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March 21, 2011 News
Indy Lights: Bryan Herta Autosport Signs Ferreira
 

Duarte Ferreira will make his North American racing debut with Bryan Herta Autosport on the streets of St. Petersburg (Photo: IMS Photo - Dan Helrigel)
Duarte Ferreira will make his North American racing debut with Bryan Herta Autosport on the streets of St. Petersburg
(Photo: IMS Photo - Dan Helrigel)

Bryan Herta Autosport team owners Bryan Herta and Steve Newey have announced they have signed Duarte Ferreira for the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights Championship.

Ferreira, 18, of Luanda, Angola, will make his American racing debut this weekend piloting the No. 28 LS Sports/Sonangol/BHA entry in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Ferreira most recently competed in the South American F3 Light Championship, finishing third in the series last year with five wins and eight additional podium finishes. Graduates of the South American F3 Championship include three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Champ Car champion and former Formula One driver Cristiano da Matta.

“Both Steve and I are excited to welcome Duarte to the team,” said Herta. “He is one of the hardest working drivers I have come across, and has spent the last few years preparing himself to make the transition to Firestone Indy Lights. We had several successful test days in the last month and a productive outing at the Barber Open Test. Our goal is to help Duarte advance on his learning curve as quickly as possible.”

Ferreira began his career in karts at the age of six in Belgium, scoring multiple wins and championships over the next seven years. He graduated to cars in 2006, at the age of 14, training in Formula Renault 1600. Ferreira has spent the past three years continuing to develop his skills behind the wheel with testing in Formula Renault 1600 and 2000 in Belgium and France.

“It has been my dream to come to America to race,” said Ferreira. “Like so many drivers, my goal is to reach the IZOD IndyCar Series. I am very thankful for the opportunity to join Bryan Herta Autosport. I already feel that I have grown as a driver in the short amount of time I have spent with the team. We have set realistic goals and I am excited for our first race this weekend.”

The Firestone Indy Lights Series will take its season-opening laps on Friday, March 25, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., with a practice session at 2:00 pm ET. Qualifying will take place on Saturday, March 26, at 1:25 pm ET, with the first of 13 races on the 2011 schedule commencing at 10:30 am on Sunday, March 27. The race will be televised live on VERSUS.

To keep up to date with the 2011 Indy Lights entry list, please visit the EFCN Tentative Entry List discussion thread HERE
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