ROOKIE SATO TURNS IN AN IMPRESSIVE QUALIFYING RUN FOR SATURDAY'S PEAK INDY 300 RACE AT CHICAGOLAND Lotus -- KVRT Driver Makes Top 10 With Viso and Moraes 16th & 21st JOLIET, Ill. (Aug. 27, 2010) -- Formula One veteran Takuma Sato had ...
ROOKIE SATO TURNS IN AN IMPRESSIVE QUALIFYING RUN
FOR SATURDAY'S PEAK INDY 300 RACE AT CHICAGOLAND
Lotus -- KVRT Driver Makes Top 10 With Viso and Moraes 16th & 21st
JOLIET, Ill. (Aug. 27, 2010) -- Formula One veteran Takuma Sato had never driven an oval track until April, but on Friday, the driver of the No. 5 Lotus -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car continued to impress the IZOD IndyCar Series with his oval track skills by qualifying in the top-ten at Chicagoland Speedway.
Sato, 33, turned in another oval top-ten qualifying performance on the 1.5-mile oval with an average speed of 214.945 miles per hour to gain a fifth row starting position in Saturday's Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300.
The series rookie was less than two-tenths of a second off pole- sitter Ryan Briscoe's time on the lightening fast oval track south of Chicago. Sato had never driven the Chicagoland Speedway oval until this morning, but his strong efforts at Kansas, Indianapolis, Texas and Iowa gave him a solid background to be immediately fast this weekend.
Sato, whose best oval start was seventh at Iowa, will start alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay in the fifth row in the 200-lap feature set for 7 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised live on Versus.
E.J. Viso, in the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, recorded the 16th fastest speed with a reading of 214.210 m.p.h. The Venezuelan driver, who'll start next to former series champion Scott Dixon, was close to clocking identical lap times (just 7-thousands of a second apart) in his two-lap qualifying effort. Viso is coming off a career-best third place in the previous oval race at Iowa Speedway in June when he came from 19th on the starting grid.
Mario Moraes, looking to repeat his third place finish last year at Chicagoland Speedway, took the 21st starting spot Friday with a 213.458 m.p.h. in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine.
TAKUMA SATO -- #5 LOTUS -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I am very happy with how today went. We worked on race trim for most of the morning session and the qualifying setup. During qualifying I watched how other drivers took the racing line so I could get a better understanding. I am really pleased to be starting 10th and look forward to the race tomorrow."
E.J. VISO -- #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "We were pretty happy with the car in the morning practice session. The car was stable in the my qualifying run. We had almost identical lap times. We needed some speed for qualifying but it is an extremely long race. I feel we have a good race car for Saturday. We have come from behind in other oval races this year. So, if we can get a good setup for Saturday night, we can do that again."
MARIO MORAES -- #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I think Chicagoland is a great track and we had a great race here last year to take third. Unfortunately, I don't think we have the same speed as last year right now. But we are working on the speed now and I think we have a pretty good car for the race on Saturday. We'll work on the car's setup tonight for the race and be ready to go."