KV RACING TECHNOLOGY AND DRIVER MARIO MORAES TO CONTEST FIRST RACE IN JAPAN; TEAM HAS MOMENTUM HEADING INTO FINAL TWO EVENTS OF SEASON INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 -- Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY AND DRIVER MARIO MORAES TO CONTEST FIRST RACE IN JAPAN; TEAM HAS MOMENTUM HEADING INTO FINAL TWO EVENTS OF SEASON
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 -- Round #16, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology and driver Mario Moraes will carry the momentum of two consecutive strong performances when they make their first appearance at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi, Japan for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile, September 18-19.
Moraes, who has benefitted from a superbly engineered and prepared car, has shown the potential to finish in the top-five and contend for podiums for much of the season. However, it was not until the last two races that his speed and talent have truly come to the forefront. The determined Brazilian, behind the wheel of the to #5 Azul -- Votorantim -- KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, earned the first top-five performance of his young IndyCar career three weeks ago with a fourth place finish on the Infineon Raceway road course. A week later he followed up with his first podium performance, an outstanding third place finish on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway oval. Moraes has scored 67 points in the last two races and picked up three spots in the standings. He is currently 16th in the championship race with 248 points, but just 68 points out of 10th place with two races remaining.
"I really want to thank everyone at KVRT for their hard work this season. It has been great to see all the work pay off especially the last two races, but we have to keep going and finish the season strong because the last impression is what everyone remembers," Moraes said.
Commenting on the race in Japan, Moraes, who arrived in the land of the rising sun on Saturday to adjust to the time change and experience the culture, said, "This will be first time I have raced at Twin Ring Motegi and the first time for KV Racing Technology. After the last two ovals (Kentucky and Chicagoland) we know we have a very fast car and even though the layout of the track in Motegi is different I am confident we can have a good race."
Moraes, 20, the second youngest driver in the series, is in his second IndyCar season and first with KVRT. He will be making his 31st career IndyCar start and 19th on an oval 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 seven of 12 events (Iowa and Kentucky qualifying cancelled, did not compete in Mid-Ohio), with two top-five starting spots, including a career high fourth in Watkins Glen and an oval career high fifth at Milwaukee. Moraes has also earned career high finishes on eight of the 14 tracks this season with career best performances on an oval, the third at Chicagoland, and on a road/street course, the fourth at Sonoma.