PAUL TRACY EXCITES HOMETOWN CROWD SUNDAY WITH COMEBACK EFFORT IN HONDA INDY TORONTO Moraes Takes 14th, Viso 19th and Sato 25th Sunday TORONTO (July 18, 2010) -- Paul Tracy may have been the oldest driver in Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto, but the...
PAUL TRACY EXCITES HOMETOWN CROWD SUNDAY WITH COMEBACK EFFORT IN HONDA INDY TORONTO
Moraes Takes 14th, Viso 19th and Sato 25th Sunday
TORONTO (July 18, 2010) -- Paul Tracy may have been the oldest driver in Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto, but the Scarborough, Ont., Can., native continues to live up to his nickname, the "Thrill from West Hill" after the 85-lap feature in the streets at Exhibition Place.
Tracy, driving the No. 15 Honda Canada-Make A Wish-KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry, suffered through a tough qualifying run Saturday and was forced to start 24th on the 26-driver field on the 1.74-mile, 11-turn street track.
But the two-time Honda Indy Toronto winner had his fans on their feet in the middle of the main event when he held the lead.
Tracy and his Honda Canada/Motegi Wheels crew attempted a unique strategy to get the local star up into the lead and led the race for 14 laps before having to pit for fuel. Tracy was hoping to use his new fuel strategy to race with the leaders, but traffic posed a problem for him. He then stalled his car in turn three trying to make a pass. Tracy then came back from 20th to finish 13th at the checkered flag.
Tracy wore a blue and white firesuit that was signed by more than 400 Make A Wish donators. Honda Canada worked with the Make A Wish Foundation to raise tens of thousands of dollars this week in Toronto. The promotion will continue next week in Edmonton.
Young Mario Moraes, coming off an impressive fifth place at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, drove the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car to 14th Sunday from his 20th starting position.
E.J. Viso, driver of the No. 8 PDVSA -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, battled most of the race for a top-ten position but was caught up in a late race incident with Alex Tagliani and Rafael Matos. Despite a little front end damage, Viso continued to finish the event in 19th place.
Takuma Sato, the rookie driver in the No. 5 Lotus -- KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine, ended his race early when he and Moraes made contact in turn three on lap 16. Sato was credited with the 25th position on Sunday.
PAUL TRACY, #15 HONDA CANADA--MAKE A WISH--KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 13th: "I think we could have been a top eight, but several things didn't fall our way. We struggled the first little bit with the handling. The car seemed to come alive at the end. My pace was as fast as the leaders and I was pretty happy with that. The yellow flags hurt us in the end. We waited to pit the first time and then got some green flag laps to get a little space for our first pit stop. But the three yellow flags put us in a bad position for our strategy. We felt we could run with the leaders if we got a break. We led some laps and got some good air time for Make A Wish, Honda Canada and Motegi Wheels. We had to deal with too much traffic after the first stop, and I tried to make a dive in turn three. The rear end got loose and I stalled. That put us back a lap. I just wish we could have qualified better. But we learned some things today and we'll get better for Edmonton next week. This was a great week back home with all of the appearances for Make A Wish and Honda Canada. I wanted a better finish though."
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 14th: "I think we should turn the page on this weekend. It was tough for our KV Racing team. We can look forward to the Edmonton race. I feel badly for (Takuma) Sato. I wasn't expecting him to be in that spot on the track. He was in my blind line and it was similar to Helio (Castroneves) and PT (Paul Tracy) last year. So the two cars came together. Later in the race, the car felt pretty good but we need to get ready to improve for Edmonton. We just need to forget about this weekend now."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 19th: "I got hit by (Dan) Wheldon in turn three at the start and dropped several positions. But our pace was then good and I thought our car was coming along very well. Our strategy was good too. We were getting into position to move up in the race. I was racing closely with Tag (Alex Tagliani) and (Rafael) Matos. Tag took Matos wide and I couldn't avoid clipping Matos' wheel. He spun and I got hit. We changed the front wing and I went back out to at least finish today. It wasn't what we wanted but we got to the checkered flag. I thought our pace with No. 8 PDVSA car was pretty good
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE, Finished 25th: "It was an exciting start and I was able to battle with other drivers and gain a few places. Then I was following my teammate (Mario) Moraes. I caught up very rapidly on him out of turn two and pulled alongside of him on the back straight. We went into the braking area in turn three, but I guess he didn't see me out there and made contact which unfortunately ended my race. It is so disappointing."