KV AFS RACING'S SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA MAKES HISTORY AT THE INAUGURAL GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 

- May 9, 2014 –

 

KV AFS Racing's Sebastian Saavedra made history today by winning the pole and the Verizon P1 Award for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Driving the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone, Saavedra went out in the first group for round one of qualifying on the newly re-designed 2.439 mile 14-turn track. He was able to set a fast time of 70.1443 seconds, which put him in fifth place, so he advanced to the second round. Just prior to the second session, a brief heavy rainstorm struck the speedway and track conditions became exceedingly wet. Saavedra spent the session hovering just outside the top-six, but on the final lap laid down his fastest time of the round (74.1972 seconds) to put him fifth and into the Firestone Fast Six for the first time in his IndyCar career. Just as the green flag was shown for the final qualifying round, the heavy rain returned and the red flag came out. A fan of the rain, Saavedra then made the most of his time on track when it went back to green. He set a fast time of 73.8822 seconds on lap three, which put him into first for a brief moment, before being moved back by Ryan Hunter-Reay. However, in the closing minute, Hunter-Reay made contact with the wall and his fastest two laps were disallowed, putting Saavedra on pole (the first in his IndyCar career) when the checkered was shown.

 

By Dave Lewandowski

Published: May 9, 2014 at IndyCar.com

Verizon IndyCar Series drivers predicted to "expect the unexpected" on the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Sebastian Saavedra earning the Verizon P1 Award fits into that category, with more to come in the 82-lap race May 10.

Six different teams are represented on the first three rows for the standing start on the Speedway's frontstretch, and Saavedra is the fourth different pole sitter in as many races this season.

Saavedra, whose previous best qualifying effort on a road/street circuit was ninth in the first two events of 2013 (St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park), inherited the top spot in the closing minute of the Firestone Fast Six when the No. 28 DHL car of provisional pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting the final corner of the rain-soaked 2.439-mile, 14-turn. According to the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook, Hunter-Reay's quickest two laps of the 10-minute session were disallowed.

Still, Hunter-Reay, coming off a victory in Birmingham, Ala., on April 27, will be on Row 2.

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA
No. 17 KV AFS RACING CHEVROLET/DALLARA/FIRESTONE


KV AFS Racing driver Sebastian Saavedra who has led two IndyCar races and also had two solid results heading into the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He now sits 13
th in the championship standings with 55 points and just three points away from 10th.

  • Saavedra is entering his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series season.
  • The 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be Saavedra's 42nd Verizon IndyCar Series start, 27th on a road/street course, fourth with KV AFS and first on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • In 41 career Verizon IndyCar Series starts, Saavedra has earned three top-10 finishes with a best finish of eight last year. 
  • In 26 previous road/street course starts, Saavedra has a career best finish of eighth at Baltimore in 2013.
  • Saavedra's best road/street course qualifying was at Baltimore in 2013 where he started ninth.
  • Saavedra has an oval career best finish of 13th at Milwaukee last year.
  • Saavedra, 23, is a native of Bogota, Columbia. He currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

 

Sebastian Saavedra results and statistics:   

Career Verizon IndyCar Statistics

Seasons

4

Top-Five

0

IndyCar Starts

41

Top-10

3

Wins

0

Poles

0

Podiums

0

Laps Led

14

2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Statistics

Starts

3

Top-10

1

Wins

0

Poles

0

Podiums

0

Races Led

2

Top-Five

0

Laps Led

14

2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Results

St. Petersburg Q/S/F

11/11/11

Barber Q/S/F

13/13/18

Long Beach Q/S/F

22/22/9

 

 

 

 

 

EXCITED FOR INAUGURAL GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - May 7, 2014 - KV AFS Racing driver Sebastian Saavedra is excited about the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the newly re-designed road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Speedway, Indiana.

Having tested the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine on the 2.439 mile, 14-turn track last week, Saavedra feels confident that he can continue the solid performances he has had leading up to this new event.Commenting on the upcoming race, Saavedra said, "I am definitely quite excited about the Grand Prix of Indianapolis this weekend. We don't have a track like this on the schedule so it's definitely a plus for IndyCar and the fans. It's a very different track, so every driver has to adapt. The track itself is very smooth, it has more of a European style to it with the introduction of tight corners but still making sure there are lots of passing zones. It will be quite technical, every little mistake will be seen by our times and speed, but it's definitely going to be a fun race to watch."

KV AFS RACING DRIVER SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA FINISHES 18TH AT HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA

BIRMINGHAM, AL - April 28, 2014 - KV AFS driver Sebastian Saavedra finished 18th in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Saavedra, who was making his third start at Barber, qualified the No. 17 KV AFS Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry 13th on the 2.38-mile, 17 turn permanent road course.  After a two and a half hour severe weather delay yesterday, the race was declared a 100-minute timed race and mandatory rain tire start.

Sebastian Saavedra led his first Indycar laps at Long Beach two weeks ago. Despite stalling at the start from 22nd, an off sequence pit stop and flying debris injuring his left thumb, the young Colombian found his way to the front of the field where he led for three laps. Unfortunately with 10 to go, Saavedra established a mechanical problem, which meant he had to nurse the car home to ninth, but still gained a total of 23 places. He now sits 10th in the championship standings with 42 points. 

Saavedra is entering his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Sebastian Saavedra led his first Indycar laps at Long Beach two weeks ago. Despite stalling at the start from 22nd, an off sequence pit stop and flying debris injuring his left thumb, the young Colombian found his way to the front of the field where he led for three laps. Unfortunately with 10 to go, Saavedra established a mechanical problem, which meant he had to nurse the car home to ninth, but still gained a total of 23 places. He now sits 10th in the championship standings with 42 points. 

Saavedra is entering his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The 2014 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be Saavedra's 41st Verizon IndyCar Series start, 26th on a road/street course, third with KV AFS and third at Barber Motorsports Park.

In 40 career Verizon IndyCar Series starts, Saavedra has earned three top-10 finishes with a best finish of eight last year. 

In 25 previous road/street course starts, Saavedra has a career best finish of eighth at Baltimore in 2013.

Saavedra's best road/street course qualifying was at Baltimore in 2013 where he started ninth.

Saavedra has an oval career best finish of 13th at Milwaukee last year.

A graduate of the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Saavedra won the Barber race from pole in 2012.

Saavedra, 23, is a native of Bogota, Columbia. He currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Sebastian Saavedra results and statistics:

Career Verizon IndyCar Statistics

Seasons

4

Top-Five

0

IndyCar Starts

40

Top-10

3

Wins

0

Poles

0

Podiums

0

Laps Led

3

2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Statistics

Starts

2

Top-10

1

Wins

0

Poles

0

Podiums

0

Races Led

1

Top-Five

0

Laps Led

3

Barber Statistics

Number of Starts

2

Best Finish

20 (2013)

2013 Q/S/F

9/9/20

Best Start

9 (2013)

2011 S/F

26/26

Laps Led

0



 

At the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, California

Saavedra, driving the No. 17 KV AFS Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry, qualified 22nd yesterday on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn circuit. The 80-lap contest began today with the first standing start of the Verizon IndyCar Series season and the first at Long Beach since 2008. Unfortunately for Saavedra the car stalled at the start, dropping him to the back of the field. With nothing to lose, the KV AFS team decided to pit him early and switch from black to alternate red tires. He remained in 22nd until the first yellow, which saw him move to 17th and from then on kept battling his way through the field. With approximately 25 laps to go Saavedra's left thumb got hit by front wing debris, but he fought through the pain. Saavedra was patient and with a great race car, he found himself leading his first IndyCar race when the third yellow flag was shown due to a multiple car pile up. Saaedra pitted three laps later and with 10 laps to go the team suffered a mechanical problem, which meant the talented Colombian was forced to nurse the car home. Saavedra was able to gain a total of 24 places to finish ninth and pick up 23 points, which puts him 10th in the championship standings.

"It was quite an interesting race," said Saavedra. "I made a big mistake at the start, stalling the car, but we kept calm and focused. We had a great car with great pace and that enabled me to move back through the field. I was also able to capitalize on the mistakes by others. Unfortunately with 10 laps to go we had a mechanical situation and then our main goal was to bring the car home. I was able to pick up some great points and am real proud of all of the KV AFS crew for keeping their heads in the game and not panicking when we got into those situations. I also need to thank my engineer for a great strategy and for getting me back in the race. We move on to Barber in a couple of weeks and I look forward to getting another great result."

The 23-year-old made his third Verizon IndyCar Series start at Long Beach this weekend. In two previous races, Saavedra has a best starting position of 15th in 2011 and now has a best finish of ninth today.  A graduate of the Indy Lights Series, Saavedra has experienced success here. While racing in the junior series, he never finished outside of the top-10 and in his three previous attempts at Long Beach had a best finish of second in 2012.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Saavedra has been among the youngest drivers in nearly every series he has competed in. He joined the Firestone Indy Lights just before his 19th birthday and that year was awarded Rookie of the Year Honors with AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport. He moved to Bryan Herta Autosport for 2010 where he made his Indianapolis 500 debut becoming the third Colombian driver to do so. Saavedra then stepped up to the IndyCar Series in 2011 with Conquest Racing before returning to Indy Lights in 2012. Last year he spent the entire season back in IndyCar with Dragon Racing.

Next up on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 25-27, 2014. The race will be broadcast live from Barber Motorsports Park at 3pm ET on NBC Sports.