A victory in the GP2 Series' 2014 season finale at Abu Dhabi was a fitting farewell to Stefano Coletti, who rides into the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2015 with KV Racing Technology.
Coletti, who turns 26 on April 6, will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet for the team co-owned by 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series champion Jimmy Vasser and businessman Kevin Kalkhoven The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 29, and Coletti and new teammate Sebastien Bourdais will test the new aerodynamic bodywork components March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Coletti, who said his longtime goal was to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, auditioned in the No. 4 entry Feb. 10 at NOLA Motorsports Park. He also tested in a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car in December.
“It’s a great championship and the competition is very high," he said. "When I tested with KV Racing Technology at NOLA a few weeks ago, there was a great atmosphere and the whole team really welcomed me, so I can’t wait to get to Indianapolis and start working with the No. 4 crew and getting to know everyone better.
"It’s a great opportunity to be on the same team as a driver like Sebastien Bourdais, who is very experienced, very quick and a nice person to work with. I couldn’t have asked for better for my rookie year. (I) look forward to an exciting year with the team."
Coletti, who had eight victories (including one in 2011 GP2 Asia Series) in four seasons in the GP2 Series, finished sixth in the 2014 standings and fifth in the 2013 championship. In 2013, Coletti won the GP2 Series sprint race on the Monaco circuit to become the first Monegasque driver since Louis Chiron in 1931 to have won a race in his homeland.
Coletti will make his second appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. In 2006, he competed in two Formula BMW USA races on the road course, winning the second race after starting 10th and placing second in the other.
“We are very pleased and excited to add a driver of Stefano’s talent to KV Racing Technology," said Vasser, who was on hand for the test days at NOLA. "Stefano has shown he can win at a very high level during his time in GP2 and we were extremely impressed with his knowledge and feedback during the test last month at NOLA. There will obviously be a learning curve, especially on ovals, but I think everyone feels that Stefano is up to the task.”