July 1, 2012
BERKELEY - California senior prop Lyall Davenport has transitioned from the front row of the Golden Bears' scrum to the pit row of the Izod IndyCar racing circuit in his summer job with KV Racing Technology.
Davenport is working as a member of the pit crew for KV's No. 8 Dallara vehicle, driven by Rubens Barrichello and powered by Chevy and Firestone. Owned by Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, KV Racing Technology has been in open wheel racing for almost 10 years, with three cars currently entered in the Izod Indy Car Series.
"Rubens is a household name in Formula One circles and working with a legend like him has been a great experience," said Davenport. "A lot of people don't realize there is an athletic component to any professional driving and watching Rubens jump into the DW12 car this year has been a great lesson in the importance of mental strength as well as the physical endurance required to drive at well over 200 miles an hour."
Davenport's duties have ranged from cleaning the shop and polishing the car, to pulling apart and putting back together the vehicle before, during and after races.
"KV is a sports team and therefore we adopt many of the same principals as we do at Cal rugby," explained Davenport. "One of the cool things about motor sport is the attitude of striving to win and doing what it takes to get the job done. That mentality is important and something we at Cal rugby look toward as well."
Among KV's races this summer has been the legendary Indy 500, at which all three cars entered by Davenport's team finished the grueling, 250-lap challenge.
Cal head coach Jack Clark expressed admiration for Davenport and the KV Racing operation: "I suppose there are summer jobs and then there are summer jobs, but a position with an IndyCar team has to be viewed as a plum assignment."
Davenport and his Bear rugby teammates will reconvene in Strawberry Canyon at the end of August to commence a two-tiered fall season, with a preseason training schedule for 15s combined with a slate of 7s tournaments.