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Anhembi Parque’s Sambódromo is ground zero for São Paulo’s samba schools during Carnival. But the São Paulo Indy 300, returning on 5 May 2013 for its fourth edition, brings an equally enthralling kind of pageantry to the city’s race car faithful.
Located in the Northern neighbourhood of Santana, birthplace of local legend Ayrton Senna, the Indy 300’s circuit takes over the normally traffic-congested Marginal Tietê as well as the Sambódromo itself. The latter’s concrete surface is a stark contrast to the Marginal’s more suitable asphalt, adding an element of danger that even the loftiest of samba school pyrotechnicians would envy, with drivers struggling for grip at speeds of up to 300 km per hour.
Don’t rule samba out altogether though – Brazilian standout and former Dancing with the Stars (the US version of the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing) winner Hélio Castroneves’s fancy footwork may lead him to the winners’ podium. Together with countrymen Tony Kanaan and Bia Figueiredo – one of two women drivers in the 2013 IndyCar championship – they’ll be taking aim at Australian Will Power, who has remarkably won the three previous races in São Paulo.
By Juan Cifrian
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