SATO LEADS KV RACING TECHNOLOGY PRACTICE RUNS FRIDAY IN INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA Hotter Conditions Give Drivers At New Perspective of the Barber Circuit Â BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Friday's practice runs for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama...
SATO LEADS KV RACING TECHNOLOGY PRACTICE RUNS
FRIDAY IN INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
Hotter Conditions Give Drivers At New Perspective of the Barber Circuit
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Friday's practice runs for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama were a drastic change from the cold temperatures here in February's testing. In the testing session, the temperatures were in the high 30 degrees.
With temperatures over 70 today, the KV Racing Technology drivers and engineers were scrambling to find a balance with their Honda-powered Dallara race cars.
The beautiful Barber Motorsports Park is a spectacular backdrop for the third round of the 17-race IZOD IndyCar Series campaign with a large crowd already on hand to witness history in the state of Alabama. Sunday's 75-lap feature will be the first major open-wheel race ever in the state.
Formula One veteran Takuma Sato, a rookie in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series, made an impressive charge in the second practice session Friday with the sixth quickest time in the No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine. The Japanese native recorded a time of one minute, 11.5818 seconds for an average speed of 115.672 miles per hour on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn circuit, just east of Birmingham.
Will Power, the current series point leader was the fastest Friday at 116.315 m.p.h.
Sato's KVRT teammates, Mario Moraes and E.J. Viso, did not enjoy the success of the Lotus driver in Friday's practice.
Moraes' best time was 1:12.5085 for an average of 114.194 m.p.h. and 20th overall, while Visa clocked in at 21st with a 1:12.5426 and a speed of 114.140. Both Moraes and Viso expected to make changes before entering Saturday's qualifying round.
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: " The track conditions were so different from the last time we were here (for the Feb. test) It was so much warmer today. And that made it so much different with the balance of the car. It changed the whole grip level. In the first session, I wasn't particularly happy with the car. It was a handful. So I sat down with the engineers and looked over the data. We then tried several different things and the car was better. I was pleased with the overall balance of the car in the second session. It was a very productive day. We won't hev any practice before our qualifying run on Saturday. So, having a good second session in today's practice, will be good entering Saturday's qualifying."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "Today's was a pretty difficult day for us. We were a little out of the ball park. We tried various things and we know what doesn't work in the car. We are going to go back to a setup we had at the test (in Feb.) here. Qualifying is very important at this track, with the narrow pavement. And it is very difficult to overtake. Your starting position will be important here as well as strategy and pit stops. We have get through qualifying and then work on getting a good race car."
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACINGTECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I haven't been here in over a year. So I needed to get used to the track. I have a new engineer this weekend with Ian (Watt). And we are working pretty well together. At the end of the second session, the car was a little loose. But I hope we can make it better for qualifying.."