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Barrichello relishes a chance to shine

Rubens Barrichello finally started to show what he was capable of, after a return to the familiar surroundings of Sonoma resulted in his best result to date in IndyCar.
While all the attention in the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma was on the battle between the Penske team mates at the front and on the frightening crash between Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden, a certain Rubens Barrichello was diligently finding his feet and working his way forward from 11th on the grid.

In the top ten throughout and always the fastest of the three KV Racing Technology cars at Sonoma Raceway, by the time a series of late race cautions and incidents had played out Rubens found himself staring at the back of Dario Franchitti's rear wing for the final laps of the race. Franchitti was bound for the podium: so that meant that Barrichello was in fourth place, by far his best result since switching to the IZOD IndyCar Series at the start of 2012.

"It was a good day ... My first top four on a track," smiled Barrichello. "Obviously we had a car that was solid. I don't think we had the quickest car out there. We could see that on the restart with Dario and the two Penskes, because they opened up quite a big gap on us. But it was solid.

"I think that we deserved to be probably, in terms of speed, sixth or seventh," he admitted. "But I was lucky I got away on the first crash and overtook a few people."

In a race full of incidents and more than a few mistakes by some of the series' most experienced and talented stars such as Helio Castroneves, Oriol Servia, Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay, Barrichello shone by keeping his head down and delivering the goods.

"As soon as you went offline a little bit, the cars were a bit shaky," he said. "It was a pretty fast race. With a fast race it meant that we were pulling some marbles on the track. I think the pace was getting better and better. The tyres were holding up very, very well."

There had been one brief moment of panic, however: "The only problem I had was in the middle of the race when I thought Ed Carpenter saw me coming, but he didn't. When he closed the door, we touched. Luckily my car was okay and I was able to continue. Apart from that it was trouble-free."

In a series of recent media interviews during IndyCar's August break, Barrichello has given the impression of being frustrated by his performance in the series since joining at the start of 2012 after being ousted from F1 The F1 veteran has admitted that he's been struggling more than he expected in his maiden season but says that's mostly down of a lack a familiarity with the circuits. Sonoma was at least a track he'd been to before, and was one of the very first he ran on in an IndyCar after deciding to switch to the series for 2012.

"I have tested here, although not last week. It was a good track, I think I could use a little bit more of my knowledge of the car to improve it," he said. "I kept on saying I've been struggling with some of the tracks this year just because I haven't got the knowledge.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
KV Racing Technology`s Rubens Barrichello during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Rubens Barrichello on the streets of Sao Paulo. (c) 2012 - Phillip Abbott, LAT Photo USA. (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Rubens Barrichello with Tony Kanaan at the press conference in Sao Paulo announcing his move to IndyCar for 2012. [Pictire Credit: KV Racing Technology]
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Rubens Barrichello (KV Racing Technology) (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt, LAT Photo (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Pit lane (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin slides into his machine prior to the evening Open Test session at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The pylon at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin sits in his machine prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin on course during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin receives a handshake before his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates winning pole position for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Petrol Head - Unregistered

August 28, 2012 12:24 PM

Now perhaps certain people will stop saying Rubens is finished! Didnt drive like someone who is finished to get 4th place! As he gets to know the tracks better we can expect more good finishes from him. Well done Rubens!

Don - Unregistered

August 28, 2012 4:33 AM

Nice article on Ruby, and nice not to hear him whining about how hard IndyCar is. Keep pushing and get on the podium before the season is over.



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