MORAES HOPES TO CONTINUE 2009 IMPRESSIVE OVAL RUNS AT KANSAS; SATO TO MAKE HIS OVAL RACING DEBUT IN LOTUS MACHINE KV Racing Technology Drivers Ready for First 2010 Oval Contest KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 27, 2010) -- Young racer...
MORAES HOPES TO CONTINUE 2009 IMPRESSIVE OVAL RUNS AT KANSAS; SATO TO MAKE HIS OVAL RACING DEBUT IN LOTUS MACHINE
KV Racing Technology Drivers Ready for First 2010 Oval Contest
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 27, 2010) -- Young racer Mario Moraes, coming off his impressive charge at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, is anxious to return to the ovals this weekend (April 30-May 1) in the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Moraes, the youngest regular on the 17-race circuit at age 21 (photo below), came from 15th to finish sixth in the street battle at Long Beach two weeks ago, but the Brazilian driver now changes his racing mode to the fast 1.5-mile tri-oval west of Kansas City.
The driver of the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone open-wheel machine was extremely competitive on the oval tracks at the conclusion of the 2009 campaign with a third at Chicagoland Speedway, fifth at Twin Ring Motegi and seventh at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the final three races. Moraes also had top-tens at Milwaukee and Texas.
Moraes' recent surge to the front of the IZOD field might be credited to the addition of his new engineer, veteran Iain Watt, who worked with many top IndyCar Series drivers before spending the last four years in NASCAR competition. Watt joined KVRT before the Barber event three weeks ago.
In a contrast to Moraes' oval success, his KVRT teammate Takuma Sato enters his first oval competition of his extensive racing career. The former Honda Formula One star will be under the tutelage of former CART champion and co-team owner Jimmy Vasser, a multi-time oval track winner. Vasser will work with Sato in a pre-race testing session this Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's 300-mile feature.
While Sato is no rookie with 90 Formula One starts including a third in 2004 USGP at Indianapolis, the 33-year-old racer has yet to compete on an oval track. The first four events in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series were on road courses. With Vasser's assistance and strong KVRT oval setups, Sato is expected to put in a solid performance on the fast Kansas track in the No. 5 Lotus--KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone car.
E.J. Viso, the popular 25-year-old Venezuelan, rounds out the KVRT lineup in Kansas in the No. 8 PDVSA--KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone mount. Viso put in an impressive showing two years ago at Kansas by running in the top-ten in his first visit to the oval. This year, Viso will be working with veteran engineer Bill Pappas in their first oval race in 2010 with KVRT.
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I am looking forward to getting back to ovals with KV Racing Technology. Unfortunately, we couldn't test last week in Kansas because of the bad weather. However, we finished last year with a good oval setup so I am hoping we can have a good weekend. Working with Iain (Watt) has been a very good experience for me so far. I think we can work well on the ovals too."
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "This will be my first oval race in the #5 Lotus -- KV Racing Technology car at Kansas this weekend. It's hard to know how I feel until I do my first few laps at the test on Wednesday. But having the help of my team owner Jimmy Vasser, who won many races on ovals, I feel comfortable and excited for this new challenge."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I have some good memories from the Kansas oval track, so I am looking forward to going back there. We now have four straight oval races on the schedule. It is a big change from the four straight road circuits. I believe the #8 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology car will be fast this weekend. I think we can get off to a good start to my oval season at Kansas."
-source: KV Racing Technology