IRL IndyCar Series drivers Felipe Giaffone and Tony Kanaan and Menards Infiniti Pro Series contender Thiago Medeiros will participate in the Granja Viana 500-Mile (500 Milhas da Granja Viana) race, the largest go-kart festival in Brazil, this weekend just outside Sao Paolo.

Numerous international racing stars are scheduled to join the IRL drivers, including Williams F1 hero and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Champion Juan Pablo Montoya, Ferrari Formula One star Rubens Barrichello, Alex Zanardi and current CART drivers Jimmy Vasser, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Oriol Servia.

More than 200 drivers are expected to compete in 70 go-karts for 12 non-stop hours of racing starting Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10:30 p.m. local time.

The 1,200-meter racetrack was designed by Giaffone and his brother, Zequinha, on their family property in the Granja Viana neighborhood of metropolitan Sao Paolo.

Giaffone will team with Formula 1 test driver Luciano Burti and Formula 3000 drivers Ricardo and Rodrigo Sperafico.

Kanaan, who drove the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara-Honda to a win and nine top-five finishes for Andretti Green Racing in the 2003 IndyCar Series championship, will team with Formula One drivers Barrichello and Felipe Massa and Marco Andretti, the 16-year-old son of Kanaan's team owner, Michael Andretti.

Kanaan, Barrichello and Massa are two-time defending champions of this weekend's event.

"This race is something I really look forward to every year. It's a lot of fun," said Kanaan. "This year will be very cool since we've added Marco to the team. It will be our first time as teammates, but I doubt it will be our last."

The youngest racing Andretti won eight events this year and notched 13 podium finishes en route to winning the 14-race Skip Barber 2.0-liter Formula Dodge Eastern Region title.

 

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