KV Closes Up Shop
After being unable to secure the necessary funding to continue participation, Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser have decided to cease operations for KV Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series effective immediately.
The move comes following a tumultuous off-season, which saw driver Sebastien Bourdais leave after the 2016 finale at Sonoma, further funding and support lost when partner James Sullivan pulled back his support, and concluded with an inability to find the necessary backing to return for 2017.
The announcement brings to a close over a decade of North American open-wheel racing involvement for Kalkhoven, who was one of the co-owners of the former ChampCar World Series, before its merging with INDYCAR in 2008. Although KV Racing was largely a mid-pack runner during its nine-year run in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the team did manage to win the biggest race on the circuit, when Tony Kanaan took the checkered flag first at the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
Feeling he was unable to continue to provide the necessary commitment to his team, Kalkhoven elected to shut down his operation.
“I want to thank all those who have written to express their appreciation of the efforts of KV Racing Technology during the last 14 years,” said Kalkhoven, who originally formed what was PK Racing in 2003 with Formula One team and driver manager Craig Pollock. “However as I approach 73 (years old), I feel I can no longer give the team the effort and support (that) the team members deserve.
“I have really enjoyed my time in the series, helping with (Indy car racing’s 2008) reunification and, of course, winning ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ the Indianapolis 500!”
Although his time as an INDYCAR team owner has come to an end, Kalkhoven will shift his attention toward his ownership role in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the most prestigious road course race on the circuit.
The decision also for now ends Vasser’s foray as a team owner, which began when he joined Kalkhoven’s operation in 2004. Before then, Vasser was one the premier
e drivers in CART and ChampCar winning the 1996 CART championship and also the inaugural running of the U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway.
“I am very proud to have been a part of this team and I will always cherish all the great people and drivers we worked side-by-side with
to achieve our successes,” added Vasser. “It has been a journey of many ups and downs, but I will always remember winning the 2013 Indy
500. Indy car racing has been a part of my life for 25 years, it is in my soul and it will be interesting to see where it takes me from here.”
With KV’s closing official, the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series full-time roster will feature 21 car-driver combinations, pending any other last minute or part-time entries.
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