- Beth Adams
A few familiar Brazilian names at the Indy 500
Another Indy 500 has just crossed the finish line, and if there’s one thing that the US and Brazil have in common is our love for racing. This year, there were two Brazilian drivers and one Brazilian-American driver who entered the race.
(Photo credit: indycar.com) Two names are household names by now Hélio Castroneves, driving for Meyer Shank Racing, started in Row 3 in the #6 car. Hélio has been racing since he was a teenager in São Paulo, and it’s not surprising that he’s now won the Indy500 a whopping FOUR times (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) -- Parabéns to him! Tony Kanaan is also a familiar name in IndyCar racing. Competing for Chip Ganassi Racing in the #48 car, he started this year’s race in Row 2 and finished 10th. Hailing from Salvador, Bahia, he’s also been racing since the mid-1990s and won the Indy500 in 2013. And finally the Brazilian-American driver Pietro Fittipaldi started in Row 5 driving the #51 car for Dale Coyne Racing and finished 23rd. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s related to Emerson (grandfather), Enzo (brother), and Christian (first cousin, once-removed). Although both Pietro and his brother Enzo live in Miami now, their family is from São Paulo.
Although many of the usual Indy500 festivities this year were cancelled or changed to invitation-only because of the pandemic, the Brazilian Consul-General from Chicago, Benoni Belli, got the opportunity to visit Speedway and meet with Governor Holcomb. Together with Indiana Partners president Rosane Zelmanovitz (in her new role as Honorary Consul!), the three of them took the time to pose with the famous Borg-Warner Trophy for the Indy500!