Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – July 5, 2012 – KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and E. J. Viso begin a string of five consecutive street and road course races starting this weekend with the Honda Indy Toronto, July 6-8, on the 1.75-mile,11-turn Exhibition Place temporary street circuit in Toronto, Canada.

Kanaan, in the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS– KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, is coming off consecutive podium finishes both on ovals, a season-high second at Milwaukee and a third at Iowa. The 37-year-old Brazilian is making his eighth appearance at Toronto (fourth in an IndyCar) where he has qualified in the top-10 five times in seven attempts with a best starting position of fourth in 2001 and finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of fourth in 2010 (10th in 2001).

“It will be nice to be back in Toronto”, Kanaan said. “It is a beautiful city with great fans. After four consecutive oval races I am looking forward to getting back on the street and road courses. We have had some success over the last four races and put ourselves back in championship contention. We just have to keep producing good results.”

Kanaan, seventh in the championship race with 235 points, just 51 points out of first place, has finished eight of the first nine races this season with his only DNF coming at St. Petersburg due to a non-team related component failure. He has qualified in the top-10 a team-high seven times this season (season-high sixths at Barber and Milwaukee) and finished in the top-six five times with three top-three showings. All three top-three performances have come on ovals (Milwaukee, Iowa and third at the Indy 500). Kanaan, who is tied for the lead in the A. J. Foyt Oval Championship with 136 points with the oval championship set to be determined at Fontana, has also been competitive on street/road circuits this year. He has qualified in the top-10 on three of the five street/road courses contested so far (made the Firestone Fast Six, the final round of street/road course qualifying, once, at Barber) and has finished in the top-six twice placing fourth and sixth respectively on street circuits at Long Beach and Detroit.

Barrichello, in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, will be making his debut on the streets of Toronto although he has raced in Canada18 times during his 19-year Formula One career (no Canadian Grand Prix in 2009). In 18 starts, Barrichello qualified in the top-10 a total of 13 times with six top-five starting spots and best qualifying position of third in 2000 and 2002. He finished in the top-10 a total of 11 times with seven top-five showings including six podium performances and a best finish of second in 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2004. The 40-year-old Brazilian is considered a rookie on ovals and street or road circuits where he has not tested so will benefit from additional track time at Toronto. He has yet to qualify in the top-10 on a street/road course in five attempts this year.

"I am really looking forward to the Toronto race,” Barrichello said. “During my whole career in racing, I have been a fan of the Canadian races, but have not had a chance to get to know Toronto, so it is a great time to go there. The track seems very challenging, but I want to have a good weekend so I will be working extra hard for that."

Barrichello has performed well, if not up to his personal standards, in his inaugural IndyCar season. He currently sits 15th in the championship standings with 164 points, just 29 points out of 10th. Barrichello has earned five top-10 performances and has adapted quickly to oval racing. Two of his top-10 finishes have come on ovals and in three oval starts (DNS in Texas due to a non-team related component failure), he has finished seventh at Iowa, 10th at Milwaukee and 11th at Indy, earning the Chase Rookie of the Year Award. He has also had some success on street/road circuits despite competing at the venues for the first time. After opening the season with a 17th place finish in his IndyCar debut at St. Petersburg he produced three consecutive top-10 finishes on street/road circuits placing eighth on the permanent road course at Barber Motor Sports Park, ninth on the streets of Long Beach and 10th on the streets of his native Brazil. Barrichello has finished seven of the nine races this year (both his DNFs, Detroit and Texas, came as a result of non-team related component failures).

Viso, driving the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, will be contesting his fourth race at Toronto. The 27-year-old Venezuelan, who has a street/road course career best finish of fourth at St. Petersburg in 2008), has a best starting position of 13th in 2010 and a best finish of 13th in 2009 in three previous races on the streets of Toronto.

“I am looking forward to going back to Toronto,” Viso said. “It's a beautiful place and the crowd brings a lot of energy. The race itself is normally exciting for both the drivers and the fans. We are hungry for a good result as we have been extremely close in the last few races.”

Viso has clearly stepped up his game this season even if the results don’t always reflect it. He has been solid in qualifying earning five top-10 qualifying spots in the first nine races including making the Firestone Fast Six twice, season-high fifths twice, first at Long Beach (started 15th due to a penalty assessed an unauthorized engine change) and at Detroit. He has finished seven of the nine races and neither of his DNF’s were his, or the team’s fault. At Texas, he was running in the top-six when he suffered a non-team related component failure and in Iowa an incident with Will Power which was clearly not Viso’s fault. Viso has scored three top-10 finishes so far this season including twice on street circuits, an eighth at St. Petersburg and a ninth place in Brazil (season-high fifth on oval at Milwaukee). However, he has been in contention for top-five finishes in several other races most notably Detroit, where he was running in eighth late in the race when he was hit from behind and at Texas. Viso is 17th in the standings with 160 points, just 33 points out of 10th place.

Source: KV Racing Technology