KV RACING TECHNOLOGY DRIVER RUBENS BARRICHELLO FIFTH ON SPEED CHARTS AFTER FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR GOPRO INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA

Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

SONOMA, CA – August 24, 2012 – KV Racing Technology driver Rubens Barrichello was fifth on the speed charts after the first day of practice for Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Tony Kanaan and E. J. Viso were 13th and 22nd respectively

Today’s practice on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn permanent road course consisted of one 75-minute session. Barrichello, No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, led the team with a fast lap of 79.4015 seconds (108.135 mph) which he recorded on the last of the 25 laps he ran today. The popular Brazilian, who was among the top-10 almost the entire session, appears to have benefitted from testing here twice earlier this season, but before the track was modified in July.

"It was a good day,” Barrichello said. “We were slightly concerned by not testing here last week that we would have a lot of work to do, but having tested on the old layout back in February I was able to adapt quickly. I hope we can keep on running good like we did today for the rest of the weekend."

Barrichello, 40, a veteran of 19 Formula One seasons, but an IndyCar rookie, will be making his Sonoma race debut this weekend. He is 17th in the championship standings with 215 points, 41 points out of 10th place. Barrichello has earned five top-10 results in his first 12 IndyCar races with a season-high seventh on the oval at Iowa and a street/road course high eighth at Barber. He has qualified in the top-10 three times this year, twice on ovals, a season-high fifth at Milwaukee (started third due to penalties), 10th at Indy and a road/street season-high 10th (started seventh due to penalties) at Edmonton

Kanaan, No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, logged a quick time of 79.6903 seconds (107.742 mph) on the 20th of the 23 he recorded today.

“We didn’t test here last week like most of the other teams, so today was about learning the new track changes,” Kanaan said. “It was a productive day in that regard. We will take a look at the data and come up with some changes that will hopefully improve the car for qualifying.”

Kanaan, always a fan favorite, is making his eighth appearance in Sonoma. The 37-year-old Brazilian is seventh in the championship race with 307 points, 72 out of first and nine out of fifth. Kanaan has seven top-six finishes in the first 12 races of the season including three top-three showings (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). Four of his top-six finishes have come on road/street circuits (fourths at Toronto and Long Beach, sixths at Detroit and Mid-Ohio). Kanaan has qualified in the top-10 a team-high seven times (season-high sixths on the road course at Barber and on the oval at Milwaukee) including three times on street/road courses. He has made the second round of street/road course qualifying a team high four times and the Firestone Fast Six (the final round of road/street course qualifying) once, at Barber. In seven previous races at Sonoma Raceway, Kanaan has qualified in the top-10 six times with a best starting position of third in 2005 and 2007 and finished in the top-10 five times with a victory in his Sonoma debut in 2005 (third in 2007).

Viso, No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, posted his quick time of 80.6589 seconds (106.448 mph) on lap 10 of the 19 he turned today.

“We tried some things today in practice that didn’t work out,” Viso said. “However, that is the advantage of having a three-car team. You can have each driver do something different and see what works best. Tonight we will sit down and go through all the data the team collected and come up with a setup for tomorrow morning’s practice session and then, hopefully, have a good qualifying session.”

Viso, who is contesting his fifth event in Sonoma, is 20th in the standings with 198 points. The talented and determined 27-year-old Venezuelan has scored three top-10 finishes including a season-high fifth at Milwaukee and a road/street course best eighth at St. Petersburg. Viso has been one of the team’s best qualifiers especially on the street/road courses. He has qualified in the top-10 five times, made the second round of road/street course qualifying three times and the Firestone Fast Six a team-high twice, season-high fifths at Long Beach (started 15th due to a penalty assessed to an unauthorized engine change) and at Detroit. In four previous races in Sonoma, Viso has a best starting position of ninth in 2011 and a best finish of sixth in his Sonoma debut in 2008.

Source: KV Racing Technology