MORAES QUALIFIES IN TOP 10 AT TEXAS; SATO VERY IMPRESSIVE IN HIS FIRST SHOWING AT TMS 95 Degree Heat Plays Havoc with IZOD IndyCar Series Cars FT. WORTH, Texas. (June 4, 2010) -- The Texas heat wasn't kind to most of the 26 drivers in the...
MORAES QUALIFIES IN TOP 10 AT TEXAS;
SATO VERY IMPRESSIVE IN HIS FIRST SHOWING AT TMS
95 Degree Heat Plays Havoc with IZOD IndyCar Series Cars
FT. WORTH, Texas. (June 4, 2010) -- The Texas heat wasn't kind to most of the 26 drivers in the Firestone 550K qualifying Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway.
With track surface temperatures at over 135 degrees and air temperature at 95 playing havoc with the drivers' setups of their cars, KV Racing Technology drivers Mario Moraes, Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso managed to survive the brutal conditions to post solid performances.
Moraes, who finished tenth last year at Texas, drove the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car to a four-lap average of 213.800 miles per hour to record the ninth fastest speed of time trials. Moraes' run was the best of the three KVRT driver Friday.
IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Sato continues to be impressive on the ovals in the No. 5 Lotus - KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine. In only his third oval track event, the personable Japanese star clocked the 11th fastest speed of qualifications Friday with a speed of 213.692 m.p.h. in his four-lap average. Sato has run as high as sixth in each of his first two oval races at Kansas and Indianapolis but results have not been in his favor at the checkered flag.
Sato is hoping for better luck Saturday night in the 228-lap feature on the fast 1.5-mile tri-oval north of Ft. Worth. The Firestone 550K will begin at 7:45 p.m. CDT and seen live on Versus TV.
Viso looked to be in excellent position for an outstanding qualifying run after recording the fourth fastest speed in the first practice session Friday in the No. 8T PDVSA -- KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry. The hotter track conditions seemed to affect Viso's car more than the other KVRT drivers, as the popular Venezuelan posted a 213.336 m.p.h. over four laps for 14th on the starting grid.
MARIO MORAES -- #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "We worked on our race car in the afternoon practice. We will do the same this evening too. The car felt good in qualifying. But our concentration right now is to get the best car for the race conditions. It will be a night race and the track will change a lot from today's qualifying runs. So I am really looking forward to the race on Saturday night. We had a problem in the Indy race and we couldn't find it. So we changed everything coming to Texas. I feel good about our car now."
TAKUMA SATO -- #5 LOTUS -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE:
"We were able to make progressive steps in the Lotus car considering the limited practice time. This track is very impressive, the highest banking in the series. It's kind of crazy in a good way. We went straight into qualifying and I am pleased where we ran this afternoon (11th in his first appearance at Texas). We'll see how we do in the night practice this evening. I think we will have a good strong car for tomorrow."
E.J. VISO -- #8 PDVSA -- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "We had a good test run this afternoon in practice. So I actually thought I would go a little bit better in qualifying. I love this Texas track. It is one of my favorite in the championship. I'm looking forward to racing at night. It is a lot of fun. We worked on our race setup too. So I think we'll have a good car in the race. It is a long race, 228 laps, and we will have time to make adjustments with the car."