INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 5, 2009 -- Round ...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 5, 2009 -- Round #13, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes will be looking for his luck to change this weekend at the Honda Indy 200, August 7-9, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Moraes, who will be making his second appearance on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course, has been among the fastest drivers the last two races, but the victim of some incredibly bad luck. Two weeks ago in Edmonton he was involved in an incident with his teammate on the opening lap while running in sixth place. Last weekend in Kentucky Moraes started 16th after qualifying was cancelled, but moved into fourth place after just 18 laps. However, on lap 49, he came in for his first pit stop and while entering his pit box was hit from behind by two other competitors. The #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine returned to the track and despite being 12 laps down, Moraes battled throughout the remainder of the contest finishing 18th and earning 12 championship points.
"The KV Racing Technology team has given me very fast cars the last two races," Moraes said. Unfortunately, we have had some bad luck and things haven't worked out the way we wanted. I really feel bad for the team. They have worked very hard, but something beyond our control seems to happen. Hopefully everything will come together this weekend in Mid-Ohio and we can have a good result."
Moraes, a 20-year-old native of Brazil, and the second youngest driver in the series, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. He will be making his 29th career IndyCar start and 12th on a road/street course this weekend. Prior to this season Moraes had never qualified higher than 10th on any circuit and never higher than 20th on an oval. Since joining KVRT for the 2009 season, he has qualified in the top-seven in six of 10 events (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled), twice in the top-five, including a career high fourth in Watkins Glen and an oval career high fifth at Milwaukee, after earning just one top-10 qualifying spot last year. Moraes has earned career high finishes on six of the 12 tracks this season, had two top-10 showings (three all last season) and earned his career best oval finish placing ninth at Milwaukee. His IndyCar career best finish is seventh at Watkins Glen in 2008. Moraes is 17th in the championship standings with 181 points.
KVRT will be contesting its third race at Mid-Ohio. In two previous races, three starts, the team has qualified in the top-10 once, an eighth placing starting position by Oriol Servia in 2008. They have finished in the top-10 all three times with two top-five showings and a best finish of fourth by Will Power in 2006. Last year the team had one of its best performances of their inaugural IndyCar season with Power placing fourth and Servia fifth.