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BHA Prepares for Toronto Street Race Challenge

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

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

BHA Prepares for Toronto Street Race Challenge

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
July 15, 2010


Bryan Herta Autosport is looking to add to its tally of four podium finishes in six races when the Firestone Indy Lights Series heads to Toronto, Canada, this weekend for Round Seven of the 2010 schedule. Centered around Exhibition Place along the shores of Lake Ontario, the 1.75-mile, 11-turn street circuit provides a challenging playing field with little room for error.

BHA drivers Sebastian Saavedra and Stefan Wilson have one career start apiece to their credit at Toronto, both with prior success. Saavedra notched his second Indy Lights career win at Toronto last year after starting on pole and Wilson claimed his then career-best Indy Lights finish of fourth in only his fifth race.

With a win and third-place finish in the last two Indy Lights events at Iowa and Watkins Glen, Saavedra has moved up to third in the point standings and trails leader J.K. Vernay by 47 points. Wilson remains sixth in the championship, 96 points shy of the lead, following his second DNF of the season at Watkins Glen with a rare engine failure after qualifying on the front row – his best starting position to date. He was also sidelined at Long Beach with an electrical problem.

Team owner Bryan Herta is a former winner at Toronto, claiming victory in the 1993 Indy Lights race.

Of Note:

Wilson will be making his 13th Indy Lights start and 10th 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 second at Watkins Glen two weeks ago
Wilson is currently sixth in the point standings, 49 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 recorded three podium finishes to date this season – Barber 3rd, Iowa 1st, Watkins Glen 3rd
Saavedra is currently third in the championship standings, 12 points out of second and 47 from first


Stefan Wilson, #28 Dallara/Firestone: “I had a really good run last year in Toronto and I love the track. It has a little bit of everything and it’s really a fun track to drive. I particularly like the last three or four turns (leading) onto the Start/Finish straight, the long, fast sweepers, and the long straight down to Turn Three (Lakeshore Boulevard) provides a great overtaking opportunity. I guess you could say I’m cautiously optimistic. We struggled a bit on the street course at Long Beach but we made some changes during our test at Mid-Ohio and then again for the race at Watkins Glen where the car was really good. I’m hoping we will have another good weekend.”

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone: “I love street circuits. I like going to the limit, very close to the wall, and taking a lot of risks but without crashing, for sure. Toronto is one of those tracks that, if you want to be fast, you’ve got to take it to the next level. I did that last year and feel very comfortable. We have great momentum at Bryan Herta Autosport from the last few races, and Toronto is one of those tracks that brings me a lot of good energy. I know that if we continue to work the way we have been, we will challenge for another win.”

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