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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moraes Returns to KVRT

Mario Moraes will return to KV Racing Technology for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season after securing a last-minute deal.

The Brazilian-born Moraes drove for the team last season, finishing 14th in points in 16 starts, and visited with the team during preseason testing last month.

Last season was a bit of a struggle for the young driver. He qualified for last year's Indianapolis 500 on the first day of time trials, only to fall out of the race in a first-lap wreck. He also missed Mid-Ohio due to the death of his father.

After returning to the circuit, however, Moraes finished no worse than seventh, with three top five runs and a best finish of third at Chicagoland. This late season push suggested that Moraes would retain his ride for the 2010 season.

However, Japanese Formula 1 veteran Takuma Sato took over the No. 5 Dallara-Honda that Moraes ran last season, and with E.J. Viso and James Rossiter in the team's other cars during testing, it appeared that Moraes and his backing from Votorantim (a Brazilian industrial conglomerate owned by his grandfather) and Azul Tequila would not return for 2010.

In the past 24 hours, Rossiter's deal to pilot the No. 32 Dallara-Honda fell through, allowing Moraes to return to the team.

Per a news release posted on KVRT's Facebook page, the car will be sponsored by Banco Panamericano, at least for the Brazil race.

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