KV RACING TECHNOLOGY BRINGS LOTUS BACK TO LONG BEACH; SATO, VISO AND MORAES READY FOR STREET CIRCUIT CHALLENGE Famous No. 5 Lotus Back with F-1 Veteran Sato In His First Long Beach Race LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2010) -- Longtime ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY BRINGS LOTUS BACK TO LONG BEACH; SATO, VISO AND MORAES READY FOR STREET CIRCUIT CHALLENGE
Famous No. 5 Lotus Back with F-1 Veteran Sato In His First Long Beach Race
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2010) -- Longtime Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach enthusiasts will get a glimpse of the past this weekend when the KV Racing Technology team hits the famed streets of the seaside city.
The KVRT squad brings back some history of Long Beach when Formula One veteran and IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Takuma Sato drives the No. 5 Lotus--KVRT Honda/Dalllara/Firestone machine on April 16-18 in the 36th edition of the "Long Beach Street Party."
Sato, a podium finisher in the U.S. Grand Prix in 2004, comes to Long Beach for the first time, but his sponsor has a rich history on the famed street circuit.
The Lotus car has been victorious at Long Beach with legendary Mario Andretti piloting the Formula One version to the winner's circle in 1977 with a great late-race pass. The following season, Andretti drove the No. 5 John Player Lotus to the prestigious World Championship with six race wins. Andretti finished second at Long Beach in his 1978 title run.
Sato has shown blistering speed with his new mount so far as a rookie including qualifying in the Firestone Fast Six last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. However, a mechanical problem halted the Japanese driver's charge in a spirited on-track battle with Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan.
E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes join Sato in the KV Racing Technology contingent at Long Beach, and both young racers figure to be strong on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit.
Viso, the personable Venezuelan, was very impressive in qualifying last year with a season-best fourth starting position. At St. Petersburg this year, he was leading the race when a part failure cost him a chance for his first IndyCar win. The No. 8 PDVSA/KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry is no stranger to Southern California either. Viso attended Rolling Hills Prep School in the South Bay area as a teenager.
Moraes, the youngest full-time driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series at age 21, turned in his best 2010 run last week at Barber after qualifying 12th. The Brazilian has been impressive in the other California road track too. Mario's best road course finish is fourth at Sonoma, Calif., last year. Moraes drive the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car.
Team owner Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar winner, will compete in the Toyota Pro-Celebrity race to be contested on Saturday, April 17, at 11:40 a.m. (PDT).
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "Long Beach is such a historical place for motor racing. Even though I've never been there I know the race is always an exciting one with a great atmosphere. I am getting a more comfortable feeling every time I jump in the car. I am getting used to the whole environment so I am pleased about this coming back to back race weekend especially after Barber where I collected many positives."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I am very happy to be returning to Long Beach with the PDVSA - KV Racing Technology team. I think it is one of the best street courses in the series and I have very happy memories of the place. Last year, I qualified fourth and I am hoping this year things will be even better. After St. Pete, I can say we have a pretty strong car on street circuits and hopefully we are going to have an even better one here. Coming from a difficult and hard weekend at Barber, I know we have learned a lot and every time we gather more data so I am sure the PDVSA - KV Racing Technology will have a good weekend in Long Beach."
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACINGTECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "I am looking forward to being back at Long Beach with KV Racing Technology. It's going to be my second race with my new engineer (Iain Watt) and now we know each other better. I'm understanding better how he works, so hopefully the team and I will have a good finish after all the hard work the guys have put in."