Andersen Racing's Vilarinho Finishes 10th In Infineon's Firestone Indy Lights Race SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 22 - Giancarlo Vilarinho gained more insight into the Firestone Indy Lights series and more confidence to boot when he recorded a top-10...
Andersen Racing's Vilarinho Finishes 10th In Infineon's Firestone Indy Lights Race
SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 22 - Giancarlo Vilarinho gained more insight into the Firestone Indy Lights series and more confidence to boot when he recorded a top-10 finish in only his second race ever in the official development series for the IZOD IndyCar Series Sunday at Infineon Raceway.
Vilarinho, 18, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, hopes to run for the series' Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.
His goal on Sunday was simply to finish the 40-lap Carneros 100, so ending up tenth in the Andersen Racing/Allied Building Products Corp. No. 4 was an added bonus.
He qualified 15th on Saturday after he took off the car's left-front corner in a minor accident at the exit of Turn 2 during that session. But he had no such incidents on Sunday, driving cleanly throughout the race on the challenging 2.303-mile, 12-turn road course.
"A top-10 isn't bad for his second time out and on a track he's never been to," summarized John Andersen, the team co-owner and its Firestone Indy Lights team manager.
Vilarinho remained in 15th position for the first six laps, and then advanced two spots when Martin Plowman and Philip Major made contact in Turn 2 to bring out the first of two full-course yellows. He moved up to 11th on lap 11 when Sebastian Saavedra dropped out and Dan Clarke dropped back, but he reverted back to 12th when Clarke repassed him on lap 14. He regained 11th when Alex Ellis's car stalled in Turn 3 on lap 21 to bring out the second full-course yellow.
Vilarinho spent the bulk of the race trying to catch Joel Miller while holding off Major. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap 29 with a time of 1:26.9599 (95.34 miles per hour) while he was trying to catch Miller, who was 1.2649 seconds ahead of him, while simultaneously trying to hold off Major, who was just 0.6121 of a second behind him.
With just two laps to go he moved into the top 10 when Clarke went off course in Turn 7, and he took the checkered flag in tenth, 1.9607 seconds after Miller did and 0.572 of a second before Major crossed the line.
"The car was good in the race," said Vilarinho afterwards. "Our goal was just to finish all 40 laps. I'm very happy because I improved and I have a better understanding of what I'll need to do next year. I will train hard to prepare for the program next year.
"The crash in qualifying was when I was on old tires, and I locked them up," he added. "But I had no trouble at all in the race."
-source: andersen racing