KV RACING TECHNOLOGY– LOTUS SET FOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY RUNNING OF INDY 500
KV Racing Press Release
SPEEDWAY, IN – MAY 28, 2011 – The cars are safely tucked away in the garage for the night, the drivers are going through the final rituals prior to the race and the sponsors have all gathered. Tomorrow, Sunday, May 29th, KV Racing Technology – Lotus will have three cars in the field for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
Takuma Sato, No. 5 MonaVie - KV Racing Technology – Lotus, will start 10th on the inside of row four tomorrow after posting a four-lap average of 225.736 mph. Sato will be contesting his second Indy 500. Last year in his debut at the Brickyard the 34-year-old from Japan struggled in qualifying and started 31st, but had a strong race getting into the top-10 before he had a problem in the pits and ended up finishing 20th. Sato, who ran only four laps on Carburetion Day (Friday, the last day of practice) due to a mechanical problem, has had a low key, but solid Indy 500 so far. He appears much more confident on the oval and has worked hard to get the proper setup. Sato opened the 2011 season strong, finishing an IndyCar career high fifth in the season opener at St. Petersburg before having strong performances at Barber and Long Beach nullified by late race incidents. In Brazil, he had a breakout performance leading 23 laps, his first in an indy car, before he was forced to pit for a splash of fuel and finished eighth. Sato, who earned the Firestone Tire-rific award for his performance in Brazil, is 10th in the standings with 80 points.
E. J. Viso, No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology – Lotus, will be contesting his fourth Indy 500. The 26-year-old Venezuelan had a solid qualifying effort averaging 224.732 mph and will line-up 18th on the grid on the outside of row six. This is Viso’s best starting position for an Indy 500. His previous high was 19th last year. His best finish is 24th in 2009. Viso, who is 24th in the standings with 51 points, has been the victim of some bad luck to open the 2011 season. However, he may have turned the corner with a solid performance in horrible conditions in Brazil. Viso was 32nd on the speed charts following practice on Carb Day, but has been consistent throughout the practice sessions and appears due for a breakout performance.
Tony Kanaan, No. 82 GEICO – KV Racing Technology – Lotus, considered one of the greatest drivers never to win the Indy 500, will be competing in his 10th 500 mile race at the Brickyard. The 36-year-old Brazilian qualified 22nd with a four-lap average of 224.417 mph and will start in the inside of row eight. Although he has struggled somewhat to find speed at Indy the last two weeks, in his final practice on Friday he turned the eight fastest lap and appears ready to make one of his trademark charges to the front of the field at the start of race. In nine previous contests at IMS, Kanaan qualified in the top-six in his first eight events including taking the pole in 2005. Kanaan, who has led 214 laps at the Brickyard and is the only driver to lead laps in his first seven Indy 500 races, has finished in the top-eight on four occasions and in the top-five three times with a best showing of second in 2004. Last year starting last, may have been Kanaan’s most impressive performances at the Speedway as he charged into second place before finishing 11th. Kanaan, who signed with KVRT – Lotus just six days before the start of the season, has been the team’s strongest driver finishing in the top-10 in three of the first four races including a third placing showing in St. Petersburg. He has picked up a total of 25 positions on the track and is currently sixth in the championship standings with 99 points.
Tomorrow’s race with be the fourth time KVRT has competed at Indianapolis. The team made its first appearance at the Speedway following unification in 2008 with a two car effort. In 2009 the team fielded three cars and had their best race with Townsend Bell finishing fourth and Paul Tracy placing ninth. In 2010 the KVRT tried to qualify four cars, but fell short with Tracy failing to make the field. This year KVRT will have a total of four cars in the Indy 500. In addition to the three KVRT – Lotus cars KV Racing Technology is also fielding a fourth car under the KVRT – SH Racing banner with Indy veteran Tomas Scheckter behind the wheel, starting 21st.
The 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 29. It will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET.
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