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Aug 25, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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Saavedra Finishes 16th At The Gopro Grand Prix Of Sonoma
Posted by: newsla on Aug 25, 2014 - 06:48 AM
IndyCar News
Saavedra Finishes 16th At The Gopro Grand Prix Of Sonoma

Sebastian Saavedra moved up six places to finish 16th in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA.


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Saavedra, who was driving the No. 17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. - KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone machine, started 22nd this afternoon and thanks to great calls from his spotter and quick reactions from the 24-year-old, avoided the opening lap incident in turn two to move into 13th. Saavedra remained there for the next 10 laps and once other cars started pitting, he found himself in third place before pitting on lap 20. Saavedra rejoined the race in 20th, but soon began to move back through the field and by the time the third yellow had been shown was 14th. Unfortunately, during the restart on lap 36, Saavedra got caught up with his teammate Sebastien Bourdais after Helio Castroneves punted Bourdais into Saavedra. That forced the young Colombian to return to the pits for a new front wing. Over the next 20 laps Saavedra once again went from the back of the field to the front with a combination of well-timed passes and cars in front pitting for fuel. Saavedra was running in fourth when he made his final stop on lap 66, rejoined 18th and when the checkered flag was shown, had moved up two more spots to finish 16th. He earned 14 points today and sits 21st in the championship standings with 265 points.

"It was an interesting race from the back. I had a great start and managed to avoid a big incident in turn two and then gained nine positions. I was pretty happy with the Automatic Fire Sprinklers - KV AFS car and the crew did a great job. Unfortunately, on the restart I got in a bit of an accident with my teammate, when Helio Castroneves pushed him out, and that's something that really hurt my race as I was fighting for a top-10 spot with (Simon) Pagenaud. Coming from the back, I had some great passes, we just needed one more lap as a lot of cars needed fuel and I could then of had a top-five, but that's racing and I look forward to getting back on track and doing it again next weekend."

This weekend was the final road/street course and the penultimate race of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Once again, Saavedra showed he can battle through the field no matter what type of track. This year, he climbed an impressive 13 places in Long Beach, to secure his first top-10 finish of the season and was looking to have a podium finish at Iowa in his 50th career race after passing 14 cars, but a "moment", which he almost saved, ended with him tapping the wall. Just last month, at Mid-Ohio, he again moved through the field and was running sixth with the fastest lap of the race, before a mechanical problem ended his day.

Saavedra made his fourth start at Sonoma today and has a best finish of 14th (2011) and a best start of 13th (2013).

Next weekend will be the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale and the final round of the Triple Crown Series. The MAVTV 500 at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, August 29-30, will be broadcast live on NBCSports from 9 p.m. ET. on Saturday 30th August. The race broadcast will also be on XM 209, IMS IndyCar Radio affiliates, plus IndyCar.com and the Verizon INDYCAR 14 app.

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