Sebastian Saavedra qualifies 11th for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Sebastian Saavedra posted a lap time of 63.8374.

Sebastian Saavedra has qualified 11th for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Sebastian Saavedra, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Sebastian Saavedra, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: Martin W. Spetz

After a delay of over three hours due to severe weather, Saavedra, driving the No. 17 KV AFS Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine, drove a solid first round of qualifying, to finish sixth (72.3060 seconds) in group two and advance to the second round. With the track drying out, Saavedra went out for one lap on wet tires before re-entering the pits to put on the reds. He was looking pretty strong and often found himself in the top-six, but his fast time of 63.8374 seconds wasn’t quite enough and slipped to 11th and so didn’t advance to Firestone Fast Six.

Commenting on qualifying, Saavedra said, “I think it was meant to be that 11th position, whether we had qualifying or not. We’re meant to put on a show and I think that’s exactly what we did. The first session was wet, so it’s important to read the track as quickly as possible and try not to make any mistakes. I think the KV AFS team did a great job in predicting what was going to happen. Q2 was positive in the beginning when it was still wet, but as it got drier I misread the track thinking it was wetter than it was. Once I had realized, it was too late so I didn’t get the best out of my tires and wasn’t then in a position to fight for the Firestone Fast Six. I am looking forward to the first race tomorrow and hope to bring home some good points.

The 23-year-old native of Bogotá, Colombia has been the youngest driver in nearly every series he has competed in. In the two previous races at St. Petersburg, Saavedra has had a best starting position of ninth last year and a best finish of 13th in 2011.

KV AFS

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags kv afs, sebastian saavedra, st. petersburg