Birmingham Open Test
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY– LOTUS SIXTH AND 15TH ON SPEED CHARTS
AFTER IZOD INDYCAR SERIES OPEN TEST
SATO POSTS SIXTH FAST LAP
BIRMINGHAM, AL – MARCH 15, 2011 -- KV Racing Technology - Lotus drivers Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso were sixth and 15th respectively on the final speed charts following the conclusion of the IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test, March 14-15, at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Sato, driving the No. 5 KV Racing Technology – Lotus Honda/Dallara/Firestone car, turned a quick time of 72.4742 seconds (114.248 mph) on the picturesque 2.3-mile, 17-turn permanent road circuit in today’s second practice session. Viso, behind the wheel of the No. 8 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology – Lotus Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, recorded his fast lap of 73.0170 seconds (113.398 mph) yesterday afternoon.
“This test was very difficult for me because of what has happened in Japan, however it went well,” Sato said. “The KV Racing Technology – Lotus team worked on a lot of things, like pit stops and race preparation, over the last two days and it was a productive test. It was very competitive out there. Obviously, the top teams are really strong, but we learned quite a bit, so that was a positive.”
Viso said, “The first day of the test we went through different setups and by the end of the day we found something that was useful. The second day we just kept trying different things on the car, working to improve it, but at the end of the day we had a few issues that need to be addressed before the first race. Overall it was a useful and positive test and I look forward to coming back to Barber for the race.”
Sato ran 20 laps in the morning practice session, which began late due to an overnight rain storm, and posted the 10th fastest time with a quick lap of 73.5929 seconds (112.511 mph). Viso turned 19 laps and recorded the 15th quickest time (73.8990 seconds, 112.045 mph).
In the second practice Sato ran 49 laps, 69 total for the day, and was consistently quick spending much of the session in the top-five. He ran 129 laps over the two days (60 Monday and 69 on Tuesday). Viso ran 44 laps in the afternoon, a total of 63 for the day and 131 during the two-day open test (68 on Monday and 63 today).
Viso and Sato were seventh and 13th respectively on the combined practice report following the first day of testing with Viso running a fast lap of 73.0170 seconds (113.398 mph), while Sato 73.1913 seconds (113.128 mph). Both drivers recorded their fast laps on Monday during the second of the two practice sessions held on Monday and both did it their 59th overall lap.
This was the second test of the preseason for KVRT – Lotus in preparation for the start of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season which opens the weekend of March 25-27 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The team previously tested both cars here at Barber on March 1.
Sato, who is coping with the repercussions from the devastation wrought by the earthquake and tsunami that struck his native Japan last Friday, displayed a decal on his helmet and car saying “Pray for Japan.”
“It is so heartbreaking what has happened in Japan. I wanted to do something to support the people back home, so we put the “Pray for Japan” message on my car and helmet. I really appreciate all the support the drivers, the fans, the media, everyone has shown. Fortunately, for me, my family and friends are okay, but that is really a small part. My head and heart are in Japan at the moment. It is just so devastating. People are suffering. From a professional point of view I have to be 100% committed to driving the car, however I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I can do to support Japan. Today’s message was just a gesture in the hope that the people back in Japan know that we care and are encouraged by that. I a