Today's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights headlines
1. KV Racing Technology signs Mario Moraes
2. Guthrie Meyer Racing adds Ali Jackson
1. KV Racing Technology signs Mario Moraes: KV Racing Technology announced today that Mario Moraes will drive the KV Racing Technology Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry during the 2009 Indy Car Series season.
Moraes, a 20-year-old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, will be contesting his second season in the IndyCar Series. Last year he drove for Dale Coyne Racing, earning three top-10 finishes with a best showing of seventh at Watkins Glen. Moraes led his first career IndyCar Series laps at the Indianapolis 500.
"We are very excited to have Mario join our team," KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser said. "Mario is young and extremely talented. He impressed us with his performances on both ovals and road/street circuits last year. We look forward to watching him grow and are confident he will be very competitive during the 2009 season."
Moraes moved to the IndyCar Series in 2008 following three seasons of Formula 3 competition in Europe and South America.
"I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser for this opportunity," Moraes said. "I think KV Racing Technology provides me with the best opportunity to develop as a driver and advance my racing career. I am really looking forward to working with the entire KVRT organization in 2009."
2. Guthrie Meyer Racing adds Ali Jackson: British Formula 3 veteran Ali Jackson will join Guthrie Meyer Racing as driver of the No. 59 GMR entry during the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season.
"Ali is an incredible young talent, and I know he's going to be a formidable force on the track this season," said Jim Guthrie, co-owner of GMR. "We are going to give Ali the best possible equipment, surround him with a stellar team and let him do the rest. I'm excited to see him racing in America and that his career goal is the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series."
The 20-year-old native of Belfast, Northern Ireland joins Sean Guthrie in the Guthrie Meyer Racing lineup. Jackson, who drove for a team co-owned by Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen in England, also has competed in Asian F3, scoring four wins and becoming the youngest winner in the series history.
"Ali's driving ability and chassis feedback is second to none," said Louis "Butch" Meyer III, co-owner of GMR. "He was very impressive at our test in November. GMR is building a championship program, and Ali is definitely going to be an asset to our building process."
Jackson tested a Firestone Indy Lights car with GMR at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in November and recorded the fastest time on the road course and the second fastest time on the oval.
"I'm incredibly happy to be a part of the Guthrie Meyer team," Jackson said. "We had a great test in the fall, and the potential of this team is unmatched. I think we're going to be the team to beat this season. IndyCar racing is unique because to win you must be competitive on road circuits, but also ovals. There's no better place to learn and develop for the IndyCar Series than Firestone Indy Lights. I'm excited to compete with some of the best up-and-coming talent in the world."
The 2009 IndyCar Series season opens April 5 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be telecast live at 2 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season begins with a doubleheader race weekend April 4-5 at St. Petersburg.