Indy 500: KV Racing Technology Opening Day report

MORAES LEADS KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SPEEDS IN RAIN-SHORTENED INDY 500 PRACTICE SATURDAY Sato Anxious To Complete Rookie Orientation SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2010) -- Mario Moraes led the KV Racing Technology drivers Saturday in the opening day of...

MORAES LEADS KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SPEEDS IN RAIN-SHORTENED INDY 500 PRACTICE SATURDAY
Sato Anxious To Complete Rookie Orientation

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2010) -- Mario Moraes led the KV Racing Technology drivers Saturday in the opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, set for Sunday, May 30 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Moraes, the 21-year-old Brazilian, completed just ten laps Saturday in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine with a best speed of 223.93 miles per hour, while E.J. Viso drove the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car to a 222.66 m.p.h clocking with popular Paul Tracy at 219.51 m.p.h. in the No. 15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry.

Moraes, who qualified seventh in last year's Indy 500, is coming off a seventh place two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway.

The two-hour veteran practice was shortened by a rain shower Saturday with Helio Castroneves the fastest at 226.60 m.p.h.

Viso, who'll attempt to qualify in his third Indy 500 this Saturday, completed just 13 laps in practice before a rain shower shortened his on-track activity. The personable Venezuelan driver was extremely fast at Kansas, running as high as fifth before retiring early on lap 72.

Tracy returned to Indy after last year's ninth place finish in the GEICO machine and ran just seven circuits on Saturday. A small mechanical difficulty kept the Canadian racer off the 2.5-mile for the rest of the day.

Takuma Sato, a Formula One veteran who placed third in the 2004 USGP at Indy, made his debut on the Brickyard oval Saturday in "Rookie Orientation" in the No. 5 Lotus - KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car. Sato completed 20 laps with a best speed of 210.997 as he worked through his rookie program. Rain shortened his rookie test and he'll finish the program on Sunday.

MARIO MORAES, #32 KVRT HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "It was an easy day for us. We just ran ten laps for a shakedown on the No. 32 KV Racing Technology car. We didn't want to run much today. We had planned to get ready for Sunday. The car felt good."

E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA -- KVRT HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "It felt very natural for me today after being away for a year. I was very comfortable with the car. We didn't run much today, but it is a good way to start the month. Now we can go step-by-step with our setup and improve throughout the week. After the Kansas race, I feel very confident about our car."

PAUL TRACY, #15 GEICO - KVRT HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "We didn't get a lot of laps in the GEICO car today. We just shook the car down and the balance was real good. We a small mechanical problem that we'll fix for Sunday. Nothing to worry for us right now. I feel good about coming back to Indy and put in a strong effort."

TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KVRT HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "It was good to learn the track and get a feel for it and the car. The track here at Indianapolis has very different characteristics. Unfortunately, we had to stop rookie orientation due to the rain. That was a shame. But hopefully we can finish the rest of the rookie orientation on Sunday."

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Series INDYCAR