GUIMARÃES LEADS BHA, VISION RACING QUALIFYING EFFORT AT INFINEON WITH FOURTH PLACE START
SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2009) - Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) driver, Felipe Guimarães led the way in Firestone Indy Lights qualifying at Infineon Raceway for the BHA and Vision Racing efforts by taking the fourth position on the scoring charts. Teammates James Davison of Vision Racing and Daniel Herrington of BHA qualified sixth and 12th, respectively, for Sunday morning's Carneros 100.
Driving the No. 29 A1GP Brazil/BHA Dallara/Firestone for just the third time, Guimarães earned his best spot on the starting grid thus far. His quick time of 1:23.5818 was good enough for the fourth spot. In his previous two Indy Lights attempts, both with BHA at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio, Guimarães started sixth and ninth and drove impressive races to finish third and fourth. He's hoping that a fourth place start will yield even better results this time around.
While Guimarães was able to take advantage of the final seconds in qualifying to jump up to the fourth spot at the checkered flag, his teammates were not as fortunate. After challenging pole sitter A.J. Hildebrand of Andretti Green Racing for the pole position for much of the session, Davison's tires began to wear and with none left to utilize, he had to make do with what he had. He was able to hold on with a time of 1:23.7261 for the sixth position in the waning moments.
Davison was second fastest in this morning's practice session in the No. 21 People's Liberation/Vision Racing Dallara/Firestone machine as well. He is currently third in the Firestone Indy Lights championship point standings coming off a victory from the pole position in the most recent event two weeks ago at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Herrington's misfortunes in qualifying, leftover from Mid-Ohio, returned again at Infineon. Untimely caution flags and traffic woes foiled Herrington's attempts at a clean run. Piloting the No. 28 Forsythe/BHA Dallara/Firestone car, Herrington had a best time of 1:24.0774 and will start 12th tomorrow.
In the 12 races this season Herrington has finished in the top-five once and the top-ten on ten occassions. He'll start outside of the top-ten tomorrow, but still looks to extend that streak. Herrington is currently seventh in the championship point standings.
Sunday's Carneros 100 at Infineon Raceway begins at 11:15 a.m. local time. Television coverage will air on Monday, Aug. 24, 2009 at 4 p.m. on VERSUS.
Daniel Herrington - No. 28 Le Bleu/BHA Dallara/ Firestone
"We didn't get a lot of practice this morning (gear box issue). The car felt pretty good in the beginning of the qualifying session and we were right up there in the top four. We came in, put new tires on and put up a decent time, then got stuck in traffic. We came back in put new tires on again and the lap the tires are golden was the lap the caution came out on. That really hurt us and I was pretty unhappy about that because I really felt like we had a good shot at putting our car up in the top 5 starting positions. I tried again but gt stuck with traffic again and didn't get another lap in. It's really frustrating because we know we could be up there. Feels like a repeat of our last weekend at Mid-Ohio where we were fast but just haven't been able to show it. We'll do our best to show that it the race."
Felipe Guimarães - No. 29 A1GP Brazil/BHA Dallara/ Firestone
"This has been my best qualifying effort yet in Firestone Indy Lights. Bryan Herta Autosport prepared a good car for me. It was difficult to post a faster time with all the traffic but I'm quite happy with the effort. It will be very difficult to overtake on this track but I'm going to try to put a lot of pressure on those in front and wait for them to make a mistake. We'll try to improve the car a bit more in morning practice but right now I'm pretty happy."
James Davison - No. 21 People's Liberation/Vision Racing Dallara/
"I'm disappointed because we flirted with a starting position on the front row. We just put on new tires a bit too early towards the end of the qualifying session when the track was at its fastest. The balance on the car is good but we just lacked some overall grip. Passing is just so very difficult on this track and starting sixth is not great but I'll do everything I can to try to turn this into a top-five finish or even a podium would be better."