SATO RETURNS TO HIS NATIVE LAND FOR INDY JAPAN 300 Ex-Formula One Star Teams With Moraes and Viso In Three-Car KV Racing Technology Effort at Twin Ring Motegi MOTEGI, Haga, Tochigi, JAPAN (Sept. 14, 2010) -- Japanese racing star Takuma Sato ...
SATO RETURNS TO HIS NATIVE LAND FOR INDY JAPAN 300
Ex-Formula One Star Teams With Moraes and Viso In Three-Car KV Racing Technology Effort at Twin Ring Motegi
MOTEGI, Haga, Tochigi, JAPAN (Sept. 14, 2010) -- Japanese racing star Takuma Sato returns to his native Japan on Sept. 18-19 to race in the highly--competitive IZOD IndyCar Series at the Twin Ring Motegi 1.5-mile oval track in the Indy Japan 300.
Sato, a seven-year Formula One veteran, will make his IndyCar debut at the Motegi oval circuit in front of a large contingent of enthusiastic fans when he drives the No. 5 Lotus--KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry. It will be Sato's first competition in his homeland since the 2007 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Fuji. Sato (left) competed at six F-1 events in Japan (2002-2007).
Sato, who'll be joined by Mario Moraes and E.J. Viso in the KV Racing Technology three-driver operation at Motegi, is a rookie on the 17-race IZOD IndyCar Series campaign in 2010 as well as a novice at the high-speed oval racing. Despite being new to oval track competition, Sato has put in several impressive drives at the oval circuits including running as high as fifth in his oval debut at Kansas, sixth at the Indianapolis 500 and third at Iowa. He has qualified in the top-12 in oval tracks on four occasions in 2010.
Sato is no stranger to Twin Ring Motegi, having driven a Honda Formula One car at both the road circuit and the oval track in demonstration runs in previous years. In addition, Sato's Formula One car is on display at the Twin Ring Motegi Collection Museum.
Moraes, the youngest regular on the IZOD IndyCar Series at age 21, comes back to Motegi this year following a sensational performance last year when he drove KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car to the front row in qualifying. After starting second, Moraes drove to fifth place in the 300-mile feature.
The Brazilian is seeking a podium finish this year in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology machine when the green flag drops at 11 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday (Sept. 18). The Indy Japan 300 begins in Japan at 1 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 19).
Viso, driving the No. 8 PDVSA--KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car, has been impressive on oval tracks in 2010 including scoring his career-best third place at Iowa in June. The personable 25-year-old Venezuelan has been a charger on the oval tracks including passing eleven cars at Kansas, sixteen cars at Iowa, eleven at Texas and eleven at Chicagoland. Viso made his Twin Ring Motegi debut last year and finished 15th.
The Indy Japan 300 is the 16th round of the 17-event IZOD IndyCar Series.
MARIO MORAES -- No. 32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"I am excited to be going back to Motegi. Last year I had a great qualifying, just missing out on pole to (Scott) Dixon. The race didn't quite go to plan, but KV Racing Technology gave me a good car and we had a good race strategy. I was able to finish fifth. I like this track a lot because you can go flat through turns one and two. But you need to have balance in the car for turns three and four. So the Motegi track is exciting to drive."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"The Motegi track is a beautiful place and different from other ovals because its not symmetrical which makes it fun to drive. I am excited to be going to back for a second time. KV Racing Technology has given me a good car on ovals this year, so I'm expecting a good result. I also really enjoy visiting Japan. I like how respectful the Japanese are and I admire their culture. I believe we can all learn something from it."
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"Well, first of all, I am so excited to be racing back here in Japan in front of my loyal fans for the first time in three years. They are giving me so much great support as always and I am really looking forward to giving them a memorable weekend's racing at Motegi. Obviously, I have had a tough season, as everyone can see, but I am actually very positive that although the learning curve has been a steep one, I have learned many useful lessons that I will bring to this week's race. I know that my fans have been waiting for a good result, and I thank them for their patience. Twin Ring Motegi is well known for being a very challenging track and is totally unique in being the only oval that needs a lift and downshifting, so I can't wait to get started there on Friday."