GOOD STRATEGY HELPS TK IN DETROIT
Tony finishes in 6th after starting in the 18th position
DETROIT, Mi. – June 4, 2012 – KV Racing Technology driver Tony Kanaan finished sixth in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in Detroit, Michigan.
The race, which was held on the .2.1-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit on Belle Isle, was shortened from 90 laps to 60 because of a two-hour red flag for crews to repair Three sections of patched asphalt and concrete.
Kanaan, in the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, started 18th. Stuck in traffic the team employed an alternative fuel strategy that saw Kanaan pit on lap 12, which dropped him to 20th. Kanaan started to work his way back through the field and when most cars pitted for the first time between laps 27 and 33 he found himself in third place. Kanaan pitted for the second time on lap 38 and rejoined the contest in sixth. Two laps later a yellow flag came out when James Hinchcliffe crashed after hitting a piece of rubber and concrete patch that had separated from the track surface. Shortly thereafter, with Kanaan now in fourth after two cars ahead of him pitted, a red-flag came out stopping the race to repair three areas where large strips of patch had come up. Once repairs were affected teams were informed that the race would be shortened to 60 laps and that they could change their tires, but had to remain on the same compound, either the primary “black” or alternate “red”, that they had on prior to the stoppage. This gave drivers who were on the alternate red an advantage since they would now be on brand new alternate tires, which are softer and have more grip, but go off optimum performance quicker than the primary tire, for a short 15-lap stint. Kanaan was on the primary tire. During the restart, Kanaan, who is considered one of, if not the best at restarts, was passed by two cars. He dropped to sixth place where he remained until the end of the race.
“My team did a brilliant strategy and put me upfront with the other guys,” Kanaan said. “I think I was in a good shape for a podium, but when the decision was made that all cars could get new tires before the new start of the race it left me in a bad position, because I was already on my last set of primary tires and had nothing new to put on. So as expected I got passed by the cars on new tires on the restart.”
Kanaan made his seventh appearance, but contested just his fifth race on Belle Isle (third time in the IndyCar Series). In five race races, Kanaan has finished in the top-eight all five times with one win, in 2007 and a third in 2008. In 2000 and 2001, Kanaan had qualifying accidents and did not race. The 37-year old Brazilian has earned three top-six finishes in the first six races this season. In addition to today’s sixth place showing he finished fourth at Long Beach and third last week in the Indianapolis 500. Kanaan earned 28 points today and remains ninth in the championship race with 141 points.