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Sato leads strong KV Racing test at Barber
Taku Sato
KV Racing Technology held their second preseason test in preparation for the start of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season, participating in the two-day Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama February 24-25.

Despite very cold weather conditions that limited track time, KVRT put all three cars and drivers through their paces on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber permanent road course.

“I am very pleased with the results of the test,” KV Racing Technology General Manager Mark Johnson said.  “We came here with three new drivers, several new crew members and a lot of new equipment.  The entire team, engineers, crew, drivers and equipment all performed flawlessly.  I was especially impressed with the way everyone worked together to make this a successful test.  In the end we got through all of our work and collected the data we needed to move forward.”

Takuma Sato, #5 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, took team honors after the two-days of testing running a team high 141 laps and a quick time of 70.2070 seconds (117.937 mph),which placed him fifth on the overall speed charts (out of 20 drivers testing).  Sato, from Japan, who is commonly known as Taku, signed with KVRT on February 18.  He participated in his first “official” test for the team here at Barber having secretly tested with KVRT for just over an hour at Sebring International Raceway on February 15.  The skillful Formula 1 veteran, who is preparing for his first IndyCar season, ran two sessions the first day completing 70 laps with a time of 71.1138 seconds (116.433 mph) good for seventh on the combined practice report at day’s end.  Taku was the first of the KVRT drivers to take to the track on day one running 15 laps in the first session and recording the fifth fastest time, 72.2138 seconds (114.660 mph).  On day two, which was limited by weather to a five- hour session, Taku logged another 71 laps posting his quick time on lap 45.

“It was a very successful day for the KV Racing Technology team considering the weather,” Taku said. “It was extremely cold this morning so we were unable to run, but once the temperature had improved, we were out on track.  I was able to learn a lot again from how the car reacted to the different setups we tried, which was good preparation for the Brazil race.  However nothing is ever perfect and I am never satisfied, but I am very positive that I have a good feeling of how the car handles and look forward to going racing in a few weeks time.

E. J. Viso, #8 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, turned a total of 78 laps over the two days posting a fast time of 70.9186 seconds (116.754 mph), which he recorded on the first day of the test.  The talented Venezuelan, who officially became a KVRT driver on February 22, tested with the team for the second time.  He previously ran at Sebring on February 15.  Viso, who is entering his third IndyCar season, completed 60 laps the first day with a fast time of 70.9186 seconds (116.754 mph) good for sixth on the combined practice report.  All but one of his first day’s laps came in the second of the two sessions.  Viso logged another 18 laps on the second day and ended up with the 15th fastest overall time.

“Today was a day with a lot of different issues,” said Viso.  “It was not as good as yesterday but the other drivers for KV Racing Technology team worked well together, so hopefully we will have a good amount of data and a productive race weekend when we return in a few months.”

James Rossiter #32 KV Racing Technology, who was testing with KVRT completed 108 laps during the test with a fast time of 70.5700 seconds (117.330 mph) placing him 11th  on the overall speed charts.  The resident of Oxford, England and former Formula 1 test driver, who is new to the IndyCar Series, turned 40 laps the first day, all but two in the second session.  He posted a quick time of 71.7759 seconds (115.359 mph) placing him 13th on the combined practice report for the day.  The second day saw the determined Brit clock his fastest time on lap 42 of the 68 he made during the session.

“Today was my first proper afternoon testing an IndyCar and with KV Racing Technology.  I learned a lot.  We did a bit of a qualifying simulation with three sets of new tires as well as a couple of long runs, running from full fuel tanks to empty so I could understand how the car reacts in these situations.  We have made some good progress in setup changes and hopefully the team have learned enough to have a good first race in Brazil.”

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