E.J. VISO TAKES ON PENSKE, GANASSI TEAMS IN FIRESTONE FAST SIX QUALIFYING AT EDMONTON KVRT Driver Scores Sixth With Sato, Moraes & Tracy 13th, 14th & 15th EDMONTON, Alta., Canada (July 24, 2010) -- E.J. Viso must have felt like he was "David"...
E.J. VISO TAKES ON PENSKE, GANASSI TEAMS
IN FIRESTONE FAST SIX QUALIFYING AT EDMONTON
KVRT Driver Scores Sixth With Sato, Moraes & Tracy 13th, 14th & 15th
EDMONTON, Alta., Canada (July 24, 2010) -- E.J. Viso must have felt like he was "David" against "Goliath" Saturday in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying at Honda Indy Edmonton on the 1.96-mile., 14-turn City Centre Airport circuit.
In the ten-minute Firestone Fast Six qualifying session, Viso, in the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, battled the likes of the Penske and Ganassi teams in a wild shootout that saw thunder and lightning less than a mile away from the track. The stellar qualifying lineup of Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe fought against the lone KV Racing Technology driver in an attempt to capture the pole for Sunday's 95-lap main event that starts at 4 p.m. MDT. While the rain was close to the circuit, the track surface was dry.
Viso, with his best qualifying performance of the year, posted the sixth fastest speed of the day with a reading of 115.282 mile per hour. Power, the defending race winner, won the pole at 116.991. The 25-year-old Venezuelan KVRT driver jumped to the top of the speed charts in the first two minutes of the special Firestone event and later ran as high as fourth before settling for a third row position.
F-1 veteran Takuma Sato just missed a position in the second round of qualifying Saturday and will start 13th in the No. 5 Lotus -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car. The series rookie was just one-tenth off the fastest six in the first qualifying group that included Power, Castroneves, Briscoe and Franchitti. Sato's speed was 114.713 m.p.h., just missing the transfer spot.
Mario Moraes, looking to repeat his top-five finish at Watkins Glen, will start next to Sato in the 14th position after also coming up short of a transfer spot in the second group of first round time trials. Moraes, the youngest series regular at age 21, recorded a speed of 114.317 m.p.h. in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine.
Canadian star Paul Tracy, a top-seven performer in practice on Friday and Saturday, will start 15th in the feature with a speed of 113.961 m.p.h.. Tracy, driving the No. 15 Honda Canada -- Make A Wish-- Motegi Wheels Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, has never finished worse than sixth at Edmonton in five races on the bumpy tarmac at City Centre Airport and will be the crowd favorite Sunday.
E.J. VISO -- #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I am definitely happy today. This is our best qualifying in road courses and ovals this year. We felt we could do this kind of performance all season, but we had so many obstacles early in the season. Now, I feel we are in position to do this all of the time. After Iowa (where he finished third), things are changing in our direction. I really want to thank everyone on the No. 8 PDVSA crew and KV Racing Technology for giving me a great car. The car was very consistent today and the team did a tremendous job. I look forward to the race after this qualifying run today."
TAKUMA SATO -- #5 LOTUS -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "The first group was the toughest group today. I didn't get a good feeling during the first run with the primary tires. However, when we went to the alternate tire, the car was getting better and it looked like it was all coming together. Unfortunately the times were so close that we missed the top-12 by less than a tenth of a second. I tried everything we had but we just couldn't find the grip so I'm very disappointed we didn't make it through to Q2 today."
MARIO MORAES -- #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "Unfortunately, my KV Racing car had some understeer in qualifying. We couldn't put a lap together to reach the Top 12. We just missed out at the end of session. Overall, our balance in the car is pretty good for the race. I hope to get a good start and move up in the race."
PAUL TRACY -- #15 HONDA CANADA -- MAKE A WISH -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "We were put in the hardest group possible today. There were three Penskes, a Ganassi car, Wilson and others. That group was just stacked with a lot of fast guys. It's a shame because we just didn't have enough to transfer to the second round. We missed by a little today. It's tough to start 15th on Sunday. I really wanted to start further up in the grid for the Make A Wish, Honda Canada and Motegi Wheels people. We had been a top-seven car all weekend leading into qualifying. I'm disappointed for everyone. We'll have to drive through the field again in the race."