Tracy joins KV Racing for 4-car assault on Indy 500 Paul Tracy believes he has some unfinished business at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his three KV Racing Technology teammates want to do some serious business in the May 30 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Tracy is joining Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso and Mario Moraes for the four-driver KVRT attack in the world’s biggest auto race at the world’s most famous racing plant.
The popular Canadian racer, who placed a controversial second place at Indy in 2002, bring his No. 15 GEICO—KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone machine to the Brickyard with a little added firepower this year. Tracy teams up with his former team boss Barry Green and engineer John Dick to formulate one of his strongest combinations ever at Indy. Tracy returned to Indy last year for the first time since his 2002 protested finish and placed ninth after running as high as fourth. Recently shedding 35 pounds from a tough workout regime, the personable racer has been preparing for his Indy return for six months. Now, he believes this year’s effort with GEICO, Green, Dick and KVRT will provide a superb chance to take him to victory lane.
Sato, who has been on the podium at Indy before with a third place in the 2004 USGP Formula One race, comes to the Speedway for the first time on the famed oval. The driver of the No. 5 Lotus — KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone car is experiencing his first season in the IZOD IndyCar Series and made his first oval start last week at Kansas. Sato ran as high as fifth in his oval debut before being eliminated in a crash with 14 laps remaining.
Sato will make his first Indy laps on Saturday (May 15) in “Rookie Orientation.” The last Lotus entry at Indy was in 1969 when Art Pollard qualified 12th. Mario Andretti was to drive a Lotus that year before a practice crash sidelined the car. Andretti won the 1969 race in a Hawk back-up machine.
Viso, the personable Venezuelan driver, was impressive at Kansas in the No. 8 PDVSA—KVRT Honda/Dallara/Firestone mount. Viso put in an impressive showing, driving from 16th to fifth before he clipped the outside barrier on lap 72. Viso, a two-time Indy 500 starter, will make his first Indy 500 appearance under the KVRT banner this year.
Moraes, the youngest IZOD IndyCar Series regular at age 21, has continued to show potential in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry this year with a sixth at Long Beach and seventh at Kansas. The Brazilian driver finished off last year with strong runs at Chicagoland Speedway (third), Twin Ring Motegi (fifth) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (seventh) in the final three races.
This year’s Indy 500 will be telecast on ABC-TV at noon EDT.
TAKUMA SATO, #5 LOTUS - KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: "Indianapolis is going to be a very special weekend for me! I have a lot of new things to experience and, of course, the track will be a whole new challenge. I already have great memories of Indianapolis, having raced there four times in Formula One, but then I drove only a part of the famous banking and in the wrong direction. But having got my first podium here in 2004, the place holds a special place in my heart. I hope to add to those great memories here this month. After working together with Jimmy (Vasser) when learning the Kansas oval for the last race, we have developed a great understanding and I respect his opinions and instructions. So I am really looking forward to getting onto the oval this week and finding out all about it."
E.J. VISO, #8 PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: “The Indianapolis 500 is the biggest race in the world. It is an important race for me. I think my No. 8 PDVSA – KV Racing Technology car will be very competitive for Indy. I had one of my best oval cars at Kansas. Things are coming together with the engineers and that will translate in a strong car for qualifying and the race this month. The entire KVRT team has a solid foundation for the oval tracks right now. "
PAUL TRACY, #15 GEICO — KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: “I think Barry (Green) and I feel the same about the 2002 race. Deep down we know what happened there. We both don't have a baby Borg‑Warner (trophy) for it. This is a topic that I think will probably go down in history as one of the most fiercely debated topics over many, many years. You're coming up now on eight years, close to a decade, and people still argue this situation fiercely.
I've been training like crazy. I feel I'm in the best shape of my life right now. Jimmy has told me all winter they're going to have a great car for me with great engineers. I feel, bringing in Barry is the icing on top of the cake. We've just got to go out there and get it done.”
MARIO MORAES, #32 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY HONDA/DALLARA/FIRESTONE: “It is always exciting to come to the Indianapolis 500. It is such a big event. The KV Racing Technology team has been working hard to improve the oval setups as we come to Indy. The Kansas race wasn’t quite as good as we wanted. We still got a top-ten finish though. Last year’s Indy 500 was very short for me, so I want to put in an excellent performance for this big race.”