KV Racing Lotus Edmonton IndyCar Qualifying Report

KV Racing Technology – Lotus Driver Takuma Sato Captures Pole For Edmonton Indy


KV Racing Technology – Lotus driver Takuma Sato captured the pole for tomorrow’s Edmonton Indy in Edmonton, Canada. E. J. Viso qualified a season - high fifth while Tony Kanaan will start 11th.

Takuma Sato, KV Racing Technology-Lotus
Takuma Sato, KV Racing Technology-Lotus

Photo by: Covy Moore

Sato, behind the wheel of the No. 5 KV Racing Technology – Lotus machine, took the pole with an outstanding lap of 78.5165 seconds (101.971 mph) on the new 2.256-mile, 13-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport temporary street circuit. Viso, No. 59 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology – Lotus, had a fast lap of 78.7383 seconds (101.684) and will grid on the inside of row three while Kanaan, No. 82 GEICO – KV Racing Technology – Lotus, posted a lap of 79.0190 seconds (101.322 mph) and will lineup on the inside of row six.

This is the second time in team history that KVRT – Lotus has had three cars advance to the second round of qualifying (first time was at Barber Motorsports Park in 2010) and the third time that the team has had at least two cars make the Firestone Fast Six (Will Power and Oriol Servia did it twice in 2008 at Edmonton and Sonoma). The team has now had a least one driver advance into the second round of qualifying in five of the six street/road events this year missing only at Toronto. Sato has advanced to the second round four times (St. Petersburg, Barber, Sao Paulo and Edmonton) and Kanaan three times (St. Petersburg, Long Beach and Edmonton). This is the first time Viso has advanced this year.

Sato, in just his second IndyCar season, captured his second career IndyCar pole today, first on a street/road course and second in three races (first pole came on the oval at Iowa). He advanced to the Firestone Fast Six for the first time this season and fourth time in 15 IndyCar street/road events. Prior to today his best starting position on a street/road course this year was 10th in Brazil (career-high was third at Mid-Ohio last year). Sato now has qualified in the top-11 in eight times in 10 races this season (not counting the second race in Texas where the grid was determined by a draw) and the top-10 six times. He is the only driver other than Will Power to capture a pole on a street/road circuit this year. The 34-year-old from Japan is competing at Edmonton for just the second time. In his debut here last year he qualified 13th and finished ninth.

“It is a fantastic day and a special moment for me and, of course, the team,” Sato said. “I have to say a big thank you to the KV Racing Technology – Lotus team. We had an extremely tight schedule today due to the weather yesterday, but as it has been for a while now, we have three drivers and engineers working together to come up with the right setup. I was comfortable, I was confident, so I was able to commit during qualifying and challenge for the pole and to win it was a great result for us.”

Sato, currently 14th in the standings with 167 points just six out of 10th, has had a couple of strong performances on street/road circuits this year including an IndyCar career-high fifth at St. Petersburg and an eighth at Brazil.

Viso built on the momentum he gained from his best street/road course performance of the season, a ninth place finish two weeks ago at Toronto, with his best qualifying effort of the year surpassing a sixth place starting position at Milwaukee. It is the first time this season he has advanced to the Firestone Fast Six and the third time in his IndyCar career (qualified fourth in Long Beach in 2009 and sixth here at Edmonton last year). This is Viso’s second best starting position in his IndyCar career behind Long Beach. The 26-year-old Venezuelan, who is 20th in the standings with 135 points, will be contesting his fourth race in Edmonton. He had his best performance here last year qualifying sixth and finishing eighth.

“First off I want to congratulate my teammate Takuma Sato for his pole today,” Viso said. “I also want to congratulate our team and thank my sponsors PDVSA and Herbalife. I think we have been doing a good job all season and now the results are starting to show. We had a strong car in both practice sessions today and felt that we had a good car for qualifying, which we did. I am still missing a little bit of speed in the fast corners which is where Takuma is faster than me and if it wasn't for that, we could have started first and second. That is definitely something I wish we could have done. So far, I only have positive comments about the new track layout. I think it is a track that suits everyone. Tomorrow is going to be a long, but fun race. There are a lot of places to overtake and definitely starting ahead of the pack is always an advantage.”

Kanaan has qualified in the top-10 in five of 10 races this year (not counting the pole he drew for the second race in Texas). He earned his best starting position in four attempts here at Edmonton surpassing a 13th place starting spot in 2009. His best finish is ninth in 2008.

Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology-Lotus
Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology-Lotus

Photo by: Covy Moore

"It was a productive day for the KVRT – Lotus team,” Kanaan said. “I mean we put two cars in the fast six and got the pole with Taku. We started with a different setup and got lost and eventually got behind schedule with our car, but still managed to qualify in 11th place. Not a very good day for me, but a very good day for the team."

Kanaan is fifth in the championship race with 221 points just 11 out of fourth. He has been extremely competitive on the street/road circuits this season finishing in the top-10 in three of the five races including a podium, third, at St. Petersburg (Barber, sixth; Long Beach, eighth).

Friday practices were cancelled due to rain, so two sessions were run prior to qualifying today with KVRT – Lotus showing good speed in both. Viso took team honors in the first practice with a lap of 80.0915 seconds (99.966 mph) putting him sixth on the practice report. Kanaan was second fastest at 80.2532 seconds (99.764 mph) placing ninth on the speed charts, while Sato, who spent most of the session in the top-five, had a quick lap of 80.2867 seconds (99.723 mph) and ended up 12th. In the second practice, Sato took the top spot on the speed charts with a time of 78.9772 seconds (101.376 mph) on his last lap. Viso was third with a lap of 79.0469 seconds (101.287 mph). Kanaan struggled in the second practice posting the 18th fastest time at 79.7347 seconds (100.413 mph).

By: kv racing technology lotus