KV Racing Technology, the Indy car team that collected seven race wins over 14 seasons including the 2013 Indianapolis 500, announced today that it will no longer compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The team did not submit an entry for the 2017 season and joint statements from co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser confirmed the news today.
“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!”
Vasser joined as a co-owner and driver in 2004 and, along with businessman Dan Pettit’s ownership interest, the team became PKV Racing. It was renamed KV Racing Technology in 2008 with Kalkhoven and Vasser, then retired as a driver, the co-owners. James “Sulli” Sullivan formed an alliance with the team in 2011 and partnered with Kalkhoven and Vasser to form KVSH Racing in 2014 and field one of the team’s fulltime entries the past three seasons.
“I want to thank all the fans who have supported the team over the years,” said Vasser (shown with Kaklhoven (left) in photo at right). “I also want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven for giving me the special and unique opportunity to transition from a driver to a team owner while I was still driving.
“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, whose Indy car driving career included 10 wins and the 1996 CART championship. “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.”
The team picked up its first Indy car win in 2005 with Cristiano da Matta at Portland International Raceway. Others to drive for the team included Bryan Herta, Max Papis, Oriol Servia, Will Power, Paul Tracy, Takuma Sato, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastien Bourdais. Power drove to victory for KV in the 2008 Long Beach race while Bourdais took the checkered flag for the team four times in the past three seasons.
But the biggest win of all came with Kanaan in the 2013 Indianapolis 500. Now driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, Kanaan reflected on the loss of KV Racing Technology during the Verizon IndyCar Series open test at Phoenix Raceway on Feb. 10.
“It's weird or sad to see a team go, regardless of what those people are,” said Kanaan (shown in the photo above taking his 2013 Indy 500 victory lap in a pace car with wife Lauren, Kalkhoven and Vasser). “But for me, especially that team that we won the biggest race of our lives together, and that's the team that we struggled together, and I remember how we struggled to get where we got. And honestly, we only made it this far because of that win.
“Unfortunately, it's racing. I think it's everybody's reality. I mean, it's just the way it is. People come and go. But that was one thing that, from the bottom of my heart, I didn't want to see it go.”
Kalkhoven, who retains an ownership stake in the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, sees solid days ahead for the sport.
“It is my firm belief that the series is on a major upswing under the leadership of Mark Miles (Hulman & Co. CEO) and Jay Frye (INDYCAR president of competition and operations) and has a bright future,” Kalkhoven said. “I remain committed to help in any way I can, particularly in encouraging new owners and sponsors – in particular Ricardo Juncos, to whom we will be offering our support.
“To all the fans who follow the series and cheered for KVRT, my heartfelt thanks and please spread the good word about the fantastic sport we have.”