KV Racing Technology
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY TRIO LOOKING TO MOVE UP IN STANDINGS WITH STRONG PERFORMANCE IN BRAZIL
HOMETOWN HEROS GO FOR BROKE IN BRAZIL
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – April 24, 2012 – The KV Racing Technology trio of Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan and E. J. Viso will all be looking to move up in the championship standings with a strong performance this weekend in the Itaipava Indy 300 Nestle on the temporary street circuit at SaÞo Paulo.
Hometown heros Barrichello and Kanaan, who have been in São Paulo for the past 10 days helping promote the race, will be pushed to the limit both on and off the track as they attempt to take the checkered flag in front of their countrymen, while Viso, also a native of South America, will be looking to join his teammates either at the top of, or at least on, the podium.
Barrichello, No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, is off to a solid start in his IndyCar career after 19 seasons in Formula One. He debuted at St. Petersburg with a 17th place finish, however has come on to earn back-to-back top-10 showings in the next two events placing eighth at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama and ninth two weeks ago on the streets of Long Beach, California. The 39-year-old Brazilian, who has suffered because of a lack of track at the first three events, mostly due to inclement weather, currently sits ninth in the championship race with 59 points. Barrichello, in his first IndyCar season, is no stranger to racing in Brazil having made 19 Formula One starts in his homeland with a best finish of third.
Commenting on racing in Brazil, Barrichello said, “Well what can I say about Brazil?, It is the best week of the year for me and the one that time flies by so fast, so I have to make sure I enjoy every single moment. I am so happy that IndyCar races in Brazil and what I have been telling people is that we changed addresses... the fans that used to come to Interlagos to watch me now they will come to Anhembi. There was such a great energy with me racing here in the past and I want the same thing at the Sambodromo. On the track side I was able to drive on the simulator and learn what is left and what is right...now we go to the real track and learn from there. I can't wait to get the car out on the track.”
Kanaan, who will drive the No. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone for the race in Brazil, snapped a streak of bad luck that had plagued him in the first two events of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season with a spectacular fourth place finish in Long Beach. After qualifying 10th, he was forced to start 19th following a penalty to the Chevy and some of the Lotus powered teams. He then drove a flawless race getting outstanding work from his team. The fourth place performance vaulted Kanaan from last in the standings all the way into a tie with his teammate Viso for 11th with 54 points and gave him the tiebreaker. The 37-year-old Brazilian, in his 15th U. S. based open-wheel season and 11th in the IZOD IndyCar Series, will be making his sixth U. S. based series start in Brazil. He raced three times on the oval in Rio while competing in CART with a best starting position of third in 1998 and a best finish of fifth in 1999. In two previous races in São Paulo, Kanaan has a best staring position of sixth and a best finish of 10th both in 2010.
“As always I am looking forward to the race in Brazil,” Kanaan said. “On one hand it is always very busy with sponsor and other commitments, but on the other, I am racing in front of my son Leo, my family and my countryman and the excitement and atmosphere they bring to this race is very special. Since we have raced in Brazil, first on the oval in Rio and now on the streets of São Paulo, I have always wanted to win this race, but when Rubens (Barrichello) agreed to come and race with KV Racing, I made him a deal… he could win here in Brazil if I get to win the Indy 500. We will have to see how things go in the race. I may have to go back on that deal.”
Viso, No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone, opened the season with the best start in his five-year IndyCar career (third with KVRT) placing a team-high eighth at St. Petersburg. In round two he qualified seventh (at Barber) then struggled with a car that simple did not have the pace and finished 21st. At Long Beach, he again qualified well, a team-high fifth, but due to the penalty started 15th. During the race, Viso had to overcome an incident with another competitor that required him to pit for a new front wing and then was assessed a penalty. Fighting back, Viso finished 12th and stayed within easy striking distance of the top-10 in the standings. Viso, 27, who is a native of Venezuelan, will be making his third start in São Paulo. In two previous races he has a best qualifying position of 17th and a best finish of 12th both in 2010. However, last year after qualifying 26th, Viso put on a tremendous display in the rain and later on a very wet track, to charge into second place before he was given a very questionable penalty for blocking which effectively ended his race.
“I have a strong belief that the CITGO | PDVSA – KVRT car is going to be fast in Brazil especially after the strong performances we have had on the street courses so far this year,” Viso said. “We had a decent setup at St. Petersburg and Long Beach and I believe, with hard work, we can continue to improve and get stronger. Going to Brazil is always nice. The crowd there has a lot of energy. The Brazilian fans are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic which always makes for an amazing race weekend.