HVM Racing's E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos overcame some challenges Saturday to qualify 13th and 15th respectively for Sunday's Infineon Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Viso will start the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda ...
HVM Racing's E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos overcame some challenges Saturday to qualify 13th and 15th respectively for Sunday's Infineon Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Viso will start the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara in the seventh row after posting a lap time of 1:17.9180 on the 2.245-mile road course. Doornbos will start directly behind him after qualifying with a lap time of 1:18.1095.
The team had extensive repair work to do before qualifying after the 13 car was involved in a morning-practice collision with Nelson Philippe. Philippe had spun out of Turn 3a and was partially blocking the track. When Viso came around the blind turn, he could not avoid Philippe and clipped the disabled car with the left rear of his machine. Viso was OK after the incident, but Will Power came around the turn after Viso and crashed straight-on into Philippe. Both Power and Philippe went to the hospital with injuries.
The 33 car also underwent significant repairs after an off-track excursion in the morning practice, which resulted in Doornbos only having enough time to run one stint in the qualifying session without stopping for any changes.
This weekend also marks the 2009 debut of an HVM Racing Firestone Indy Lights car. Rookie driver Juan Pablo Garcia qualified the No. 8 car in the 17th position with a lap time of 1:24.8757 for Sunday's Carneros 100.
The Firestone Indy Lights Carneros 100 airs live on IndyCar.com Sunday at 2 p.m. ET and will be televised Monday at 4 p.m. ET on Versus. The IndyCar Series Infineon Indy Grand Prix starts at 5 p.m. ET Sunday on Versus.
Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after qualifying at Infineon:
"It was a challenging situation for the 13 car after what happened in the morning session. But we're fortunate that E.J. wasn't hurt and we wish the best for Nelson and Will.
"Both cars were on the edge of the Top 6 during the session and they just needed a little extra push to get in, but we just didn't get the speed."
Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after qualifying at Infineon:
"This definitely has been a tough day for the Herbalife-sponsored PDVSA HVM Racing team. We didn't start the morning as we wanted. I had a little contact with Nelson. Hopefully he's going to get better soon. He was just basically in the middle of the track out of a blind corner. I tried to do my best to avoid him and I believe I did a pretty good job because I just brushed his front wing.
"For qualifying, I don't think we got what we wanted. I think everyone kept improving except us. We basically just did the same lap times we did last week at the test. My hope was to at least do a little better, for sure getting into the Top 10 in qualifying. Hopefully tomorrow in the race everything is going to be a lot better. Last year I had a pretty good pace in the race and I can feel that tomorrow is going to be a good one."
Comments from HVM Racing Driver Robert Doornbos after qualifying at Infineon:
"We found a problem on the car after the morning practice that put us late on pit road for qualifying. We only had one run and that was not enough to advance to the next round. Right now, it feels like the story of the season, but we have to work hard starting from the back. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day."