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BHA Rides Wave of Momentum to Watkins Glen

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Sebastian Saavedra, Stefan Wilson, Corning 100

BHA Rides Wave of Momentum to Watkins Glen

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
July 1, 2010

The Firestone Indy Lights Series returns to road course racing this weekend for Round Six of the 13-race schedule with the Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International. The historic 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit located in the scenic Finger Lakes region is the longest track on the calendar.

Fresh off a dominant flag-to-flag victory by Colombian talent Sebastian Saavedra at Iowa Speedway two weeks ago, Bryan Herta Autosport is anxious to return to racing action. In addition to its first team pole position and second career win, BHA has two additional podium finishes to its credit in the five events held to date. The team also celebrated a podium result at The Glen last year with Felipe Guimaraes, and a second-place finish with technical partner Vision Racing’s James Davison who started on pole.

Saavedra and teammate Stefan Wilson will be making their second career starts at Watkins Glen after less than ideal debuts in 2009. Saavedra set fastest lap of the race but was assessed a 30-second post-race penalty for a last-lap altercation which dropped him from fifth to 18th place. Wilson’s trouble was in qualifying, posting no time due to a mechanical issue. He finished 12th after starting 19th.

Saavedra and Wilson are currently fourth and sixth in the championship standings as the schedule heats up with five road/street course events over the next eight weeks.

Of Note:

Wilson will be making his 12th Indy Lights start and ninth road/street circuit start
Wilson claimed his best road/street circuit finish of third at St. Petersburg this year
Wilson earned his best road/street circuit start of third at Long Beach in 2009
Wilson is currently sixth in the point standings, 36 points outside the top three
Saavedra will be making his 21st Indy Lights start
Saavedra has three Indy Lights wins to his credit [Kansas/Toronto in 2009 and Iowa] and three pole positions [St. Petersburg/Toronto in 2009 and Iowa]
Saavedra is currently tied for fourth in the point standings, nine points out of second place and 32 out of first

Stefan Wilson, #28 Dallara/Firestone: “I had a difficult weekend here last year. It was the first time I had been to Watkins Glen and we missed a lot of track time with a problem in qualifying. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was just a mechanical issue that happened. The most track time I had was actually in the race. By the time I felt I had finally familiarized myself with the track, the weekend was over. It will be great going back with that knowledge, and the team had a really strong car there last year in the race. I am looking forward to it. At the same time, I want to focus on the big picture and bring home some good points and not get too carried away.”

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone: “Watkins Glen was not a good memory from last year with the penalty. We had an incredible car and a very good race up until that point. This is a race track that I like a lot and I am looking forward to going back especially knowing that my team did an incredible job last year. I think we are looking very good in bringing the momentum that we have from Iowa. The track is quite physical and it is the type of track where you can’t make many mistakes. To be fast around here, you need to be very focused. As with any track, the driver that makes the least mistakes is the one that is going to win. It will be an intense race as we have seen a lot of speed coming from [J.K.] Vernay and James Hinchcliffe. We need to start taking points away from these guys to work on the big picture and bring more points home for the championship.”

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