TORONTO, Canada – July 8, 2012 – KV Racing Technology driver Tony Kanaan had to overcome adversity to finish fourth today in the Honda Indy Toronto on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada. Teammate Rubens Barrichello placed 11th while E. J. Viso, the third of the KVRT trio, had a mechanical problem and finished 20th.
Kanaan, in the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry, qualified 18th, but due to a penalty assessed to another driver, started 17th.
From the drop of the green flag Kanaan was on the move and by lap 16 took over 11th place. Two laps later he made his first stop, but upon exiting the pits hit a tire that had been laid out in the pit box in front of him. The miscue cost Kanaan a drive through penalty which dropped him into 21st place. He immediately began regaining track position and when a yellow flag was thrown a lap later the lead cars pitted vaulting Kanaan into ninth place. On the restart Kanaan demonstrated why he is considered the master as he made a daring move that netted him six positions. Kanaan ran in third for most of the remainder of the stint before making his second stop on lap 51. When the rest of the field pitted a few laps later, Kanaan moved back into third and took over second on lap 57. After a brief challenge to eventual winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, Kanaan began to drop back as he saved fuel and ran on an old set of alternate (red) tires. With six laps remaining in the 85-lap contest, he had fallen to 10th and was in danger of being one lap short on fuel, but the team gambled and stayed out. At that point another yellow flag came out and with three laps remaining and fuel no longer an issue, Kanaan was given another chance during the restart. He took full advance of the opportunity as a melee ensued involving multiple crashes all of which Kanaan avoided as he picked up another six positions to move into fourth place.
“It’s been a wild day,” Kanaan said. “It didn’t help with the drive through penalty, but I had a great restart passing six cars and the guys did a great pit stop. We made a mistake using an old set of reds (alternate tires) in the last stint, so I was losing a lot of places, but I again managed to make it up on the restart. We are getting so close to a win, just not quite there yet.”
Today’s fourth place finish ties Kanaan’s best showing in eight races here in Toronto which he first achieved in 2010. The 37-year-old Brazilian has finished nine of the first 10 races this year (DNF at St. Petersburg due to a non-team related component failure) and has now finished in the top-six six times with three top-three showings (season-high second at Milwaukee and thirds at Iowa and Indy). Three of his top-six finishes have come on street circuits, today’s fourth, a fourth at Long Beach and a sixth at Detroit. The perennial championship contender earned 32 points today and moved into sixth place in the championship race with 267 points. He is one point out of fifth and 66 out of first place.