KV RACING TECHNOLOGY LOOKING TO DEFEND TITLE AT TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - APRIL 14, 2009 - - KV Racing Technology will be looking to defend its title this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 17-19,...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY LOOKING TO DEFEND TITLE AT TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - APRIL 14, 2009 - - KV Racing Technology will be looking to defend its title this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 17-19, on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn, temporary street circuit in Long Beach, California.
KVRT captured the Long Beach event last year, and in fact placed three cars in the top-10, when it served as the Champ Car World Series finale. Will Power, then driving for the team, qualified fourth, but took the lead on the first lap and led 81 of the 83 laps en route to the victory. In addition, Oriol Servia placed fifth and team co-owner Jimmy Vasser, making his first Champ Car start since Long Beach on April 9, 2006 finished 10th.
Current KVRT driver Mario Moraes, #5 KV Racing Technology - Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone, also contested the Long Beach race last year. Moraes, then a rookie driving for Dale Coyne Racing, was making just his third U.S. based open-wheel start. He qualified 19th and then was involved in an incident on lap five ending his day in 20th place.
"This will be the first time all the IndyCar's will compete in Long Beach and I think it's going to be a very competitive and tough race," Moraes said. "Qualifying will be very important because, like any street circuit, passing is difficult. KV Racing Technology won here last year, so I am confident we will have a good car in Long Beach. My goal is to be consistent, have a good race and get some points towards the championship."
Moraes, 20, is coming off a 21st place showing in the 2009 IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg. However, his final finishing position does not tell the whole story. The native of Brazil, who started 20th, steadily made his way through the field, and was running as high as 13th, when on lap 31 he was hit by another competitor and knocked out of the race. Had he been able to continue, Moraes, who got outstanding pit work from his KVRT crew and was using a different race strategy, could easily have finished well inside the top-10.
Moraes, in his second IndyCar season and first with KV Racing Technology, will be making his 18th career IndyCar start (19th in U.S. based open wheel series counting Long Beach in 2008) and eighth on a road/street circuit (seven in IndyCar). He has earned two of his three career top-10 finishes on road/street circuits including a career high seventh at Watkins Glen in 2008.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 17-19, on the streets of Long Beach, California is Round #2 of the 2009 IndyCar Series season. It will be televised live on Versus at 3:30 p.m. ET.