LEXINGTON, OH – August 4, 2012 – KV Racing Technology drivers Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan and E. J. Viso qualified 15th, 19th and 20th respectively for tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Barrichello, No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, contesting his first race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course (tested here last week) qualified in Group No. 1 in Round No. 1. He posted the eighth fastest lap of the 12 drivers in the group with a time of 66.7101 seconds (121.853 mph), and therefore did not advance to the second round.
“We have made the car a little better and I felt I was able to go slightly faster, however it’s like walking on a tightrope,” Barrichello said. “The balance is very tight, it is what it is. I'm consistently getting better, but unfortunately the car is still not where we would like it to be.”
Barrichello has qualified in the top-10 three times this year, twice on ovals, a season-high fifth at Milwaukee (started third due to penalties), 10th at Indy and a road/street season-high 10th two weeks ago at Edmonton. The 40-year-old Brazilian is 17th in the championship standings with 200 points, 37 points out of 10th. He has earned five top-10 results in the first 11 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.
Kanaan qualified the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car with a lap of 77.5441 seconds (103.250 mph). Kanaan also ran in Group No. 1 in Round No. 1 placing 10th in the group with a lap of 66.8433 seconds (121.610 mph), so did not advance.
“The car was improved from the morning practice to qualifying,” Kanaan said. “It just wasn’t a big enough improvement, so we will have to work that much harder in the race tomorrow.”
Kanaan has qualified in the top-10 a team-high seven times (season-high sixths at Barber and Milwaukee) this year. The 37-year-old Brazilian is competing at Mid-Ohio for the 11th time in his 15-year career. He has a best starting position of third and best finish of fourth both in 2007. Kanaan is sixth in the championship race with 279 points, 83 out of first and seven out of fifth. Kanaan has six top-six finishes this season including three top-three showings (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy).
Viso, in the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, was in Group No. 2 in Round No. 1. He qualified with a time of 66.4511 seconds (122.328 mph) putting him 10th of the 13 drivers in his group and therefore didn’t advance.
“I can’t complain about the balance of the car,” Viso said. “The car has pretty good balance and is a fun car to drive, however there is no grip. There is no way we can go any faster than we are right now. We are losing a lot of valuable time because of the lack of grip, which is so important especially with such a competitive field.”
Viso has earned five top-10 qualifying spots this season with season-high fifths at Long Beach (started 15th due to a penalty) and Detroit (qualified eighth on the oval at Milwaukee, but started fifth due to penalties). The 27-year-old Venezuelan will be contesting his fifth event at Mid-Ohio. He has a best starting position of eighth in 2010 and a best finish of 15th in 2009 and 2011. Viso is 20th in the standings with 186 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.
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY NOTES:
- When Tony Kanaan takes the green flag on Sunday he will move into sole possession of second place on the all-time consecutive starts list with 193 surpassing Al Unser Jr. The all-time leader is KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser with 211. Kanaan he holds the IndyCar consecutive start record, with 159.
- KVRT has had at least one car advance to the second round at five of the eight street/road course events (missed in Toronto and Brazil). Two cars have advanced twice and at least one car has made it to the Firestone Fast Six, three times (Viso twice, Long Beach and Detroit; Kanaan once, Barber).
- KVRT has now qualified in the top-10 five times in 13 attempts at Mid-Ohio with a best starting position of third by Takuma Sato in 2010. In 10 previous starts the team has finished in the top-10 six times with a best showing of fourth by Will Power in 2008.
- In pre-qualifying practice, Barrichello was a team-best 16th on the speed charts with a lap of 66.8862 seconds (121.532 mph) followed by Viso, 17th, 67.0466 seconds (121.241 mph). Kanaan, who spent much of the early part of the session in the top-five, ended up 19th with a time of 67.1919 seconds (120.979 mph).
- The Honda Indy 200 will be will be broadcast live at 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC.