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Andretti Autosport: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Qualifying Report

Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet   

DHL driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will start from the fourth position for tomorrow’s just over 200-mile race at Sonoma Raceway — his best career start at the 2.385-mile circuit. Coming into the weekend third in the championship points standings, the 32-year-old’s previous best start was seventh (2012, 2007) and his best recorded finish in Sonoma is eighth (2010).

“It’s a pretty disappointing day for us. I think we had a pretty good pace leading up to qualifying, and then the wind shifted – as it was for everybody else. It was tough to get the lap time out of the car, as it was for everybody, but the guys in front of us have just been one step above. Dario (Franchitti) did what we did in Mid-Ohio and went out on used (Firestone) reds in the second session, and I think that’s where he won the pole. Congratulations to those guys – they’ve been super quick. We’re a little disappointed to start fourth, but all considering, we can definitely work from there. Now we gotta go re-engineer it and make it a race car instead of a qualifying car.”

James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet

Fan favorite James Hinchcliffe posted a ninth-place qualifying effort today behind the wheel of the the GoDaddy Chevy.Tomorrow’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 26-year-old’s third career start at the Northern California track.

“All in all, we’re relatively pleased. Of course you always want to make it in the (Firestone) Fast Six, and we didn’t do that today. But, from where we were in practice, we made some improvements which is the name of the game here. With a top-10 qualifying, we can work with that in the race. Certainly with the other (Andretti Autosport) cars, we were all hoping to be a bit higher, I think, but this is about Sunday, and that’s what pays the points. If we can just keep making the kind of improvements that we did from yesterday to today, then hopefully we’ll be within a shout of getting the GoDaddy car on the podium tomorrow.”

Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet

Third-generation racer Marco Andretti will make his eighth Sonoma Raceway start tomorrow from the 11th position.

“Disappointed. I had higher hopes for the RC (Cola) Chevy today. We were loose and just couldn’t get the lap together we needed. Not the starting position we had hoped for but we’ll fight tomorrow and make the best of it.”

E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet

Starting from the inside of Row 8, E.J. Viso will make his sixth start at Sonoma Raceway and 97th career start tomorrowduring the 85-lap race.

I’m pretty disappointed with how qualifying went after yesterday… to be honest, I didn’t expect to be this slow. We just still haven’t been able to find the pace. Qualifying was very difficult; I didn’t have grip in the fast corners and quite a lot of understeer in other corners, and at the same time, braking was fairly difficult. Obviously, we didn’t have a good package to go out and qualify up front today. Tomorrow is going to be a long race but we have good expectations as always. However, we’re going to be spending a lot of hours trying to find some grip and speed.”

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Posted by on August 25, 2013. Filed under Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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