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Karting Brazilian Style!

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Stars come out for Brazilian karting event: James Hinchcliffe, the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year, participated in the Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race on Dec. 5 in England. This weekend he’ll be competing for the first time in the 14th Milhas 500 Granja Viana charity karting race.

The 12-hour endurance race will be held for the first time on a circuit that is part of Beto Carrero World – a multiple-theme park in Penha, Brazil.

“(Firestone Indy Lights driver) Victor Carbone and I train together in Indy and he said, ‘Hey, Hinch, there’s a big go-kart race down in Brazil every year,’ and I said, ‘You mean the Granja Viana 500?'” Hinchcliffe said. “He said, ‘Yeah, that one,’ and he was part of a team that was looking for a fourth driver.

“It’s just one of the coolest postseason events; it’s like a celebrity event. It’s ‘who’s who’ of participants. I jumped at the chance to go. (Raphael Matos) is on the team, too. I’m looking forward to going down. I feel very fortunate.”

Prior to the charity event to benefit the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK, Hinchcliffe’s last fully competitive go-kart race was in 2004.

“I do kart from time to time to stay sharp,” he said.

Multi-time winner Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira are other IZOD IndyCar Series drivers who will again be in the lineup.