BALTIMORE, MD – September 1, 2012 – KV Racing Technology driver Tony Kanaan qualified eighth, but is expected to start sixth after penalties are accessed, in tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Baltimore on the 2.04-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit at Baltimore, Maryland. Teammates Rubens Barrichello, the victim of bad luck, and E. J. Viso, who had an incident, qualified 17th and 24th respectively and are expected to start 15th and 22nd after penalties.
Kanaan, No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, qualified with a lap of 79.6788 seconds (92.170 mph). He ran in group one in round one and was sitting at the top of his 12 driver group after two timed laps when, with about four minutes remaining in the session, Graham Rahal launched himself over the chicane that was installed last night bringing out a red flag. By the time Rahal’s car was removed from the track, time had expired and Kanaan advanced to round two of qualifying. In the second round, Kanaan placed eighth of the 12 cars and therefore did not advance to the Firestone Fast Six.
"We had a fairly decent qualifying today,” Kanaan said. “In the second round I made a small aero change on the car that really didn't work the way I expected, but I can't complain about starting eighth on a street course. It's definitely an improvement on our qualifying effort compared to the other street courses and I'm looking forward to having a good race tomorrow. With two races to go we need to make the most out of the points to get as close as we can to the top three in the championship."
Kanaan has qualified in the top-10 a team-high eight times this year with season-high sixths on the road course at Barber and on the oval at Milwaukee. He has advanced to the second round of street/road course qualifying a team high five times and the Firestone Fast Six once, at Barber. Kanaan is making his second appearance in Baltimore. He started on the last row last year and then went on to have a fantastic race finishing on the podium in third place. The 37-year-old Brazilian is sixth in the championship race with 327 points, 10 out of fifth. He has earned eight top-10 finishes this year including seven top-six showings with three podium performances (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). Five of his top-10 and four of his top-six finishes have come on street/road circuits
Barrichello, No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, who was the fastest of the KVRT trio yesterday and in the top-12 in this morning’s practice, was just the victim of bad luck. He, like Kanaan, ran in group one in round one, but with an entirely different result. Barrichello completed just one flying lap and had a time of 82.7851 seconds (88.712 mph), when Rahal’s untimely red flag came out preventing him from putting down his best lap. He finished ninth in his group and therefore did not advance.
“I am obviously disappointed,” Barrichello said. “We had a competitive car all weekend, but I was only able to get one qualifying lap in before the red flag came out. Although I question the rules of IndyCar, the rules are the rules and therefore I was unable to have any more timed laps and we are where we are.”
Barrichello, 40, a veteran of 19 Formula One seasons, but in his first IndyCar season, will contest his first race here in Baltimore tomorrow. He has qualified in the top-10 three times this year including a season-high fifth on the oval at Milwaukee (started third ), and a street/road season-high 10th (started seventh) at Edmonton. Barrichello has advanced to the second round of street/road course qualifying twice this year, at Edmonton and Sonoma. The native of Brazil is 14th in the championship standings with 245 points, 29 out of 10th, on the strength of six top-10 finishes including a season-high fourth last weekend in Sonoma.
Viso, in the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, had a difficult day. He had an incident in the morning practice that prevented him from getting any track time on the redesigned circuit and then in qualifying he brushed the wall in turn nine on just his second timed lap. Viso qualified in group two in round one an recorded a time of 79.8631 second (91.957), but because of the competiveness of his group was 12th out of the 13 drivers in his session and therefore did not advance to round two.
Commenting on his day, Viso said, “In this morning’s practice we continued with the problem we had yesterday with the brakes, so when I started my first run the rear locked up and I made contact with the wall damaging the left front of my car. I didn’t get any laps in that session and it put us behind because I didn’t have the chance to learn the two new corners that were put in place last night. I want to thank my crew for doing a great job repairing the car, but we went straight into qualifying under difficult circumstances and gave it my best. I was in a very competitive group, more competitive than the first group, which was going to make it very tough to get into the top six. My second lap, I brushed the wall and bent a toe link which ended my qualifying session. We will be starting in the back of the field tomorrow, which will give us some freedom to take some risks with our pit strategy in tomorrow’s race and I am looking for a great result.”
Viso has qualified in the top-10 five times, made the second round of street/road course qualifying three times and the Firestone Fast Six a team-high twice, season-high fifths at Long Beach (started 15th due to a penalty) and at Detroit. The talented young Venezuelan will be making his second start in Baltimore. Last year he qualified ninth (started eighth) and ran as high as fifth, before finishing 15th. Viso is 20th in the standings with 212 points. He has three top-10 finishes including a season-high fifth at Milwaukee and a road/street course best eighth at St. Petersburg,
Source: KV Racing Technology