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Bryan Herta Autosport has decided to skip the Izod IndyCar Series Streets of Sao Paulo race in Brazil this weekend and focus on preparing for the Indianapolis 500 in May.

“After not finishing the last two races and falling out of the top 22 in points, Team Barracuda-BHA has elected not to send our cars to Brazil next weekend,” said team owner Bryan Herta in a prepared statement. “Instead, we will refocus on the Indy 500 and coming back stronger than ever. Big thanks to our sponsors and fans for their unwavering support… bring on the 500!”

Bryan Herta Autosport won the Indianapolis 500 last year with Dan Wheldon as its driver. Herta, a Valencia resident and Hart High graduate, entered his team for a full schedule in the IndyCar Series for 2012 with Alex Tagliani.

But the team has struggled in the first three races of the season. The team’s best finish was a 14th place in the season opener on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida.

Tagliani followed with a 23rd place finish and withdrew from the race without completing a lap at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. He was 21st in the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Part of the reason for the poor results in the first three races has been the development of the new Lotus engines the team is using. Bryan Herta Autosport is not the only team having problems with the Lotus engines. The highest finishing Lotus driver in the Grand Prix of Long Beach was Oriol Servia in 16th.

Despite deciding to skip the race in Brazil, Bryan Herta Autosport has received tremendous vote of confidence from its fans and sponsors.

“Wow, thanks for all the positive support,” Herta posted on Twitter. “We @BHA hate missing any race but this will help to be stronger for Indy and rest of year.”

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