Skip to content

Passing zones make for exciting Sao Paulo course

Apr 30, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

The 2.6-mile Anhembi Park circuit at Sao Paulo, Brazil — site of this Sunday’s Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle (11 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) — is a sprawling street course that is punctuated by multiple straightaways that lead into passing opportunities.

It all starts at the Sambadromo main straightaway, which is shorter than the other straights on the circuit but is still long enough to provide a passing attempt if the driver is close enough. They’ll have to be quick about it, however, as the Sambadromo leads into a left/right complex known as the S of Samba. It’s a narrow spot and there’s been plenty of mayhem there in recent races, particularly on starts and restarts when everyone’s bunched up.

The next major passing zone comes at Turn 5, which follows a longer jaunt down the Avenue Olavo Fontoura that gives drivers more time to draft, set up, and pass for position at the right-hander.

But the biggest opportunity this course has to offer comes as drivers roar down the nearly one-mile-long backstretch. That extended sprint culminates with a sharp right-hand hairpin at Turn 11. Expect plenty of side-by-side jockeying through this particular corner; also, don’t be surprised to see the driver that gets passed going into Turn 11 attempt a crossover move that can help get the position back as they head down the Sambadromo.

Over the years, we’ve heard complaints of street circuits being too narrow and providing very little chances for passing outside of pit road. There are no such problems with this course, and you can expect Sunday’s event to be an exciting one.

Latest Posts
  1. Roger Penske intends to keep his ‘four aces’ in IndyCar

    Jun 29, 2015, 9:29 PM EDT

    roger penske 2015 getty Getty Images

    The 2015 season is the first time Roger Penske has captained four teams on the IndyCar circuit. And it appears it will be full steam ahead with four teams going forward.

  2. Mario Andretti gets Jay Leno up to speed — and then some

    Jun 29, 2015, 8:53 PM EDT

    jay leno mario andretti getty 2015 Getty Images

    Comedian and former late-night talk show host Jay Leno has spent his career making millions laugh. But recently, the joke was on Leno, so to speak – but in a good way.

  3. Racing legend Parnelli Jones featured in upcoming Indy 500 film

    Jun 29, 2015, 8:24 PM EDT

    parnelli jones Getty Images

    If you’re a big fan of the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, put this on your bucket list for next year.

  4. NHRA: Antron Brown looks to make Top Fuel fireworks this weekend

    Jun 29, 2015, 7:18 PM EDT

    Antron Brown Getty Images

    With five races coming up in the next six weeks, Top Fuel driver Antron Brown knows how crucial this stretch of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season will be.

  5. Pippa Mann revels in career-best IndyCar finish at Fontana

    Jun 29, 2015, 5:47 PM EDT

    Pippa Mann earned a career-best 13th-place finish in Saturday's MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Getty Images

    Finishing 13th in her Dale Coyne Racing Honda, Pippa Mann enjoyed the best showing of her IndyCar career in Saturday’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

  6. After tough recent outings, Jack Hawksworth relishes 10th-place showing at Fontana

    Jun 29, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    jack hawksworth 2015 Fontana getty Getty Images

    Jack Hawksworth enjoyed one of his better runs of 2015 in Saturday’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

  7. MAVTV 500: Despite being nerve-racking to crazy, drivers glad safety won out

    Jun 29, 2015, 2:20 PM EDT

    briscoe crash fontana 2015 getty Getty Images

    Although it’s been two days since the MAV TV 500, a number of IndyCar drivers are not going to soon forget one of the wildest races the series has seen in a long time.

  8. Senna delighted with fourth in London ePrix after hard battle with Buemi

    Jun 28, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Bruno Senna of Brazil driving for Mahindra Racing during qualifying at Battersea Park Track on June 28, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Brazilian driver ends the Formula E season with his best finish of fourth.

  9. VisitFlorida.com Racing survives wet weather for Watkins Glen win

    Jun 28, 2015, 5:33 PM EDT

    VF90win Getty Images

    Westbrook and Valiante take their second win of the year at Watkins Glen.

  10. De Silvestro happy with London ePrix weekend, open to more Formula E starts

    Jun 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro during first practice on the second day of the 2015 FIA Formula E Visa London ePrix Championship at Battersea Park Track on June 28, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The IndyCar driver finished 11th and 12th in two races at the London ePrix this weekend.

  11. Rahal thanks fans, well-wishers on Twitter after overdue win Saturday

    Jun 28, 2015, 3:10 PM EDT

    RahalTwitter1 Getty Images

    Graham Rahal back on Twitter on Sunday after win on Saturday.

  12. Di Grassi: Formula E title lost with “joke disqualification” in Berlin

    Jun 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Championship contender Lucas di Grassi of Brazil during second pracctice on Day two of the 2015 FIA Formula E Visa London ePrix Championship at Battersea Park Track on June 28, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Brazilian driver remains upbeat despite losing out on the title to bitter rival Nelson Piquet Jr.

  13. Piquet “shocked” by turnaround that led to Formula E championship win

    Jun 28, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Nextev TCRs Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet JR celebrates at the end of the race after winning the inaugural World Championship title after the 2015 FIA Formula E London ePrix championship at Battersea Park in London, England, on June 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Brazilian driver talks about his rise from the midfield to the title across the course of the inaugural Formula E season.

  14. WATCH: IndyCar’s frantic, thrilling MAVTV 500 to re-air at midnight ET on NBCSN

    Jun 28, 2015, 1:36 PM EDT

    MAVTV500replay Getty Images

    Watch a replay of yesterday’s crazy MAVTV 500 from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana either online via NBC Sports Live Extra, or on NBCSN tonight.

  15. Maldonado keen to keep up points streak at Silverstone

    Jun 28, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Lotus F1 Team's Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado competes during the qualifying race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 20, 2015, ahead of the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix.  AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Can the Lotus driver pick up some points for the third straight weekend at the British Grand Prix?

  16. Nelson Piquet Jr crowned first ever FIA Formula E champion in thrilling London finale

    Jun 28, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Championship leader Nelson Piquet jr of Brazil driving for the Nextev TCR team during the second practice session on Day two of the 2015 FIA Formula E Visa London ePrix Championship at Battersea Park Track on June 28, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The first ever Formula E championship goes right down to the wire in London, but it is Piquet who is crowned champion.

  17. Leimer hopeful of making F1 debut later this year

    Jun 28, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    © Manor Marussia F1 Team © Manor Marussia F1 Team

    2013 GP2 Series champion set for practice run-out at Silverstone as part of his reserve role with the team.

  18. MotoGP: Rossi beats Marquez in Dutch TT after last lap clash at Assen

    Jun 28, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Rossi 286 Getty Images

    Rossi extends his lead at the top of the MotoGP championship standings with Dutch TT victory.

  19. Sarrazin takes surprise pole in wet London ePrix qualifying

    Jun 28, 2015, 8:03 AM EDT

    © FIA Formula E © FIA Formula E

    Wet qualifying shakes up the grid ahead of the season finale on Sunday afternoon in London.

  20. DiZinno: IndyCar’s Double-Edged Sword in Fontana

    Jun 28, 2015, 12:12 AM EDT

    DiZacsOpEd Getty Images

    MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno reflects on one of IndyCar’s most dramatic days in recent memory.