ROAD RACING ROOTS GIVES KV RACING TECHNOLOGY RACERS CONFIDENCE ENTERING INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA Viso, Sato and Moraes Lead 3-Car Attack at Picturesque Barber Circuit BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The rolling hills of Alabama might be the last place...
ROAD RACING ROOTS GIVES KV RACING TECHNOLOGY
RACERS CONFIDENCE ENTERING INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
Viso, Sato and Moraes Lead 3-Car Attack at Picturesque Barber Circuit
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The rolling hills of Alabama might be the last place you would find natives of Venezuela, Japan and Brazil.
But IZOD IndyCar Series stars E.J. Viso, Takuma Sato and Mario Moraes come to the picturesque road racing landscape of Barber Motorsports Park this weekend (April 9-11) to battle in the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
The three KV Racing Technology drivers aren't "Good Ole' Boys" that usually race down the street at the high banks of Talladega. The three international competitors will return to their racing roots when they hit the fast 2.38-mile, 17-turn road circuit east of Birmingham. All three KVRT drivers began their racing careers competing on road circuits.
Viso, the personable young driver from Caracas, Venezuela, showed impressive speed in the pre-season test session held in February at Barber Motorsports Park with the second quickest time in the two-day program. In addition, Viso led in the last event through the streets of St. Petersburg before a mechanical failure stopped his charge to a possible victory. Viso is now in his third season in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but his first campaign with KVRT in the No. 8 PDVSA/KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry.
Sato, the Japanese veteran with extensive Formula One experience, is a rookie in 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series but comes to Barber Motorsports Park after a strong testing performance in February. Sato, who placed third in the 2004 Formula One event at Indianapolis while driving for Honda, posted the sixth fastest speed in the open testing session. The Tokyo native will drive the No. 5 Lotus/KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car at the Barber racing plant. Lotus, a famous racing marque, is featured in the popular Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum with the world's largest Lotus race car collection.
Moraes, the youngest full-time driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series at age 21, returns to the KVRT lineup after an impressive season in 2009 that saw the Brazilian collect one third, one fourth and one fifth place finish. Moraes' first podium finish came last August on the fast oval at Joilet, Ill., Mario's best road course is fourth at Sonoma, Calif., last year. Moraes will drive the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry at Barber Motorsports Park.
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"The PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology team had a successful open test at Barber at the beginning of the season. It was my first time in the seat with KV Racing Technology and I was very impressed. The car felt great straight away, we were able to put some good lap times together and I think the car has even more potential. We did some very useful changes and hope that when we go back next week the car is going to be even better for the race. The track is very smooth, with some high altitude changes and blind corners. In traffic, that will make it very hard to pass. We need to make sure we have a good qualifying because I think qualifying and race strategy will be the key for this race."
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"Barber Motorsports Park is a beautiful road course where I made my first official IZOD IndyCar Series test in February. It's a very challenging track as it has many fast corners with great elevations that I really enjoy. In testing, although it was cold weather, we had a very productive day. I hope we can transfer many positives to the car with the warmer conditions and look forward to having a strong weekend."
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACINGTECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"It is great to be having a race at Barber Motorsports Park. I was not able to participate in the open test this year, but liked the track a lot last year. KV Racing Technology gave me a great car so I am excited to go back. It will be fun to race a natural road circuit again."