KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S MARIO MORAES POSTS FASTEST PRACTICE SPEED; TOWNSEND BELL 10TH ON SPEED CHARTS AFTER FIRST DAY ON TRACK SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 14, 2009 - - Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S MARIO MORAES POSTS FASTEST PRACTICE SPEED; TOWNSEND BELL 10TH ON SPEED CHARTS AFTER FIRST DAY ON TRACK
SPEEDWAY, IN - - MAY 14, 2009 - - Round #4 2009 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes topped the speed charts while teammate Townsend Bell was 10th today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone, who was on track for the first time since qualifying seventh for the 2009 Indianapolis 500, May 24, spent the day working on his race setup in preparation for the 93rd running of the 500-mile race. He ran just more than half a 500 mile race today turning 103 laps with a fast lap of 222.739 mph. Bell, #8 Herbalife -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, was on track for the first time this year at the Brickyard. The native of California, who will be attempting to qualify for this year's race this weekend, made 75 circuits around the 2.5-mile IMS oval recording a quick lap of 220.938 mph.
"Today was great," said Moraes. "The KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim team did a great job preparing the car. This week we are working on the race setups and I am trying to learn how to handle the car in traffic. Last year it was hard work, but this year I am looking forward to running at the front, so it is important for me to know what the car does in traffic."
Commenting on his first day on track Bell said, "I had a great first day with KV Racing Technology team. The #8 Herbalife -- KVRT car was strong. We did some work on race setups today because we already have a good setup for qualifying based on what the team did last weekend. I feel very comfortable and it's great to be back in the car again."
Moraes will be contesting his second Indianapolis 500 and 12th race on an oval. The 20-year-old Brazilian, the second youngest driver in the series, made his IMS debut last year qualifying 28th and finishing 18th. In 11 previous oval events, Moraes has a best finish of 10th last year in Nashville (career best finish is seventh on the Watkins Glen road course also in 2008).
Bell, 34, will be making his third start at the Brickyard. Last year, competing in his second Indy 500, he had a solid race qualifying 12th and finishing 10th. The native of California made his Indy 500 debut in 2006 qualifying 15th then battling his way into eighth place before suspension damage ended his day placing him 22nd.
Moraes, who qualified for this year's race last weekend with a four-lap average of 223.331 mph, will start on the inside of Row #3. He is joined by Paul Tracy, #15 GEICO -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, who qualified at 223.111 mph on the second day of qualifications. Tracy will lineup on the inside of Row #5. Should Bell qualify this weekend it would give KVRT three cars in the field in just their second appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last year, in their inaugural Indy 500, KVRT qualified two cars. Oriol Servia started 25th and finished 11th while Will Power started 23rd and placed 13th.
Indianapolis 500 qualifying is done in four parts. The first is Pole Day, which determines the winner of the pole (inside front row) plus the next 10 cars (total of 11) on the grid. The second part fills places #12-22. The third segment will be on Saturday, May 16 when places #23-33 are determined. The fourth, Bump Day, will be on Sunday, May 17, when cars can be removed or "bumped" from the field by a faster car.