Rubens Barrichello confirms move to IndyCar

IndyCar

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 2011

Rubens Barrichello has confirmed his switch to IndyCar for 2012

Rubens Barrichello will race in the IndyCar championship this year, he announced in a press conference in Sao Paulo today.

The former Williams driver has joined KV Racing who he has tested for in recent weeks. His team mates in the three-car outfit will be Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso.

Barrichello said: “I am thrilled, it is something very new to me. I need to thank everyone involved, especially Tony because he has been involved for a long time.

“I would also like to thank my sponsors, BMC, Embrase and Locaweb for their help. This is a new experience, but I am very very happy. With all my experience I will start as a rookie, but I think I will get better as the year progresses.

“My main thing is to be an addition to KV Racing Technology. They have been doing very well and Tony brought the team to a different level last year, so I hope with my contribution we can build on this and take the team to another level. I am extremely happy and have a big smile on my face.”

He will join fellow former F1 drivers Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson in the championship this year.

Barrichello will contest all 16 rounds on the 2012 IndyCar calendar which includes seven races on street tracks, five on ovals and four at road courses.

Barrichello revealed his children had persuaded his wife to let him contest the oval races, after he’d previously said he wouldn’t race on ovals.

Tony Kanaan, KV Racing, IndyCar, 2012

Barrichello will drive for IndyCar team KV Racing

KV Racing Technology co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven said: “I was at Sebring when Rubens first got into an IndyCar. The smile when he got out of the car was a great moment and lasted for three days.

“Rubens ended up the fastest at the end of the test, showing the speed he is capable of and his experience setting up a car. Teamed with his ??brother?? Tony Kanaan this is going to be an exciting and successful season for the drivers, the team and the fans.”

Barrichello, who holds the record for most F1 starts with 322, will make his IndyCar debut as a rookie on March 25th in the season-opening race on the St Petersburg street circuit in Florida. The fourth race of the season will be his home event at another street track in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

His first oval race will be the Indianapolis 500 on May 27th. Former F1 driver Jean Alesi has said he will compete in this year’s race as a one-off.

Barrichello will race the Dallara DW12 IndyCar which is being introduced this year.

The new design features rear wheel surrounds designed to limit the chance of cars getting airborne when contact is made, as happened in the crash which claimed Dan Wheldon’s life last October.

Here’s video of Barrichello testing for KV Racing, who will use Chevrolet engines this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uLRNI_TCcQ

See the full list of 2012 IndyCar teams and drivers.

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Images ?? Williams/LAT, KV Racing

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53 comments on Rubens Barrichello confirms move to IndyCar

  1. mfDB (@mfdb) said on 1st March 2012, 16:31

    Great news! I was contemplating if I should make the short trip to Birmingham, but now it’s a sure thing!

    Anyone else going to that race….April 1??

    I’ve heard they have a cool car museum there too

    • sennaboy3 (@sennaboy3) said on 1st March 2012, 16:52

      How far is the track from you? I’ve heard great things about it! However, all the way up in Connecticut, it is a loooonnng trip…

      • mfDB (@mfdb) said on 1st March 2012, 18:18

        I’m in Atlanta, so its about 130 miles?…2 & 1/2 hours. Too close not to go.

        You might be better off going to Milwaukee/Baltimore/Toronto, but Birmingham in April would be a nice warm vacation for you!

  2. Nixon (@nixon) said on 1st March 2012, 17:36

    Good luck! :)

  3. Kamui Fan (@kamui-fan) said on 1st March 2012, 19:09

    F1’s loss is Indycar’s gain

    Will miss Rubens but a fresh challenge will good for him

    I wish him luck :)

  4. Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 1st March 2012, 20:47

    I guess I have a reason to start watching IndyCar then :)

  5. Legomanshair said on 1st March 2012, 21:48

    He should do well out there ex f1 drivers usually do…I hope he wins the title. I hope he is safe though. Would love to see Schumacher go out there with a Mercedes indycar team built around him next year that would be awesome and these 2 stalwarts could renew their lifelong rivalry in a new arena

  6. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 1st March 2012, 23:05

    I hope he wins the championship :)

  7. Slackbladder said on 2nd March 2012, 7:56

    So many positive comments for such an accomplished driver, show ‘em how it’s done Rubens!

  8. Ben (@dirtyscarab) said on 2nd March 2012, 18:19

    Really good news.
    I’ll certainly go out to watch him @ the Baltimore Grand Prix this year as it’s just on my doorstep. Can’t wait to see how he fairs in the road course championship (For those who didn’t know, they have a separate ‘mini championship’ of road courses + ovals).

    Providing he gets to grips with the car quickly he may up with Will Power on the road courses this year. Ovals though may be a bit of a stumbling block for him I fear…

    The series recently took a massive blow what with Dan’s death and the every popular (but slow) Danica Patrick leaving for NASCAR so to have someone like Rubens behind the wheel should pique quite a bit of interest and bring new fans in.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd March 2012, 12:01

    Absolutely brilliant outcome for Rubens, arguably better than another season at Williams. A fresh start for him and a great boost for the sport. I’ll be tuning in and I can’t wait. I’ll be new to IndyCar too!

    Best of luck Rubens but I’m sure you’ll be fine.

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