Indianapolis, IN - April 8, 2014 - KV AFS Racing driver Sebastian Saavedra is hoping to continue the performance he showed at the Verizon IndyCar season-opener at St. Petersburg two weeks when he takes to the streets this weekend for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California.
Driving the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine, Saavedra will be making his third start on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. In his two previous races at Long Beach, Saavedra has had a best starting position of 15th and a best finish of 14th, both in 2011. At the season-opener at St. Petersburg two weeks ago, the 23 year-old showed his talent by becoming the highest placed Colombian driver, after finishing 11th.
A graduate of the Indy Lights Series, Saavedra is no stranger to success. Whilst racing in this junior series, he never finished outside of the top-10 at Long Beach and in his three previous attempts had a best place of second in 2012.
Commenting on this upcoming weekend, Saavedra said, "I'm excited to go to one of the best races of the season, Long Beach. It's a place that I've had great success at in the past and want to keep this up. It is also headquarters for my sponsor AFS (Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc.), which makes it feel more like a home race to me. We go to Long Beach with some points from St. Petersburg and plenty of lessons learned too. We need to keep moving forward and I need to continue getting more mileage under my belt. I feel positive and am looking forward to a great weekend ahead in front of a big AFS crowd."
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.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach takes place April 11-13. Highlights of qualifying will be shown on NBCSports at 6:00 ET on Saturday 12th April and the race will be broadcast live on NBCSports at 4:00pm ET.