team on the social media network. "Instead, we will refocus on the Indy 500 and coming back stronger than ever.

"We hate missing any race but this will help to be stronger for Indy and rest of year," added team co-owner Bryan Herta himself via his own Twitter stream.

Herta also confirmed the news to the Associated Press when contacted.

"It was a logical move after dropping back in points," the AP quoted Herta as saying. "We will be back stronger for Indy and the rest of the season."

The Sao Paulo race was originally intended to be capped at 26 cars in an effort to control costs for the teams, and the addition of Brazilian racer Ana Beatriz in a fourth car for Andretti Autosports had pushed the field to 27.

However, IndyCar organisers had waived the cap on the number of cars on this occasion to avoid anyone being forced to drop out to accommodate "promoters choice" and local hero Beatriz in her home event.

IndyCar itself is only covering the expenses to Brazil for the top 22 teams in the standings, which now no longer includes Tagliani's entry after he was forced out of the Long Beach event with an overheating issue.

Herta's team won last year's Indy 500 with Dan Wheldon at the wheel, but this year is concerned about both the straight line speed of their car with its Lotus engine

Another major issue for the team is the lack of testing preparation time they've had for Indianapolis, after they and the rest of the Lotus stable were unable to take part in the only pre-May practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because the engine manufacturer was unable to supply enough engines in time.

Herta and Tagliani themselves will still attend the race weekend, fulfilling their obligations to their sponsor Barracuda Networks.


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