SATO IMPRESSIVE IN HOMESTEAD QUALIFYING WITH A NINTH STARTING SPOT IN LOTUS KVRT CAR Japanese Star In Top Ten Again with Viso 12th & Moraes 13th HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2010) -- Takuma Sato is catching onto oval racing rather quickly...
SATO IMPRESSIVE IN HOMESTEAD QUALIFYING WITH A NINTH STARTING SPOT IN LOTUS KVRT CAR
Japanese Star In Top Ten Again with Viso 12th & Moraes 13th
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2010) -- Takuma Sato is catching onto oval racing rather quickly with his No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry with another top-ten qualifying effort Friday in preparations for Saturday's Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Sato, who had never competed at an oval track before May, recorded his sixth appearance in the top-11 for oval qualifications in 2010 with a two-lap average speed of 211.355 miles per hour. Sato's best oval qualifying run was seventh at Iowa this year.
After making an appearance for Lotus in this year's Paris Auto Show, Sato flew across the Atlantic Ocean all day Thursday to prepare for his Homestead debut. Despite just an hour of practice time, the former Formula One star turned in a sensational qualifying effort. Sato finished 12th two weeks ago at Motegi, Japan in front of an adoring crowd.
Sato's KV Racing Technology teammates, E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes, were in the top-ten in earlier qualifying runs before settling for 12th and 13th on the 27-car starting grid for the Saturday night 200-lap season finale on the fast 1.5-mile oval south of Miami.
Viso, in the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car, returns near his current hometown of Miami with a huge contingent of sponsors, family and friends at Homestead. The personable 25-year-old Venezuelan will start 12th in the 7 p.m. EDT race. Viso clocked his two qualifying laps at 210.928 m.p.h. on Friday.
Moraes, the 21-year-old racer from Sao Paulo, Brazil, comes to Homestead with a sore back after a Motegi incident on lap 66. Moraes has been working in physical therapy for a week in Brazil and ran impressively in the top-four during his qualifying attempt.
Driving the No. 32 Terra---KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, Moraes was quicker than the likes of Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal, Alex Tagliani and Ryan Hunter-Reay. He ended up 13th on the grid with a speed of 210.741.
TAKUMA SATO -- #5 LOTUS -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "It was a challenging day. The Miami track is quite tough. This is the first time I have been here and the track surface is very slippery so it's is difficult to balance the car. However, through the practice we were able to progress well and, in qualifying, I was able to get in some good laps. I am pleased with qualifying ninth."
E.J. VISO -- #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "The PDVSA -- KV car felt a little loose on the warm-up lap. But I was able to adjust the car with my tools in the cockpit, and I had a pretty smooth run for the rest of qualifying. This is my home race since I live in Miami Beach. This is a special race for me. It is the last round of the championship and I have a lot of sponsors as well as many family and friends coming to the event. I have a lot of confidence in the car as we have run well coming to the front of the field on ovals. I think we can do that again here on Saturday night."
MARIO MORAES -- #32 TERRA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "The past week and half in Brazil I have been working in Brazil with physical therapy twice a day to improve my back after the crash in Japan. We qualified okay with the KV Racing car today. This Homestead track is tough with the different wind directions. It means you have to approach one corner different from another. We will work on our race setup today (Friday) in practice and I think we'll have a good race car. The conditions will be different in the evening."