TRACY READY FOR HOMETOWN RETURN; KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S FOUR-CAR ASSAULT SET
FOR THE HONDA INDY TORONTO THIS WEEKEND
Moraes, Sato and Viso Expect Strong Showings in the Streets
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada (July 13, 2010) -- The spotlight will be on Paul Tracy this weekend (July 16-18) as the Toronto area native returns to his hometown for the annual Honda Indy Toronto street race.
Tracy, a two-time Toronto winner (1993 and 2003), always seems to live up to his nickname of the "Thrill from West Hill" when he races through the streets of Exhibition Place.
Last year was no different as the Canadian legend, winner of 31 career IndyCar races, drove a brilliant race from his 15th starting position to contest Helio Castroneves for second. But Tracy's rival wasn't up for letting him pass in turn three and both crashed in turn four on the 2.84-km, 11-turn track.
Now, Tracy seeks a little revenge with his beautiful No. 15 Honda Canada--Make A Wish--KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry when the track opens Friday morning. Tracy returned to road racing action at Watkins Glen two weeks ago when he piloted the Dreyer & Reinbold car to 14th. This race will be Tracy's 18th Toronto start.
KV Racing Technology, co-owned by former champion Jimmy Vasser and entrepreneur Kevin Kalkhoven, has entered four drivers for the Honda Indy Toronto with young star Mario Moraes, former GP2 sensation E.J. Viso and veteran Formula One racer and IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Takuma Sato joining Tracy in the four-car assault in the Toronto streets.
Moraes, the youngest regular in the series at age 21, comes to Toronto off his best finish of the year -- fifth at Watkins Glen. The Brazilian figures to be a contender this weekend in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car after impressive road racing runs this season. His last street race, Long Beach, saw Moraes come from 15th to 6th.
E.J. Viso, driver of the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, has been playing catch up in the past two races with a third (from 19th) at Iowa and 11th (from 25th) at Watkins Glen. Viso is always a strong street-course racer and should be in the middle of the action in Toronto.
Formula One veteran Takuma Sato, in the No. 5 Lotus -- KV Racing Technology entry, will make his Toronto debut, but the personable Japanese star is no stranger to Canada, where he competed at Montreal in F-1 competition. Sato, who qualified a season-best fifth at Watkins Glen, finished sixth in 2007 and 10th in 2002 at Montreal. This will be his fourth street event in 2010.
PAUL TRACY, #15 HONDA CANADA - MAKE A WISH - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "It is always exciting to return to Toronto. It's my hometown and the race I always want to win. I thought I was close to winning last year when I came from the back to challenge for the win. Now, I look forward to this year's event with a little bit of revenge after last year's race. It is tough to come in as a part-timer against the top teams. It's like Wayne Gretzky now putting on skates and playing the playoffs. I have had nearly a year out of the car. The Watkins Glen race help get the rust off for me. Now, I'm ready to do battle."
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I am looking forward to going back to Canada. The KV Racing Technology team gave me a fast car at Watkins Glen two weeks ago so we know we have the car and the ability. I'm also looking forward to having Paul (Tracy) back with the team. He has a lot of experience at this track and hopefully with his knowledge, the whole team can have a successful weekend."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "Toronto is a really nice track and a great place to come back to.
It's a mixture between St. Petersburg and Long Beach, with some good bumps and the long straight. This is definitely a place where mechanically you need to be pretty soft in order to find good braking, traction and grip in the slow corners. We have made good progression over the last two races and, hopefully, I will have a good result here."
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "This will be my second visit to Toronto - my first one was after the Canadian GP at Montreal three years ago when I visited Honda Canada and got a really warm welcome. It was so nice to see all the enthusiastic employees and then enjoy a great evening dinner downtown where they had such a great atmosphere. So I really enjoyed the last visit. Now I am coming back there for racing which is very exciting! The Toronto street course has a great history and the KV team was very competitive last year so I am looking forward to having a strong weekend."