CONQUEST RACING'S SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA FINISHES SOLID 14TH IN TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
Long Beach, Calif. (April 17, 2011) - Conquest Racing's Sebastian Saavedra finished 14th in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday despite damaging a front wing in a late-race incident with another driver. The 20-year-old IndyCar rookie made his best start to date from 15th on the 27-car grid.
Saavedra was making good pace and conserving fuel throughout much of the race. With 25 laps to go, the No. 34 car was set to finish the race on the primary black tires while much of the field was on the red alternate tires.
With plenty of fuel to finish and several opportunities to use the push-to-pass overtake button left, a full course caution came out for a multi-car incident in Turn 8 with less than 20 laps to go. Saavedra got into the back of Ganassi driver Charlie Kimball and damaged the front wing, forcing an unscheduled pit stop.
When racing got back underway, Saavedra quickly moved up from 16th to 14th and held his own to the checkered flag. The IndyCar series heads next to the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 1.
Sebastian Saavedra, No. 34 Conquest Racing
"It was great to finish the race. I was very happy.
"It was great to finish the race. I was very happy. That was our main goal; that was what we worked for. We maintained a great pace, unfortunately we had to use blacks at the end compared to other cars that had reds on the end.
It was a crazy race with those cautions. Unfortunately when a yellow came out in Turn 8 I had contact with (Charlie) Kimball which damaged my front wing, making me come in for a change. But, it was a great day. The guys did a great job changing the wing and we had great pit stops. We've got to keep going. I want a top 10."
Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner
"Sebastian keeps on learning and it was good to finish this eventful race. The guys did a good job and we had a competitive car all weekend. We were looking good for a top 10 finish before Sebastian got involved in some incidents. We are building the season and we are going in the right direction."