KVRT QUALIFIES BOTH CARS IN TOP-10 FOR FIRST TIME THIS SEASON; MORAES QUALIFIES SEVENTH, TRACY NINTH FOR REXALL EDMONTON INDY EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA - - JULY 25, 2009 - - Round ...
KVRT QUALIFIES BOTH CARS IN TOP-10 FOR FIRST TIME THIS SEASON; MORAES QUALIFIES SEVENTH, TRACY NINTH FOR REXALL EDMONTON INDY
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA - - JULY 25, 2009 - - Round #11 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology qualified two cars in the top-10 for the first time this season as drivers Mario Moraes and Paul Tracy will start seventh and ninth respectively in tomorrow's Rexall Edmonton Indy in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Moraes, making his second appearance on the 1.96-mile, 14-turn City Center Airport temporary street circuit, qualified with a fast lap of 61.5337 seconds (115.429 mph). The talented Brazilian will grid the #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry on the inside of Row #4. Tracy, contesting his fifth race in Edmonton, qualified with a time of 61.6768 seconds (115.162 mph). The native of Canada will start on the inside of Row #5 in the #15 Edmonton Honda Dealers -- Wounded Warriors.ca -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine.
Moraes was eighth on the speed charts following Friday's practice sessions with a time of 62.7299 seconds (113.228 mph). He jumped to sixth overall this morning with a fast lap of 62.1571 seconds (114.272 mph). For qualifying, Moraes ran in the second group in Round #1 and posted a fast lap of 61.4862 seconds, which put him second in his group and advanced him to Round #2 of qualifying for just the second time in his two-year IndyCar career. In the second round Moraes was in the top-six for most of the session, which would have advanced him to the final round, the Firestone Fast Six, but fell to seventh during the closing laps.
"The KV Racing Technology car was really good, but unfortunately I made a mistake on my fastest lap, which cost me a place in the Firestone Fast Six," Moraes said. "I feel very bad for the KVRT crew and engineers. They put in a lot of hard work to give me a good car and I hope tomorrow I can have a good race and give them something back."
Tracy began the day a deceptive 10th on the speed charts after yesterday's practice with a time of 62.8293 second (113.049 mph). He spent most of Friday in the top-five only dropping back late in the final practice. However in this morning's practice he was once again among the leaders logging the second quickest lap, 61.6789 seconds (115.158 mph). In qualifying, he went out with the first group in Round #1 and dominated his session recording the fastest lap with a time of 61.5093 and advancing to Round #2 for the first time in four career IndyCar road/street events. Unfortunately, he could not duplicate the effort in the second round.
"I was happy with the Edmonton Honda Dealers -- Wounded Warriors.ca -- KV Racing Technology car," Tracy said. "I ran my fastest lap in the first round, but unfortunately the track changed between the sessions and I developed some over steer. We didn't change anything on the car, but the track changed on us. It is so tight from sixth to ninth, where I am, that we missed the Firestone Fast Six by just a tenth, which is a shame. It is super competitive out there, but I know I have a great race car for tomorrow."
Moraes, 20, who is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT, has now qualified in the top-seven in six of 10 races (Iowa qualifying cancelled) this year, twice in the top-five, including an IndyCar career high fourth at Watkins Glen and an oval career high fifth at Milwaukee, after earning just the one top-10 qualifying spot all last year, coincidentally a 10th here in Edmonton. Moraes, who will be making his 11th road/street course start tomorrow, has earned career high finishes on six of the 10 tracks this season, had two top-10 showings (three all last season) and earned his career best oval finish placing ninth at Milwaukee. His IndyCar career best finish is seventh at Watkins Glen in 2008. Moraes is 16th in the standings with 157 points.
For Tracy, the ninth place starting position is his best in five attempts this season and highest in seven IndyCar races. In five attempts at Edmonton he has now qualified in the top-10 three times with a best starting position of second in 2006. He has finished in the top-five in all four of his previous races in Edmonton. Tracy, who will be making his fourth start with KVRT (third consecutive) tomorrow, previously ran for the team in Toronto, Watkins Glen and at the Indy 500. His other IndyCar starts were at Milwaukee for A.J. Foyt Racing, this year, at the 2002 Indy 500, finished second and here at Edmonton for Vision Racing last year, placed fourth.
KVRT will be contesting its fifth race in Edmonton. The team has now qualified in the top-10 eight times with five top-five starting spots and a best starting position of third (Oriol Servia in 2008) in 10 attempts. In four previous races, eight starts, they have finished in the top-10 three times with two top-five showings and a best finish of fourth by Servia in 2006. This is the third time this year that KVRT has run two cars on a road/street event and the first time both cars has advanced to the second round. It is the second time in five road/street events that a least one car has advanced to the second round.