KV Racing Technology press release
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY DRIVER RUBENS BARRICHELLO EARNS FIRST TOP-10 INDY CAR FINISH IN JUST SECOND RACE
LEEDS, Ala. – April 1, 2012 – KV Racing Technology driver Rubens Barrichello earned his first IndyCar top-10 finish, placing eighth, in just his second IndyCar start today at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on the picturesque 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park permanent road course in Leeds, Alabama.
Teammate E. J. Viso had a problem with the pace of his car and placed 18th while Tony Kanaan the third of the KVRT trio, was the victim of bad luck for the second race in a row and placed 21st.
Barrichello. No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone started 14th. The 39-year-old Brazilian drove both a smart and strong race. He saved fuel when he needed to, but turned up the wick particularly during the final 30 laps when he charged from 18th place to eighth. Barrichello, who thanked his race strategist, KVRT General Manager Mark Johnson, his engineer Garrett Mothersead and his crew over the radio during the cool off lap following the checkered flag, benefitted from a solid pit strategy and outstanding pit work from his KVRT crew.
Commenting on the race Barrichello later said, "I first need to say thank you to the crew and thank you for my first top-10 finish, It's hard to be happy with a top-10, but starting so far back and at some points in the race even further back, I think it was a positive that I was able to work my way back through the field. By the end of the race, I had one of the fastest running cars, so I think it was enjoyable to watch and for me to race. People race hard over here, but they were fair. I had many knocks and bumps, but the cars are so robust in this series that we can luckily get away with it. I enjoyed my day and thank my sponsors, BMC and Embrase and my team once again."
Barrichello also benefitted from testing at Barber earlier this month and was clearly more comfortable this weekend than in his IndyCar debut a week ago at St. Petersburg, Florida (qualified 14th started 13th). Although his qualifying effort at Barber was hampered by a lack of track time due to rain on Friday and fog on Saturday, he showed flashes of the skill and speed that made him a mainstay in Formula One for 19 years during the practice time that was available and put it all together in the race. Barrichello earned 24 points today and now sits 10th in the championship race with 37 points.
Viso, No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, started seventh. The 27-year-old Venezuelan ran in the top-10 with reasonable pace through the first stint, however from that point on he slowly drifted back through the field. Viso was engaged in several spirited wheel-to-wheel battles in an attempt to defend his position or move forward, but simply didn’t have the car to make his efforts stick.
“Coming into the race I believed we would keep up with the pace that we showed in qualifying and in St. Petersburg,” Viso said. “Unfortunately, the general pace of my car today was slower than the rest of the field. We didn’t have a balance issue, but a pace issue and that cost us a lot of time. This is also a track that if you overheat the tires, push a little too hard, it will make you pay and that also happened. The crew did a great job in the pits, we just had a pace problem. The team is going to sit down and review the data and I am confident we will get everything resolved for Long Beach.
Viso, who made his third start at Barber today, earned 12 points today and combined with his team-high eighth place finish in the season opener at St. Petersburg is now 12th in the championship standings with 36 points.
Kanaan, No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, started a team-high sixth and was solidly in the top-10 until lap 57 of the 90 lap contest when a problem, that has yet to be diagnosed, developed with the rear of the car. He rejoined the contest one lap down and soldiered on picking up valuable championship points.
Kanaan has driven strong races in the first two rounds of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season only to victimized by bad luck. The perennial championship contender, who finished fifth in the standings last year, his first with KVRT, has placed in the top-six in the championship every year he has run the full IndyCar season, a total of nine consecutive seasons. Kanaan earned 12 points today and is 26th in the championship race with 22 points. In three races at Barber he has finished in the top-10 twice including an eighth place showing in 2010 and a spectacular run last year when he started 24th and finished sixth.