Moraes Leads KV Racing Racing Technology Qualifying
SPARTA, Sept. 3, 2010: Mario Moraes, still seeking a top-ten placing in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, turned in an outstanding qualifying performance Friday to lead the three-driver KV Racing Technology squad at the fast 1.5-mile oval at Kentucky Speedway. Moraes enjoyed his best 2010 qualifying run with a speed of 216.879 mile per hour to record the seventh starting position in Saturday’s Kentucky Indy 300 set for 8:45 p.m. (EDT). Ed Carpenter surprised the field Friday by winning pole position with a 217.933 m.p.h. Driving in hot, windy conditions, Moraes took his No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car machine into the top-three in the early portion of the 27-car qualifying round. The track conditions were a stark contrast to the morning practice session that was halted due to rain showers. Moraes, the 21-year-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil, had qualified in the top-ten twice this year before Friday’s two-lap effort, and now seeks his first podium oval run in 2010. Moraes placed third last year at the 1.5-mile oval at Chicagoland Speedway. Last Saturday, Mario ran with the leaders in fourth before a late-race pit stop relegated him to 17th at the finish. IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Takuma Sato will start 14th in the No. 5 Lotus — KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry in his Kentucky Speedway debut. The Formula One veteran clocked a two-lap average of 216.265 m.p.h. and will start next to Alex Tagliani in the eighth row in the 200-lap feature. E.J. Viso, in the No. 8 PDVSA — KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car, had a wild ride in qualifying and will start 22nd on the grid. Viso’s mount was affected greatly by the windy conditions that caused the car to have oversteer early in the two-lap run. The 25-year-old Venezuelan made adjustments in the cockpit during his qualifying attempt, but had to settle for 214.595 m.p.h.
MARIO MORAES -- #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "The KV Racing car felt pretty good despite the windy conditions this afternoon. The track was so different this morning with the cool, cloudy weather. Then, this afternoon we had sunny and windy conditions. Almost the opposite. The wind makes a different feeling in the turns. You want the car to be neutral, no oversteer or understeer. That is difficult with the windy conditions, but I think we’ll have a good car for Saturday night’s race. It is supposed to be cooler and that could change the setups too." TAKUMA SATO -- #5 LOTUS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "We struggled to find the balance in qualifying today. I think the reason was because, in morning practice, it was much cooler and we had some moisture. This afternoon, it was dry and much hotter. These big changes in conditions really affect the car and I think it caught out other teams also. I am confident we will find the balance and prepare the car for the race in the next session tonight." " E.J. VISO -- #8 PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: “On my qualifying run, the car was too positive on the front end. I had a big oversteer. I could have lost the rear of the car. I didn’t want that to happen, so I adjusted my bars in the car and survived that qualifying run. The track was so different from the morning practice with the heavy air and cool temperatures. Then we had the sun and windy conditions in qualifying. I feel pretty confident for the race. We have been coming from the back on the ovals this year, and we have driven into the top-five several times. I think we can do that again here.”