KV Racing Technology announced today that Mario Moraes will drive for the team during the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season. He will pilot the #32 Banco Panamericano – KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone car at this weekend’s season opening Saõ Paulo Indy 300, March 13-14, on the streets of Saõ Paulo, Brazil.
“We are very pleased to have Mario back in the seat with KVRT,” said General Manager Mark Johnson. “Mario showed last season he can be very competitive and is in the process of becoming one of the top talents in the series. He has grown and matured on and off the race track over the last year due in part to the support of his family and the many positive influences in his life. Mario finished the 2009 season with very strong results and I would expect more of the same starting this weekend in Saõ Paulo.”
Moraes, who will also have sponsorship from the Holiday Inn Parque Anhembi and Itatiaia Group in Saõ Paulo, joins Takuma Sato, #5 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone and E. J. Viso, #8 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone, in a three-car effort for KVRT in Brazil.
Moraes, 21, who was born and resides in Sao Paulo, is entering his third IndyCar season. He joined KVRT last year and enjoyed his best season. Moraes had several strong qualifying efforts in 2009 including a career high second place starting position in Japan and a seventh at the Indianapolis 500. He earned six top-10 finishes including three top-five finishes (the first of his IndyCar career) and his first career podium, a third on the oval in Chicagoland (also had career best road course finish placing fourth in Sonoma). Moraes concluded the year with four consecutive top-seven showings vaulting him to 14th in the final standings.
“I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and my sponsor Banco Panamericano for helping me and giving me this opportunity,” Moraes said. “Being in the car to start the season is very important for me especially since the first race is in my hometown. KVRT is one of the best teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series and I am looking forward to working with everyone on the team again. Hopefully we can continue the success we enjoyed at the end of last season.”
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