KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SPENDS FAST FRIDAY RUNNING QUALIFYING SIMULATIONS IN PREPARATION FOR POLE DAY
ENTIRE FIELD GETS 50 MORE HORSEPOWER, SPEED INCREASES DRAMTICALLY
SPEEDWAY, In. – May 18, 2012 – The addition of 50 more horsepower made “Fast Friday” even faster as speeds increased dramatically on the last day of practice before Pole Day and qualifying for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Speedway, Indiana.
Engine manufacturers increased the boost on every car in the field by 50 horsepower and speeds increased on average approximately five mph. With only one day to work with the additional horsepower KV Racing Technology spent most of the day trying to avoid traffic and running four-lap qualifying simulations in preparation for a run at the pole tomorrow.
Tony Kanaan, in the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, had a fast lap of 225.332 mph putting him 10th on the speed charts for the day.
Kanaan, who was the only KVRT driver to top the 220 mark prior to today (fastest lap was 220.305 mph on Wednesday and had a 220.167 mph on Friday) ran above 223 before putting down the lap of 225 late in the day. He has posted the team’s fastest lap every day since full practice began on Saturday. Kanaan turned just 19 laps today for a total of 238, by far the fewest of the KVRT trio. The 37-year-old Brazilian has qualified in the top-six in eight of his 10 previous races at the Speedway with one pole, in 2005. He has finished in the top-10 five times with a best showing of second in 2004 (placed third in 2003, fourth in 2011 and fifth in 2008). Kanaan, who has led a total of 214 laps at the speedway and is the only driver in history to lead laps in his first seven Indy 500 starts.
E. J. Viso made the biggest jump in speed of the three KVRT drivers. He had the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA - KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine consistently above the 224 mph mark with a best lap of 225.137 mph, a gain of almost seven mph, putting him 12th on today’s practice report. Prior to today, Viso, who purposely has not run in traffic much and therefore has not benefitted from a tow, had a best speed of 218.350. This is the fifth time in seven practice sessions that Viso has produced the team’s second fastest lap. Viso, who has methodically and patiently worked on both his qualifying and race setups over the past six days, spent today, as did most drivers, working on qualifying simulations. He completed 30 laps today giving him a total of 319 since practice began on Saturday. The 27-year-old Venezuelan is competing at IMS for the fifth time. In four previous races he has a best qualifying position of 18th in 2011 and a best finish off 24th
“It was definitely a day of improvements,” Viso said. “Things went very smooth. We picked up a lot of speed with the changes we made to the car. The things that we learned yesterday were good today and we still believe that we can make some changes for qualifying tomorrow. Hopefully, they will be productive and take us to a good qualifying spot. Then Sunday we can finish our race setups and be ready to go.”
Rubens Barrichello, behind the wheel of No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, also made a huge gain in speed today. After topping out at 219, which he ran for the first time yesterday, he had a best lap of 224.272 mph putting him 21st on the speed charts. Barrichello logged just 18 laps today, his lowest total since practice began. However his eight-day team high total (including rookie orientation) of 442 (1105 miles more than two 500 mile races), provides him with valuable track time as he attempts to qualify for his first Indy 500 and in fact first oval race. The 39-year-old Brazilian, a veteran of 19 Formula One seasons, is attempting to become the first driver to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the U. S. Grand Prix Formula One race (won in 2002) that was held on a road course that incorporated part of the IMS oval. .
Commenting on his day Barrichello said, “I had an okay day. I'm improving my car every time I'm on track so I look forward to a good qualifying tomorrow.”
A total of 32 cars turned a total of 1206 laps today (8831 over the seven days). Marco Andretti posted the fastest speed at 227.540 mph.
Following practice, drivers, family relatives, sponsors or team members took turns drawing numbers to determine the qualifying order. Kanaan had the best draw when Doug Barnett, GEICO Racing Program Manager, pulled the second position for Kanaan’s primary car and the 23rd for his backup. Barrichello, drawing for himself, drew 43 for the primary and 57 for the backup, while Ernesto Viso, E. J.’s father, drew 51 for the primary car and 61 for the backup.