KV Racing Technology – Lotus Driver Tony Kanaan Fifth After First Day Of Practice For Honda Indy Toronto
KV Racing Technology – Lotus driver Tony Kanaan was fifth on the speed charts following the first day of practice for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Toronto, Canada. Teammates E. J. Viso and Takuma Sato were 15th and 18th respectively. All three drivers turned their fast laps in the second of two practice sessions today.
Kanaan, No. 82 GEICO- KV Racing Technology – Lotus posted the team’s fastest lap with a time of 61.0130 seconds (103.552 mph) on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. He was in the top-10 the entire day and in the top-five for most of it.
"It was a very positive day,” Kanaan said. “You know, when the day starts well like today, it makes things a lot easier on everyone at the team. In the morning we waited for the track to rubber up and only made minor changes to the car. It was a good start to the weekend, but what counts here is qualifying and that is tomorrow.”
Kanaan will be attempting to qualify for his seventh race in Toronto. In his previous six events he has qualified in the top-10 five times with a best starting position of fourth in 2001. He has finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of fourth last year. The 34-year-old Brazilian has had a solid start to the 2011 season. In nine races (counting Texas as two races), he has finished in the top-10 six times with four top-five placements and two podium performances, a second in Iowa and third at St. Petersburg. In addition to the podium at St. Petersburg, Kanaan has finished sixth at Barber (picking up an astonishing 18 positions from start to finish) and eighth at Long Beach. The only time he has failed to finish in the top-10 on a road/street circuit this year was in Brazil when he was hit on the opening lap and forced to pit for repairs. Kanaan is fifth in the championship race with 211 points just three points out of fourth and 19 out of third.
Viso, No. 59 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology – Lotus, who was at the top of the speed charts for most of the morning practice, dropped to 19th by the end of the session. He rebounded in the afternoon practice, despite not putting on a second set of new tires, recording a time of 61.4937 seconds (102.742 mph).
“Toronto is going to be a very difficult race for everyone,” Viso said. ‘The field is extremely tight and just one tenth will make a huge difference where we start. Today we worked as a team with each driver going steadily through their list and we believe that we will come up with a good setup for tomorrow’s qualifying. We had a few little issues in the first practice session today and I was unable to use my second set of tires, but that’s part of the game. We just need to keep working hard in practice and qualifying tomorrow.”
Viso will be making his third start at Toronto. His best qualifying position is 13th last year and his best finish is 13th in 2009. The 26-year-old Venezuelan has struggled in street/road course qualifying, but he has had some very competitive performances only to have his efforts nullified by what can only be described as bad luck. At St. Petersburg, Viso was running in ninth before suffering a punctured tire. At Barber, he was in 11th place when he was hit by another competitor and at Long Beach, he was sitting in 10th when an attempted pass resulted in contact. In Brazil, he was having his best race of the year, driving from 26th to second, however IndyCar officials determined he was blocking and accessed him a drive through penalty. The 26-year-old Venezuelan is 21st in the standings with 113 points, 29 out 15th.
Sato, No. 5 KV Racing Technology – Lotus, who led the team with the eighth fastest time in the first practice, also did not used a second set of new tires in the second practice and logged a lap of 61.6753 seconds (102.440 mph) in the afternoon session.
“It was a good test because we were able to try various things,” Sato said. “Unfortunately, some of the things we tried didn’t work out the way we thought they would, but it was good that we found that out during today’s test. Now we will review what we collected to determine the best setup for tomorrow’s final practice before qualifying.”
Sato is making his second appearance in Toronto. In his debut here last year he qualified 18th and finished 25th. The 34-year-old from Japan has had a season of firsts including his first pole (Iowa), leading his first IndyCar race (23 laps at Brazil) and scoring his first top-five finishes (St. Petersburg, street circuit and Texas, oval). Sato has qualified in the top-11 in seven of the eight events (no qualifying for second Texas race), including five top-10 starting spots and three in the top-five and the one pole. He has finished in the top-10 four times (the fifths at St. Petersburg and Texas, eighths at Milwaukee and Brazil). His record this year on road/street circuits would be very impressive if not for some misfortune that has hindered his results. At Barber he was solidly in the top-10, but was involved in an incident that damaged his car. At Long Beach, he was racing with eventual winner Mike Conway, when he was hit from behind. Then in Brazil, he was leading the race, but a late stop for fuel dropped him to eighth. Sato, who has been in the top-10 in the standings much of the season, currently sits 13th with 155 points just six points out of 10th.
Sato led the team in the first practice with a time of 61.8075 seconds (102.103 mph) putting him eighth on the practice report. Kanaan was ninth with a lap of 61.8908 seconds (102.083 mph). Viso, who spent much of the session in the top-five finished 19th with a lap of 62.7775 seconds (100.641 mph).
By: kv racing technology - lotus