INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – August 23, 2012 – With just three races remaining in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and E. J. Viso will all be looking to finish the year with strong performances beginning this weekend with the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 24-26, on the newly redesigned 2.31-mile, 12- turn Sonoma Raceway permanent road circuit in Sonoma, California.
Kanaan, who pilots the No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, is coming off a hard fought sixth place finish at Mid-Ohio (started 18th).
The 37-year-old Brazilian who has finished 11 of the 12 races this year (DNF in St. Petersburg due to a non-team related component failure), has seven top-six finishes this season including three top-three showings (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). Four of his top-six finishes have come on road/street circuits (fourths at Toronto and Long Beach, sixths at Detroit and Mid-Ohio). Kanaan is seventh in the championship race with 307 points, 72 out of first and nine out of fifth. Kanaan will be making his eighth appearance in Sonoma. In seven previous races he has qualified in the top-10 six times with a best starting position of third in 2005 and 2007 and finished in the top-10 five times with a victory in his Sonoma debut in 2005 (finished third in 2007).
"I am looking forward to getting back to Sonoma and experiencing the new track layout,” Kanaan said. “I have heard positive things from some of the guys that tested there last week. In the past I have had some good races in Sonoma and with just three races left in the season it is important that we have a good weekend and score as many points as possible.”
Barrichello, in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, will be making his Sonoma debut although he has tested here twice, more than any other track in his rookie IndyCar season. The 40-year-old Brazilian, has finished 10 of 12 races (both his DNFs, Detroit and Texas, came as a result of non-team related component failures) and earned five top-10 results in his first 12 IndyCar races with a season- high seventh on the oval at Iowa and a street/road course high eighth at Barber. He has also finished 11th twice, Toronto and Indy where he won the Chase Rookie of the Year Award. Barrichello is 17th in the championship standings with 215 points, 41 points out of 10th place.
Commenting on the Sonoma circuit, Barrichello said, “I could not believe how steep the Sonoma track was when I saw it for the first time. I have been a fan of Sonoma for a long time and I was looking forward to my first test there. I was impressed with the track and even if we haven't tested on the new layout I hope that we will have a good run and a good weekend.”
Viso, behind the wheel of the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car,
The 27-year-old Venezuelan, who has finished 10 of the 12 races this year (neither of his DNF’s were his or the team’s fault), is 20th in the standings with 198 points on the strength of three top-10 finishes including a season-high fifth at Milwaukee and a road/street course best eighth at St. Petersburg. He has had some success in street/road qualifying making the Firestone Fast Six a team-high twice qualifying a season-high fifth at Long Beach (started 15th due to a penalty assessed an unauthorized engine change) and at Detroit. Viso, who will also be contesting his fifth event in Sonoma, has a best starting position of ninth in 2011 and a best finish of sixth in his debut in Sonoma in 2008.
“Heading back to Sonoma is always nice,” Viso said. “Hopefully, some of the issues we have been having in the last races will have been solved. We tested there at the beginning of the year, but unfortunately missed the test last week. This year Sonoma will have some changes in track layout, which we all think will bring some excitement and more action, however I am hoping that we will not now be behind the other teams that did test last week and have a successful weekend.”
Source: KV Racing Technology