Kanaan - from riches to rags and back again
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Kanaan - from riches to rags and back again

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When Tony Kanaan lost his father, he was forced to leave school at 14 to keep his family's head above water. In celebration of his Indy 500 triumph, AUTOSPORT looks back to its 2004 recounting of his amazing life

In 2004, Tony Kanaan claimed three wins and 11 podiums en route to a first - and to date only - IndyCar title. His crowning was the culmination of a rise to stardom that serves as an inspiring tale of dedication stretching back more than 20 years. In celebration of his 2013 Indianapolis 500 triumph, we look back to Marcus Simmons's 2004 interview with the Brazilian.

CHAPTER 1 (Brazil, 1974-92)

Born on New Years Eve, 1974, Antoine 'Tony' Kanaan was just a normal Brazilian karting kid, no money worries, racing at the weekends with the full support of his father. The Kanaans were from Salvador, a massive hike north of Sao Paulo. But that didn't stop them trekking to the country's karting capital, where Tony soon became friends, at the age of nine, with a 12-year-old lad called Rubens Barrichello.

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan
Author Marcus Simmons