ROOKIE SATO TAKES THIRD IN MID-OHIO HONDA INDY 200 QUALIFYING
Viso Set To Start 8th, Moraes 16th in Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series Race
LEXINGTON, OHIO (Aug. 7, 2010) -- Rookie Takuma Sato is becoming a fast learner on the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series after another stellar road racing qualifying performance Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Sato, a Formula One regular for seven years, moved to the IndyCar Series this year and continues to impress in his No. 5 Lotus - KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry. Sato drove his car to third in qualifications Saturday for Sunday's Honda Indy 200 feature. The Japanese star was only bested by Will Power and Dario Franchitti in the ten-minute Firestone Fast Six final round with a speed of 120.545 miles per hour. Power's 120.965 reading won the pole position.
Sato's third starting spot is the best qualifying showing this year for the KV Racing Technology team that saw four top-ten finishers in the last race at Edmonton. Sato, still learning each track on the IndyCar Series, recorded his third Firestone Fast Six of the year, all on permanent road circuits
Sato qualified sixth at Barber Motorsports Park and fifth at Watkins Glen.
E.J. Viso, who made the Fast Six at Edmonton two weeks ago, looked to be on his way to a repeat appearance in the second qualifying round in the No. 8 PDVSA--KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine. However, Viso just slid wide on his fast lap and recorded the eighth fastest speed at 120.478 m.p.h.
Mario Moraes, fourth in Saturday's morning practice despite an injured right wrist, just missed the second qualifying round (Top 12) in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car and took 16th at 119.925 m.p.h. Moraes will be seeking his fourth top-ten road racing finish in Sunday's 85-lap main event that will be televised live on Versus-TV at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
TAKUMA SATO -- #5 LOTUS -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I'm very pleased with the result today. I was able to improve each session. We tested here last week which helped me and my engineers a lot. We spent both practice sessions working on improving the car and each change we made led to more positive results. Qualifying was tough as everyone was so close in times so I am pleased we made it to the Firestone Fast Six again. For us to do it here, we needed a very balanced car and I am thankful to all my crew and hope to give them a good result tomorrow."
E.J. VISO -- #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "Our PDVSA car felt good in the session. But the grid is so tight that you can't make a little mistake. I was pushing the car so hard. I was fast enough on my final lap (in the second qualifying round to advance to the Firestone Fast Six) but I slid wide under braking at the end of the back straightaway and missed the apex. I couldn't get it back in time to get a good lap. So we'll start eighth in the race."
MARIO MORAES -- #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "After practice this morning, we were fourth. I thought we would be in good position for the second qualifying round. But I made a slight mistake on my fast lap and we missed the second round by just a tenth or so. We have come from behind on the road courses this year to finish well. I think we can do it again on Sunday here."