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Barrichello enjoying Sonoma test

F1 driver Rubens Barrichello was back in an IndyCar on Saturday, as he joined Tony Kanaan, EJ Viso, JR Hildebrand, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power for testing at Sonoma.
The hills around Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California were alive with the sound of new specification 2.2-litre V6 turbocharged engines on Saturday, the first of two days of testing by IndyCar teams on the historic road course.

Almost 1500 fans turned up on the sunny and windy day for what was nominally a routine pre-season testing session for the Chevrolet-powered teams of KV Racing Technology, Andretti Autosport, Panther and Penske. The numbers had certainly been boosted by the presence of a bona fide F1 driver in the ranks, with Rubens Barrichello returning for his second test stint with KV.

"I like Infineon, it's a great track," said Barrichello, adding that it was "steeper and more demanding" than he'd expected. "It's like European tracks, such as Spa and Donnington. Here I know where to brake, but not where to turn in the blind corners," he told Lynne Huntting of Presssnoop.com.

Asked how the new DW12 IndyCar compared to the types of cars he'd been used to driving in Grand Prix races, Barrichello said that "The IndyCar is heavier than a F1 car, but has the turbo kicking in, carbon brakes - which are very good, similar to F1 brakes - and no power steering."

But he admitted that he'd been hitting the limiter all morning and that "It takes laps to get used to the new car."

There's still no news on when and if Barrichello will be formally signing up for IndyCar, but no one was playing coy about the direction of travel anymore. "It's my wish and the team's wish, I think, so we're working on it," he said. "I watch IndyCar all the time, so I'm very happy," he added, saying that the opportunity opening up in IndyCars was the positive on the other side of the negative of being ousted from F1.

His prospective team mate at KV, EJ Viso, was happy to have Barrichello on board. "He is going to be an asset for all of us, with all of his F1 experience," he told fans and reporters during a midday break from on-track activity at Sonoma.

While no official times were released for the test session, observers put Penske's Ryan Briscoe at the top of the timesheets with a run of 1:17.49s over the 2.3-mile, 12-turn course, over a second faster than the 2011 pole time of 1:18.8 set by Will Power.

Power was reported to have set the second fastest time of 1:17.83s with Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay managing 1:18.43s, Panther Racing JR Hildebrand at 1:18.73s and Barrichello himself at around 1:18.91s. All the drivers who spoke to the media said that they were working on general setups and not going for qualifying speed runs.

Barrichello turned 59 laps in total during the day as he took extra time to familiarise himself with those blind corners. He admitted that "This is a more difficult one than Sebring," and that he was still getting to grips with everything, but that he was happy with the day's work.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rubens Barrichello seat fitting in Tony Kanaan`s KV Racing Dallara DW12   [pic credit: Tony Kanaan/Twitter]
Rubens Barrichello tests KVRT Indycar at Sebring   [pic credit: KVRT]
Rubens Barrichello joins KV Racing Technology for testing at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. [Picture credit: Tony Kanaan/Twitter]
The start of Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power leads the field through Turn 8 during Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz leads Charlie Kimball through Turn 8 during Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz leads a group through Turn 5 during Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Teammates Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi enter Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi apexes Turn 3 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi exits Turn 2 during qualifications for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Takuma Sato exits Turn 11 during qualifications for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The helmet and gloves of Helio Castroneves following qualifications for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden climbs from his wounded machine during qualifications for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem after winning the pole for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power with the Verizon P1 Award flag after winning the pole for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power accepts the Verizon P1 Award from Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead after winning the pole for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wins the Verizon P1 Award for winning the pole for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power wins the pole for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Don - Unregistered

February 26, 2012 4:24 PM

I would have loved to have been there! The cars look better all the time(other than Rubens livery), and the turbo V6 sounds sweet. It sounds like the Q&A session with the drivers afterwards was good fun. Great to see Rubens getting so much seat time. It looks like he's got a done deal for the season. Can't wait for St.Pete.



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