KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S E. J. VISO FINISHES 12th IN 2010 IZOD INDYCAR SEASON OPENING SAÃ• PAULO INDY 300 TAKUMA SATO AND MARIO MORAES VICTIMS OF SEPARATE OPENING LAP INCIDENTS SAÃ• PAULO, BRAZIL - - MARCH 14, 2010 - - Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S E. J. VISO FINISHES 12th IN 2010 IZOD INDYCAR SEASON OPENING SAÕ PAULO INDY 300
TAKUMA SATO AND MARIO MORAES VICTIMS OF SEPARATE OPENING LAP INCIDENTS
SAÕ PAULO, BRAZIL - - MARCH 14, 2010 - - Round #1 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology's E. J. Viso finished a hard fought 12th today in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season opening inaugural Saõ Paulo Indy 300 on the streets of Saõ Paulo, Brazil
Takuma Sato, making his IndyCar and KVRT debut and Mario Moraes, who was racing in his hometown, were victims of separate opening lap incidents and finished 22nd and 24th respectively.
On a day that featured, for the first time in IndyCar Series history, a qualifying session on the same day as the race, Viso, #8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, qualified 17th during a session that was postponed until today due to difficult track conditions. Following a series of incidents during the opening laps, the 24-year-old Venezuelan found himself in the top-10, but later fell back to 16th. Then, with the skies darkening, the team made a strategy pit stop for rain tires. One lap later heavy rains fell, sending cars skidding into the wall and forcing the rest of the field to pit for wet tires. As a result, Viso climbed back into the top-10. A subsequent red flag on lap 36 delayed the race for 33 minutes turning the scheduled 75-lap contest into a timed event. When the race resumed, Viso got as high as fifth, but following a pit stop for dry tires, dropped back to 12th where he continued to battle until the end of the race.
Commenting on the race, Viso, who is in his third IndyCar season and first with KV Racing Technology, said, "It was definitely a tough race for the PDVSA -- KVRT team. The circumstances were very weird, we had a lot of rain, no rain, problems with the track and a lot of accidents but in the end we did what we set out to do and finish the race and get some points. I am looking forward to St. Petersburg and believe this is just the start of a good championship.
Sato, #5 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, qualified a team high 10th, but shortly after the green flag to start the race he became involved in an incident and suffered damage to his car. Despite the best efforts of his KVRT crew the 33-year-old from Japan could not get back on track.
"After yesterday's practice session, we knew a lot of work had to be done," Sato said. "The KV Racing Technology team did a great job in coming together this morning and I was able to improve my lap time by quite a lot. I felt a lot more comfortable than yesterday and very happy that we recovered well during qualifying however I was very disappointed with the start of the race. It was very packed and there was a lot of dust. Unfortunately I got caught up in an accident in Turn One, it was not a good memory for my first IZOD IndyCar race, but seeing E.J. (Viso) finish solid and the KVRT team working well together makes me feel overall that we have learned a lot and I look forward to my next race in St. Petersburg, Florida."
Moraes, 21, the youngest full-time driver in the series, had an incident during in the morning warm-up. As a result he did not qualify the #32 Banco Panamericano -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car and started 23rd. On the opening lap, Moraes, who is in his third IndyCar season and second with KVRT, was unable to see the cars in front of him due to extremely thick dust from last night's track grinding and made contact with the car in front of him.
"It was a disappointing day for me and the Banco Panamericano-KV Racing Technology team," Moraes said. "The start was very dusty and drivers in front of me were braking early into Turn One. By the time I realized it was about 500 meters into the corner and when I applied the brakes I lost the rear and hit another car ending my race on the first lap."
Next up for KVRT is the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 26-28, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.