2009 IRL Team Reports: HVM Racing

IRL Team reports for the 2009 IRL season

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Postby mlittle » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:14 pm

HVM Racing Welcomes Additions to 2010 IndyCar Schedule; Wiggins Believes New Venues Bring New Opportunities

Indianapolis, Ind. (July 31, 2009) -- The 2010 IndyCar Series schedule presents a good balance and will open some doors to the league, teams and fans, according to HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins. The Indy Racing League announced the schedule Friday, introducing new races in Brazil and Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, and confirming speculation that Richmond International Raceway will not be on the circuit.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins on the 2010 IndyCar Series schedule:

"Having Brazil on the calendar is a great asset for the series and a good marketing opportunity for the teams and certain drivers, and it provides good diversification into a new market.

"Also, I'm always in favor of a balanced calendar between road courses and ovals, a feeling that I think is shared by the fans of open-wheel racing, and therefore I welcome the addition of Barber, too."
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Postby mlittle » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:44 pm

HVM Racing and E.J. Viso soldiered through the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway to a 15th-place finish Saturday night. The No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara started in the 18th position after Friday's qualifying session was canceled due to wet track conditions.

Viso had a good car to run the 1.5-mile tri-oval, and passed several cars early in the race, but did not have the speed to move into the Top 10.

The team now begins preparations for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 9.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after the Meijer Indy 300:

"It was a challenging weekend with the weather cancelling the first day's practice and qualifying. But given the circumstances, we brought it home to a respectable finish."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after the Meijer Indy 300:

"It has been a very uncertain weekend for everyone. I'm happy in the end that at least we raced.

"I had a comfortable car to drive, by myself and in traffic, but we lacked some pace. Everything went smoothly, we didn't have any problems. We just lacked the speed to move to the front. And it was depressing to hear the spotter keep saying to let the leaders pass."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:11 am

Mid-Ohio: HVM Racing preview


"Mid-Ohio is a place where the flow and speed are important. It's not a place where you want to brake the car too much. You want to keep that minimum speed as fast as possible. It's kind of a mixture between Infineon and Watkins Glen, and there are plenty of changes of altitude."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:11 am

HVM Racing Signs Robert Doornbos through 2010 Season

Indianapolis, Ind. (August 5, 2009) -- HVM Racing will run two cars in the IndyCar Series for the remainder of the 2009 season after signing Robert Doornbos to drive for the team through 2010. The deal returns the Dutch driver to the team for which he won Champ Car Rookie of the Year honors in 2007.

Doornbos will drive the No. 33 car beginning with this weekend's race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The addition gives PDVSA HVM Racing team driver E.J. Viso a teammate to work with -- a benefit he previously had for only one race this season when Nelson Philippe drove for HVM in the Indy 500.

The 27-year-old Doornbos drove for HVM Racing in 2007 when the team competed in Champ Car under the name Team Minardi USA. He celebrated victories at Mont-Tremblant and San Jose, finished the season third in the championship standings and captured Rookie of the Year honors.

"I am very happy to rejoin (HVM team principal and owner) Keith Wiggins, (HVM engineer and strategist) Michael Cannon and HVM Racing," said Doornbos. "I was very successful with this team in 2007. My mission is to become Rookie of the Year again with this young and eager team. I like to thank Keith for his confidence in my driver skills and look forward to the first race for HVM next weekend."

"We are happy to have Robert return to the team," said Wiggins. "He had a very good year with us in '07 and he has a great deal of experience behind the wheel, so he will be a good addition to our team. And, of course, everyone in our organization knows him and likes him, so we'll just be picking up where we left off with him two years ago."

Doornbos's career includes stints in Formula One, Formula 3000, Superleague Formula and A1 Grand Prix. He made 12 starts in the IndyCar Series this season for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, earning four Top-10 finishes before joining HVM Racing.
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Postby mlittle » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:42 am

No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara - E.J. Viso
Lap Time: 1:07.5712
Speed: 120.300 miles per hour
Qualifying Position: 9th

No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara -- Robert Doornbos
Lap Time: 1:08.5734
Speed: 118.542 miles per hour
Qualifying Position: 18th

Notes:

HVM Racing's two entries qualified on Saturday for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with E.J. Viso earning a Top-10 spot with a ninth-place qualifying effort and Robert Doornbos starting in the 18th position with his new HVM team.

The 2.4-mile road course was a bit slippery for the afternoon qualifying runs, after rains dampened the morning's practice session. Both Viso's No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara and Doornbos's No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara started the first qualifying round on primary black Firestone tires and then switched to the alternate red tires for more grip and, subsequently, better speed. Viso advanced to the second round with a fourth-fastest speed of 1:08.3407. The car had run faster laps during the session, but a late spin resulted in the team losing its best two lap times by IndyCar Series rules for drawing a full-course caution during qualifying. Doornbos finished in the 18th position with a speed of 1:08.5734.

In the second round, the PDVSA HVM Racing team kept the red tires on the No. 13 car and Viso ran in the first position early in the session. The car gained some speed for the remaining minutes, but not at the same pace as others and eventually finished in Position 9 with a speed of 1:07:5712.

Mid-Ohio marks the first race with HVM Racing for driver Robert Doornbos, who just signed with the team this week. Watch for his new black-and-orange livery during Versus' coverage of Sunday's Honda Indy 200 beginning at 1 p.m. You can also ride along in Viso's black-and-green machine, which will carry an on-board camera for the race.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after qualifying at Mid-Ohio:

"We had a pretty good qualifying run with the 13 car. We would have qualified higher if not for that late spin. So we'll just work on making the car as competitive as possible for the race.

"Considering the 33 team is about four days old, we're pretty pleased with the smooth operation. We knew that it was going to take practice and qualifying just to get a feel for the car for Robert's needs and focus on the best set-up for the race. But we're glad to have Robert with us, we are focused on the future and excited to see what we can do together."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after qualifying at Mid-Ohio:

"We had a pretty good qualifying effort. I'm very happy that every session we went out, we went a step forward. There's definitely an improvement in the car. I used the maximum out of what I had in my hands, and that's pretty good for me and for the team.

"From here, we have a pretty good base and we just need to start working a little harder in order to get into the third round of qualifying. It's another four or five tenths that we need, and those are the difficult ones."

Comments from HVM Racing Team Driver Robert Doornbos after qualifying at Mid-Ohio:

"It's obviously not the result we hoped for. We worked hard to find the balance in this car. We struggled a little in finding the sweet spot. We took another gamble in the qualifying, which didn't pay off. It's a great, fun little track, but it's very sensitive on balance. Not today, but hopefully tomorrow."
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Postby mlittle » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:48 pm

The two cars of HVM Racing finished mid-pack at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday, running clean races on the track but unable to gain much ground throughout the 85 laps of the Honda Indy 200. Robert Doornbos finished 14th in the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara, and E.J. Viso came in 15th in the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara.

Doornbos and the No. 33 team had a successful beginning to their reunion. Making his first start for HVM since the end of the 2007 season, Doornbos climbed four positions from the team's 18th starting spot. The finish is viewed as a starting point for the team moving toward the rest of the 2009 season and into 2010.

The goal this weekend for HVM Racing and the new No. 33 team was to be as successful as possible on the track, but to also learn a new driver. For Doornbos, it was also his first time to the Mid-Ohio course. Starting 18th, he moved as high as 14th before teams came down pit lane for their first pit stop. The No. 33 team made its first of two stops on Lap 28, getting four red Firestone tires and full fuel. By Lap 40, the event's first caution, Doornbos was already moving back up through the field and was in the 16th position. Teams once again made green-flag stops as Doornbos came down pit lane on Lap 58 for four black tires and fuel. It was the team's final stop and Doornbos moved back up to 14th position where he finished on the lead lap.

Viso and the No. 13 team got off to a strong start after beginning the race in the 9th position. He stayed within the Top 10 throughout his first stint, and then came into the pits on Lap 29 for his second set of red tires and fuel. By the team's second scheduled stop on Lap 58 for fuel and black tires, the No. 13 car was again in 9th position, and should have had enough ethanol to finish the race. But a miscommunication in the pits caused the car to leave with less than a full tank and, therefore, required the team to make a third, fuel-only stop on Lap 73. He finished on the lead lap in 15th position.

The team now begins preparations to test at Infineon Raceway in Somona, Calif., later this week, to be followed by the Infineon Indy Grand Prix on August 23.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after the Honda Indy 200:

"E.J. was having a good race up until our little misunderstanding in the pit refueling, which is obviously disappointing.

"Regarding Robert, we of course had high expectations, but at the same time realistic, considering we put the whole team together in three days. We're still confident and optimistic for the long-term and we will now work together to give him a fast car."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after the Honda Indy 200:

"The car was very nice to drive. We just had a pretty good balance in the car, but we definitely need to go a step ahead. Those guys over there, they can ask a lot more of their cars, and that's what we'll be thinking about next week in our test day in Sonoma.

"Unfortunately, we had a little issue in one of the pit stops. We didn't refuel completely so we had to do an extra pit stop at the end that basically screwed up our race. It was one of those races where everything starts pretty good and then in the end things don't work out."

"I'm really looking forward to the next race. We had a good experience last year, and we want to do even better this year."

Comments from HVM Racing Team Driver Robert Doornbos after the Honda Indy 200:

"It was a lot of work for a 14th-place finish today. The car was better for us on the lighter fuel load. I think, aerodynamically, we were just as good as the leaders. We just didn't have a great first stint when the fuel was full. It wasn't balanced to my liking.

"We're going to go to Infineon this weekend and test. That will be a good start for us and give us more time to work together as a team."
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Postby mlittle » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:41 am

HVM Racing Preps for Sonoma with One-Day Test

HVM Racing completed a productive one-day test with drivers E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos Thursday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The team tested various setups over the course of the day on the 2.245-mile, 12-turn road course in preparation for the August 23 Infineon Indy Grand Prix.

Viso paced the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara around the track for 41 laps, recording a best lap time of 1:17.94, third-quickest overall on the day. He was comfortable with the car but did not run as many laps as the team had planned after a run off course required repairs to the front wing.

Doornbos completed 69 laps in the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara, running in the middle of the pack with a best lap time of 1:18.26. The test was Doornbos's first time on the course and a valuable learning experience to prepare for next weekend's race. In addition to learning the track, the recently signed HVM driver also used the testing session to further get into sync with his new engineers and crew.

HVM Racing will now take the data gathered from the test session to prepare its strategy for next weekend's Infineon Indy Grand Prix, the final road-course race of the IndyCar Series season.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after testing at Sonoma:

"Today's test was valuable for both teams, but I think it was especially beneficial for Robert's team, as they are still learning each other's preferences. The fact that the car was improved over the course of the day indicates that that process is coming along.

"E.J. did not run as many laps as we had planned, but we still gathered some good information that will help the team next week."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after testing at Sonoma:

"We just tried different setups. We believe we have a pretty good car for the race and for qualifying, so we had a productive day.

"And I'm very glad to have a teammate. It's been a big help to work together."

Comments from HVM Racing Team Driver Robert Doornbos after testing at Sonoma:

"I'm very happy we're here. It's a special track and the car needs a lot of fine-tuning for it. It was nice to work in the peace and quiet with my new team and try some different things. I'm fairly pleased with what we did. The morning was a bit messy but the afternoon made up for it.

"My engineer, Neil (Fife), and I are both very competitive, so we're never going to be completely happy. We're always going to keep pushing. But we're fairly happy with how the day went and we're looking forward to the race."
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Postby mlittle » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:03 am

Sonoma: HVM Racing preview


E.J. Viso, No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara

"Sonoma is one of the greatest tracks of the Championship. Last year we did great -- we finished sixth. This year our expectations are a bit higher. We've had some good results on road courses, and why not over there?

"It's a very fast and flowing track. You need very good high-speed compromises on your car. You need to be very aerodynamically balanced, because you don't want to have too much to be slow on the straights, but at the same time you need enough to be as fast as possible in all those flowing corners. It's a pretty demanding place for the driver and also for the car, and the tire wear is quite high as well. So it's something you need to be thinking about during the race. You don't want to push too hard because otherwise you're not going to have any tires left at the end. Tires do great there usually, but take care of them.

"It's good that I have a teammate now after a year and a half. Hopefully it's going to bring some positive information and we're going to be able to develop the car faster."

Robert Doornbos, No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara

"I love road courses. I think it's great for IndyCar to go to road courses. It's great for the drivers. I can use my European experiences in driving on the road courses, and even street courses are fun. Sonoma is another one I haven't been to, but it's very important that we had the (August 13) test there and have a good setup. So it's an advantage to be able to go to the test."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:18 am

HVM Racing's E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos overcame some challenges Saturday to qualify 13th and 15th respectively for Sunday's Infineon Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Viso will start the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara in the seventh row after posting a lap time of 1:17.9180 on the 2.245-mile road course. Doornbos will start directly behind him after qualifying with a lap time of 1:18.1095.

The team had extensive repair work to do before qualifying after the 13 car was involved in a morning-practice collision with Nelson Philippe. Philippe had spun out of Turn 3a and was partially blocking the track. When Viso came around the blind turn, he could not avoid Philippe and clipped the disabled car with the left rear of his machine. Viso was OK after the incident, but Will Power came around the turn after Viso and crashed straight-on into Philippe. Both Power and Philippe went to the hospital with injuries.

The 33 car also underwent significant repairs after an off-track excursion in the morning practice, which resulted in Doornbos only having enough time to run one stint in the qualifying session without stopping for any changes.

This weekend also marks the 2009 debut of an HVM Racing Firestone Indy Lights car. Rookie driver Juan Pablo Garcia qualified the No. 8 car in the 17th position with a lap time of 1:24.8757 for Sunday's Carneros 100.

The Firestone Indy Lights Carneros 100 airs live on IndyCar.com Sunday at 2 p.m. ET and will be televised Monday at 4 p.m. ET on Versus. The IndyCar Series Infineon Indy Grand Prix starts at 5 p.m. ET Sunday on Versus.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after qualifying at Infineon:

"It was a challenging situation for the 13 car after what happened in the morning session. But we're fortunate that E.J. wasn't hurt and we wish the best for Nelson and Will.

"Both cars were on the edge of the Top 6 during the session and they just needed a little extra push to get in, but we just didn't get the speed."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after qualifying at Infineon:

"This definitely has been a tough day for the Herbalife-sponsored PDVSA HVM Racing team. We didn't start the morning as we wanted. I had a little contact with Nelson. Hopefully he's going to get better soon. He was just basically in the middle of the track out of a blind corner. I tried to do my best to avoid him and I believe I did a pretty good job because I just brushed his front wing.

"For qualifying, I don't think we got what we wanted. I think everyone kept improving except us. We basically just did the same lap times we did last week at the test. My hope was to at least do a little better, for sure getting into the Top 10 in qualifying. Hopefully tomorrow in the race everything is going to be a lot better. Last year I had a pretty good pace in the race and I can feel that tomorrow is going to be a good one."

Comments from HVM Racing Driver Robert Doornbos after qualifying at Infineon:

"We found a problem on the car after the morning practice that put us late on pit road for qualifying. We only had one run and that was not enough to advance to the next round. Right now, it feels like the story of the season, but we have to work hard starting from the back. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:19 am

HVM Racing recorded its second Top-10 finish of the season at the Infineon Indy Grand Prix Sunday after some last-lap passing by Robert Doornbos put the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara across the finish line 10th. Unfortunately, the solid finish by the 33 car was coupled with a disappointing result for E.J. Viso after his No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara was knocked out of the race on the opening lap.

Viso started from the 13th position and had a good start at the green flag. But an accident ahead of him left Tony Kanaan's car sideways in Turn 2, right in Viso's path. He steered to try to avoid contact but clipped Kanaan with the left front of the 13 car. Damage to the suspension could not be repaired in time for Viso to return to the race, and he ended the day in 22nd place.

Doornbos started in the 15th position and was able to move into sixth in the opening laps when he was able to steer around a wreck in front of him and after multiple cars pitted for repairs. He made his first pit stop on Lap 25, switching from Firestone red tires to blacks, and then stayed in the middle of the pack, reporting some handling issues. His second pit stop on Lap 50 put him back on red tires for more grip, and he stayed mid-pack for most of the remaining laps. In some last-lap action, Doornbos was able to take advantage of contact between Marco Andretti and Scott Dixon to slip past both cars to move into 10th position, where he took the checkered flag.

Earlier in the day, the debut of HVM Racing's Firestone Indy Lights car resulted in an 18th-place finish for rookie driver Juan Pablo Garcia in Sunday's Carneros 100. Garcia went off course shortly after the green flag and drove the rest of the race a lap down.

The team now has a short week to prepare for Saturday night's PEAK Anti-Freeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after the Infineon Indy Grand Prix:

"Obviously, it was disappointing for E.J. to be taken out on the opening lap. The team worked hard to repair the car after the incident in practice yesterday, and we were ready to see what we could do.

"Robert had a solid finish and did a nice job on the last lap to gain two spots for a Top-10. His car also underwent significant repairs after a practice incident on Saturday, so that crew battled back also."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after the Infineon Indy Grand Prix:

"We had a very good start. I had a very good first corner -- I think I overtook two or three cars. And as soon as I was in the apex of Corner 2, I just found Tony Kanaan sideways and I just tried to do my best to avoid him. But he was sideways but still moving forward, so I didn't have an option."

Comments from HVM Racing Driver Robert Doornbos after the Infineon Indy Grand Prix:

"What a day. It's such a long day when we are not as competitive as we should be. I'm sorry for the guys behind me, I was just holding them up in the beginning, but I was just doing everything I could to stay on the track.

"Obviously we had a mega start. We got about eight positions at the start, so we were running in sixth place. That was good. I was able to pass Dixon and Andretti on the last lap, which was good. But the pace was just not there."
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:28 am

Chicagoland: HVM Racing preview
Racing series INDYCAR
Date 2009-08-25

E.J. Viso

"Chicago is one of my favorite ovals of the championship. It's a place where you can be running even three-wide. Last year we were having a great race, started last and I was running fourth until I had a puncture. I think last year (at Chicago) was our best performance on an oval. Hopefully this year we're going to do better. So I am really looking forward to that one."

Robert Doornbos

"My first oval with the team is going to be Chicago. I haven't been there yet, it's a new oval for me, like most of the tracks I've been to this year. I look forward to it because it's supposed to be very challenging for driving side-by-side. And with the new rules IndyCar has, I think the heartbeat will be pumping out of the chest for two hours, and hopefully the car is good and we can get a good result."
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Postby mlittle » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:50 am

Chicagoland: HVM Racing qualifying report
Racing series INDYCAR
Date 2009-08-28

The two cars from HVM Racing will look to move ahead from the back of the pack when the green flag waves on Saturday night's PEAK Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. E.J. Viso's No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara qualified 20th with an average speed of 221.586 and a total lap time of 1:43.4472. Robert Doornbos qualified 22nd in the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara with an average speed of 211.169 and a total lap time of 1:43.6514.

Friday afternoon's qualifying session looked uncertain after rain showers set back the morning practice session by 45 minutes and gray clouds still lingered over the track as qualifying began. Sprinkles halted the qualifying runs for a very short time early in the session but then cleared, allowing the entire field to complete their laps.

This weekend marks the first race for Doornbos at Chicagoland. Viso ran well last season at the 1.5-oval, surging from the back of the field into the Top 5 before a flat tire caused the car to spin into the wall and end the team's race early.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after qualifying at Chicagoland:

"Neither car qualified as high as we expected. But as we saw last year at this track, it is possible to start in the back and move to the front. So, we will work to make sure we have the best possible race set-ups for tomorrow night and see what we can do."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Team Driver E.J. Viso after qualifying at Chicagoland:

"It's another one of our disappointing oval qualifications. It's a shame after almost two seasons we haven't improved. My only hopes are for tomorrow's race. Last year we had a pretty good one going until we had a puncture. So hopefully tomorrow we'll have an even better one."

Comments from HVM Racing Driver Robert Doornbos after qualifying at Chicagoland:

"Well, I've won with HVM Racing in the past and we've led the championship, too. These guys are good guys and know what to do with a good car. Right now, we're only as good as the car. It's painful, but we have to keep pushing. We are going to keep working on it and get better at the ovals. We just have to focus and survive right now."
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Postby mlittle » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:03 am

The PEAK Indy 300 featured plenty of back-and-forth passing and three-ride racing, but the two HVM Racing cars saw most of their action in the middle and back of the pack of Saturday night's race at Chicagoland Speedway. E.J. Viso and the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara finished 17th, and Robert Doornbos finished 18th in the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara.

Viso started in the 20th position and spent most of the race battling for and exchanging positions with Sarah Fisher and Mike Conway. He advanced as high as 15th, but lost ground on his fourth and final pit stop when he entered his pit at an awkward angle in anticipation of the No. 98 car exiting the pit box behind him. The 13 crew had to straighten the car before servicing it with fuel and tires.

Starting 22nd, Doornbos looked for speed at the drop of the green flag. The crew made some tire pressure adjustments throughout the night, but the car ran at the back of the pack. With less than 15 laps to go, they were forced to make an unscheduled additional stop for a punctured rear tire. Doornbos drove a smart race, avoided contact, and finished 18th.

HVM now returns to Indianapolis to prepare for the overseas trip to Twin Ring Montegi in Japan next month.

Comments from HVM Racing Team Principal and Owner Keith Wiggins after the PEAK Indy 300:

"E.J. did quite a bit of battling for position and looked like he could make a run, but then we had the miscue in the pits that set him back a few spots. And with Robert's car, we just never found the speed to push forward."

Comments from PDVSA HVM Racing Driver E.J. Viso after the PEAK Indy 300:

"Aside from the result, I think this was one of the most fun races I've had on an oval. I like running close to cars. I just wish we would be able to run the whole race with them. But unfortunately, we have what we have.

"Things went pretty smoothly until the last pit stop. I screwed up my entry into the pit because I thought (Jacques) Lazier was coming out of his pit, so I hit the brakes.

"Basically it was a pretty smooth race. We had a stable car, comfortable to run with traffic, but it's obvious we were lacking a lot of speed."

Comments from HVM Racing Driver Robert Doornbos after the PEAK Indy 300:

"It was everything we could do to find speed in the car tonight. I wanted to be up there and play with the leaders, but the car wouldn't allow us to do that tonight.

"It was not an enjoyable night and no fun to do. We need to forget it and move on and improve on our issues."
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Postby mlittle » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:05 am

Viso and Doornbos Prep for Overseas Race
HVM Drivers Focus on Schedules, Sleep and Sushi

Indianapolis, Indiana (September 10, 2009) -- The upcoming IndyCar Series race in Motegi, Japan, will take E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos half a world away, and they know the trip will take a physical toll. So the HVM Racing drivers are prepping early to make sure they are adjusted by the time they climb into their cars at the Twin Ring oval.

For starters, Motegi is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time. To prepare for the huge time variance, both Viso and Doornbos plan to arrive plenty early to adjust.

"I'm planning to go a few days before, and I'm going to have a couple of appearances with some sponsors," said Viso, driver of the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara. "So that's going to give me some time to adjust to the difference in time."

"Having the time changes, I'm sort of getting used to it, because with traveling from Europe to the U.S. you always go back in time, which is not bad," said Doornbos, driver of the No. 33 HVM Racing Honda Dallara and native of The Netherlands. "But now we actually go ahead into time, which is something new. So you do have to adjust your body, your bio-rhythm. You try to arrive five or six days in advance. Try to prepare yourself in the best way so you're not sleepy for the race."

Doornbos says getting the body into a regular exercise routine will help.

"What I like to do is running, cycling, swimming, just a lot of cardio work," said Doornbos. "And I think it's one of the best ways to relax as well after a 12-hour flight, just to move the arms and legs. Just move the body a bit, make yourself tired. And then early to bed and focus on the race weekend."

Making themselves tired shouldn't be too difficult. Between sponsor visits and promotional events, the drivers will have busy schedules once they land in Japan. But everyone agrees the overseas trip is good for the sport.

"It's always good to take open-wheel racing to different markets and to appeal to different audiences," said Keith Wiggins, team principal and owner. "It's only going to help the sport grow and build the fan base. There is a lot of work involved with taking a race team overseas, but in the end there is a great benefit to it."

One thing Viso and Doornbos won't have any difficulty adjusting to is the Japanese cuisine. They both say they are looking forward to eating sushi.

"I love sushi," said Viso. "I'm sure I'll eat plenty."
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Postby mlittle » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:06 am

Viso Finds Venezuelan Connection in Japan
Tokyo Tour also Includes Visit to Helmet Maker to Say Thanks

Tokyo, Japan (September 15, 2009) -- He was on the other side of the world, but E.J. Viso found a fellow Venezuelan athlete in Tokyo, Japan, as he prepared for this week's Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi.

The driver of the No. 13 PDVSA HVM Racing Honda Dallara attended a baseball game Sunday between the Seibu Lions and the Orix Buffalos, where he met Orix infielder and fellow countryman Alex Cabrera. The meeting was arranged by Hiro Kamura, advisor to the chairman of Arai, the maker of Viso's helmets.

"It was a fantastic experience going to a baseball game outside the U.S. or Venezuela," said Viso. "Japanese fans are very passionate and the game was very close so we had some nice singing and shouting by both sides' fans.

"I would like to thank my partner Arai for giving me the opportunity to live this unique experience and meet with Alex Cabrera."

A Personal Thank-You

On Monday, Viso delivered a much more personal thank-you to his helmet maker. But this visit was not just to say thanks for a baseball game, but for helping to save his life.

He visited the Arai factory and offices in Saitama, just outside Tokyo, to visit with the employees of the manufacturer of "the best helmet in the world." Viso was wearing an Arai helmet at the 2007 French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours when his car flipped over a wall in a horrific crash that left him with relatively minor injuries.

During his visit, Viso had his head measured to update his profile for the production of his helmets. He also assisted in a crash test demonstrating the resistance of the Arai products.

Not Flesh and Blood, Just Nuts and Bolts

Another highlight of Viso's Tokyo tour this week was a stop at Honda headquarters, where he met the engine manufacturer's most famous non-human employee.

He assisted with a demo of ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), Honda's humanoid robot whose skills include greeting visitors, walking up and down stairs and coming when beckoned.

During his Honda visit, Viso also met with employees and presented Mr. Muramatsu, Manager of the Motorsport Division, with an autographed No. 13 hat.

Viso is in Japan preparing for the Japan Indy 300 this weekend. The race airs on Versus Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET.
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