The two cars of HVM Racing finished mid-pack at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday, running clean races on the track but unable to gain much ground throughout the 85 laps of the Honda Indy 200. Robert Doornbos finished 14th in the No. 33 HVM...
The two cars of HVM Racing finished mid-pack at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday, running clean races on the track but unable to gain much ground throughout the 85 laps of the Honda Indy 200. Robert Doornbos finished 14th in the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara, and E.J. Viso came in 15th in the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara.
Doornbos and the No. 33 team had a successful beginning to their reunion. Making his first start for HVM since the end of the 2007 season, Doornbos climbed four positions from the team's 18th starting spot. The finish is viewed as a starting point for the team moving toward the rest of the 2009 season and into 2010.
The goal this weekend for HVM Racing and the new No. 33 team was to be as successful as possible on the track, but to also learn a new driver. For Doornbos, it was also his first time to the Mid-Ohio course. Starting 18th, he moved as high as 14th before teams came down pit lane for their first pit stop. The No. 33 team made its first of two stops on Lap 28, getting four red Firestone tires and full fuel. By Lap 40, the event's first caution, Doornbos was already moving back up through the field and was in the 16th position. Teams once again made green-flag stops as Doornbos came down pit lane on Lap 58 for four black tires and fuel. It was the team's final stop and Doornbos moved back up to 14th position where he finished on the lead lap.
Viso and the No. 13 team got off to a strong start after beginning the race in the 9th position. He stayed within the Top 10 throughout his first stint, and then came into the pits on Lap 29 for his second set of red tires and fuel. By the team's second scheduled stop on Lap 58 for fuel and black tires, the No. 13 car was again in 9th position, and should have had enough ethanol to finish the race. But a miscommunication in the pits caused the car to leave with less than a full tank and, therefore, required the team to make a third, fuel-only stop on Lap 73. He finished on the lead lap in 15th position.
The team now begins preparations to test at Infineon Raceway in Somona, Calif., later this week, to be followed by the Infineon Indy Grand Prix on August 23.
Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after the Honda Indy 200:
"E.J. was having a good race up until our little misunderstanding in the pit refueling, which is obviously disappointing.
"Regarding Robert, we of course had high expectations, but at the same time realistic, considering we put the whole team together in three days. We're still confident and optimistic for the long-term and we will now work together to give him a fast car."
Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after the Honda Indy 200:
"The car was very nice to drive. We just had a pretty good balance in the car, but we definitely need to go a step ahead. Those guys over there, they can ask a lot more of their cars, and that's what we'll be thinking about next week in our test day in Sonoma.
"Unfortunately, we had a little issue in one of the pit stops. We didn't refuel completely so we had to do an extra pit stop at the end that basically screwed up our race. It was one of those races where everything starts pretty good and then in the end things don't work out."
"I'm really looking forward to the next race. We had a good experience last year, and we want to do even better this year."
Comments from HVM Racing Team Driver Robert Doornbos after the Honda Indy 200:
"It was a lot of work for a 14th-place finish today. The car was better for us on the lighter fuel load. I think, aerodynamically, we were just as good as the leaders. We just didn't have a great first stint when the fuel was full. It wasn't balanced to my liking.
"We're going to go to Infineon this weekend and test. That will be a good start for us and give us more time to work together as a team."