SONOMA, CA - KV Racing Technologydriver Simona De Silvestro battled her way from 22ndposition twice to finish ninth in today's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on the scenic 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway permanent road course in Sonoma, California.
Teammate Tony Kanaan who tied the series record for consecutive starts, battle adversity throughout the race and placed 13th in a race that featured a Sonoma Raceway record seven caution flags.
When she rejoined the race De Silvestro was back in 23rd. Showing tremendous driving skill, De Silvestro fought and clawed her way back through the field with the benefit of a good race strategy and solid pit-work from her Nuclear Clean Air Energy - KVRT crew. The talented Swiss driver moved back into the top-10 on lap 82 of the 85-lap contest and took over ninth one lap later where she remained until the checkered flag.
"I'm pretty happy with P9," De Silvestro said. "Our race was chaos out there. We had really good restarts every time except one and I was always able to move up the field. Then we got hit by Sebastian (Bourdais), which I think was pretty dumb because there was plenty of space to get by.
That put us back in the back and then we had to fight our way through the field again. The guys did an awesome job in the pits and strategy-wise I think we made some pretty good calls. I'm really happy. I think we were the highest-finishing car that started in the back and it was pretty good to show that kind of pace and recover from where we started."
TK Sun Sonoma Kanaan made a bit of history today by making his 211th consecutive start; tying him with KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser for the series record. He started the No.11 Hydroxycut - KV Racing Technology - SH Racing machine 16th, but was hit from behind on the opening lap.
Despite the incident, Kanaan charged into the top-10. Battling a car that was almost impossible to turn-right, Kanaan was in the top-12 when he was assessed a drive-through penalty which dropped him to 21st.
Undaunted and showing his characteristic determination and driving talent, Kanaan capitalized on restarts, made some excellent passes and took advantage of a race strategy that allowed him to ran hard, to fight his way back into the top-10. Unfortunately, he had to run his last stint on a used set of tires and combined with the damage to his car he just could not defend his position.
"I really had to work hard today," said Kanaan."The left-rear of the car was damaged early in the race and made it almost impossible to turn right. But, given how tough this whole weekend has been I am just happy to have brought the car home in one piece.
We fought hard, had to recover from a drive-through penalty and still managed to work our way back into the top-10. Unfortunately, in the end we just didn't have enough to maintain that position."
De Silvestro, who contested her third race in Sonoma today, had her best showing surpassing an 13th place finish in her Sonoma debut in 2010.The 24-year-old Swiss driver has now placed in the top-10 five times this year including a season-high sixthat St. Petersburg.
De Silvestro also extended her streak of solid results to five races. During the stretch she has an oval career-high 11th at Pocono, 10th and 14th in Toronto, and 11th in Mid-Ohio to go with today's ninth place showing.
Kanaan has finished in the top-10 six times including a victory in 2005 in nine appearances at Sonoma.The 38-year-old Brazilian earned 18 points today. He now sits 11th in the championship standings with 331points. Kanaan, who has finished 12 of the 15 races this year, has scored six top-10 finishes including five top-five showings, three podiums and a victory at the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
Next up for KVRT is the Baltimore Grand Prix on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland, August 30 - September 1.The race will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Kanaan Consecutive Streak: "Tony Kanaan tied the series consecutive start streak which he now, coincidentally holds with KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser, with 211 starts. Kanaan's streak began on June 24, 2001 at Portland after missing the previous race, the Detroit Grand Prix, due to a concussion received in an accident during qualifying. He went on to compete in the last 14 races in 2001 and in every race over the next 12 seasons."
The streak has not been without some tense moments. In 2003, Kanaan injured his wrist at Motegi, sat out the first week of practice for the Indianapolis 500, but was able to compete in the race. In 2009 he suffered a broken rib at Indy, but competed the following weekend in Milwaukee. He also damaged three thumb ligaments at Long Beach this year, but has been in the car for all 15 races in 2013.
KV Racing Technology