E. J. VISO FINISHES TEAM HIGH NINTH, RUBENS BARRICHELLO 10TH
SĀO PAULO, Brazil – April 29, 2012 – In a race filled with accidents and different strategies, KV Racing Technology driver E. J. Viso showed discipline and skill in finishing a team-high ninth while teammate Rubens Barrichello placed 10th in today’s in the Itaipava Indy 300 Nestle on the 2.5-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit at São Paulo, Brazil. Tony Kanaan, the third of the KVRT trio of drivers, was involved in a late race incident and finished 13th.
Viso, No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, qualified 14th, but started 13th after Justin Wilson failed technical inspection late yesterday. The 27-year-old Venezuelan began to patiently work his way through the field from the start of the race and spent much of it in the top-10. The strategy the team employed actually had him in the top-five for almost the entire second stint however a series of yellow flags, due to accidents, early in the second stint and again late in the race nullified the team’s strategy. Never-the-less, it was Viso’s disciplined and error free driving, plus a well prepared and fast car that allowed Viso to come away with valuable championship points. “Another top-10 finish is always a good thing especially when I am looking for championship points,” Viso said. “ It was a bit of a sweet and sour weekend. We were not as fast as we expected in qualifying, however, we had a strong race. Unfortunately, there were several strategies used today and ours didn’t pay off the way we hoped. We all acknowledge that it was a difficult situation with the weather constantly changing and the number of yellow flags due to accidents. I think we had a car that was good enough to finish in the top-five and want to thank the crew and my engineer for doing a great job.
Viso made his third start in São Paulo today and earned his best finish (previous high was 12th in 2010). . He also had his second top-10 performance of the young 2012 season. In the season opener at St. Petersburg he placed eighth (also finished 12th in Long Beach). Viso earned 22 points today and is now 13th in the championship race with 76 points.
Barrichello. No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, qualified 13th, but started 12th following the realignment. Immensely popular in his native Brazil, “Rubinho”, 39, had the crowed on its feet for much of the race as he, like his teammate Viso, showed skill and determination while settling into a top-10 slot while making a run at a podium or at least a top-five finish. Unfortunately, he also feel victim to the yellow flags which allowed several competitors that were in the back of the field to pit out of sequence for fuel and thus make up valuable track position.
Commenting on his race, Brrichello said. “When you are in 16th place and at the end of the race you gain six positions you have to feel better. However, I have to say I did not understand the race. I was running third or fourth and all of a sudden I was 17th. We did have a few problems with the pit stops, but strategy was such a big factor this afternoon. In fact, when I saw Dario (Franchitti) after the race I stop to talk to him and asked him when you should spin so you can come in a take fuel. I just want to thank all the Brazilian fans for coming out to the race. I gave my very best today. Unfortunately, because of all the cautions flags our strategy didn’t work out today but it will out some other day..
Barrichello, who is in his first IndyCar season after spending the last 19-years in Formula One, has now put together back-to-back-to-back top-10 finishes (eighth at Barber, ninth at Long Beach to go with today’s 10th place finish) following a 17th place showing in his IndyCar debut at St. Petersburg. His results are even more impressive when you take into account that he is competing on IndyCar circuits for the first time and has been getting limited track time due to inclement weather and scheduling. Barrichello, who made 19 Formula One starts in Brazil with a best finish of third, picked up 20 points today and is now 11th in the championship standings with 79 points.
Kanaan, who drove the No. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone today, qualified 12th, but started 11th. The 37-year-old Brazilian, who pitted a couple of laps earlier than his teammates during the first stint was essentially on the same strategy and in line for a top-10 finish, however a late race incident dropped him to 13th.
“Unfortunately, our strategy didn’t work out the way we wanted because of the number of yellow flags,” Kanaan said. “That is racing. If everything had played out the way we envisioned and we had not got caught up in that pile-up we would have been in the top-five. It’s a shame, but it is always fun to race in front of the Brazilian fans. I want to thank them and my sponsors for supporting me. From here we go to Indy, which is the most important race of the season and we looking for a good result in a race I have been close to winning, but never have.”
Kanaan made his sixth U. S. based series start in Brazil. In two previous races in São Paulo, Kanaan has a best finish of 10th in 2010 (raced three times on the oval in Rio in CART with a best finish of fifth in 1999). After opening the season with a run of bad luck in the first two events, Kanaan broke out with a spectacular fourth place finish two weeks ago in Long Beach. A perennial championship contender (has finished in the top-six in the final standings in all nine of his full IndyCar seasons), Kanaan earned 13 points today and currently sits 14th in the standings with 71 points