KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S MARIO MORAES RETURNS TO INDYCAR RACING THIS WEEKEND AT INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 18, 2009 -- Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S MARIO MORAES RETURNS TO INDYCAR RACING THIS WEEKEND AT INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- AUGUST 18, 2009 -- Round #14, 2009 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology driver Mario Moraes will return to racing this weekend at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 22-23, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Moraes, who missed the Mid-Ohio event due to the passing of his father, will be making his second appearance on the 2.303-mile, 12-turn permanent road course. The talented Brazilian, behind the wheel of the #5 KV Racing Technology -- Votorantim Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, was among the fastest drivers in the two races prior to Mid-Ohio, but circumstances beyond his control prevented him from finishing among the leaders. In Edmonton he was in sixth place when an opening lap incident knocked him out of the race. Then at 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. Moraes returned to the track 12 laps down, but battled throughout the remainder of the contest and finished 18th.
"First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the past two weeks," Moraes said. "This has been a very difficult time for my family, but we are all very thankful for the support we have received. I am looking forward to getting back into the KV Racing Technology car this weekend. Racing is something my father loved and I just want to dedicate myself to being the best driver I can in his memory."
Moraes, 20, 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. Last year, in his Infineon Raceway debut, Moraes qualified 12th and finished 10th.
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 19th in the championship standings with 181 points.
KVRT will be contesting its second race at Sonoma. Last year the team qualified both cars in the top-five with Will Power starting third and Oriol Servia, fifth. Unfortunately, the race did not go the team's way with Servia finishing 15th and Power 25th.