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Mixed Results for BHA at Long Beach

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Sebastian Saavedra, Stefan Wilson, Grand Prix of Long Beach

Mixed Results for BHA at Long Beach

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
April 18, 2010

Bryan Herta Autosport fared at both ends of the spectrum on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., in today’s Firestone Indy Lights race. Sebastian Saavedra brought the #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone home in fourth position to earn valuable points in the championship standings while teammate Stefan Wilson suffered misfortune with an electrical problem which ended his day early.

Saavedra, who qualified fourth, lost a spot to Martin Plowman at the start but was able to regain his position on Lap 8, which marked the only pass of the front-runners during the 45-lap event. Wilson, who struggled with handling issues early on and qualified 10th, continued to endure a difficult weekend and retired the #28 King Taco car on Lap 27.

Saavedra and Wilson are currently fifth and sixth respectively in the championship standings as BHA heads to Indianapolis next month for the first oval event of the season.

Race Results:
1. James Hinchcliffe
2. Charlie Kimball
3. J.K Vernay
4. Sebastian Saavedra
17. Stefan Wilson

Stefan Wilson, #28 King Taco Dallara/Firestone: “It has been a really hard weekend. We started with some handling problems and tried to improve throughout the sessions and did that to a certain extent. The car was a lot better as the weekend went on but, unfortunately, it was all a bit late. We qualified mid-field which made the race a challenge. It is very difficult to pass around here. In the end, it didn’t matter anyway. We had an electrical problem which put us out of the race. I want to thank King Taco for their support this weekend. I really wanted to give them a good result. Now we have to regroup and get ready for Indianapolis. I am looking forward to it. It will be my first experience on an oval and it should be exciting.”

Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone: “It was a good race and a long one and the entire team did a great job. The pace at the front was very strong. I lost a spot in the first turn [to Martin Plowman]. I was trying to be safe and survive that first corner. From then on, it was a great battle with Martin and [J.K] Vernay. I was able to get a nice run in the hairpin to repass Plowman and gain my position back. These were very important points today for me in the championship. What happened in St. Pete [DNF] was quite painful for us. Right now, we are back in the game and I am looking forward to the ovals. I am very happy with the job the #29 William Rast team did this weekend.”

Bryan Herta, Team Co-Owner: “It was really a bittersweet day for us. It was great for Sebastian and the William Rast car to have a strong finish and gain valuable points with a top-four finish. At the same time, it was obviously very disappointing that we had the issue with Stefan’s car and he wasn’t able to finish. Being in Long Beach, a local race for King Taco which is sponsoring us this weekend, we really wanted to give them a good result. Our goal is always to get both cars to the finish line and we weren’t able to do that today.”

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