NBC Sports takes a look through the teams competing in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. KVSH Racing has been a solid mid-level force for more than a decade and an Indianapolis 500-winning outfit; could this be the year they follow through on the hopes of two of its co-owners and actually contend for a title?
Team: KVSH Racing (No. 11), PIRTEK Team Murray (No. 61)
Engine/aero kits: Chevrolet
Sponsors: HYDROXYCUT, Mouser, Geico, American Racing Wheels (No. 11), PIRTEK, Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (No. 61)
Wins: 2 (Bourdais 2)
Podiums: 2 (Bourdais 2)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (Bourdais 1, Coletti 1)
Points: 619 (Bourdais 406, Coletti 203, Clauson 10)
Laps Led: 145 (Bourdais 145)
Championship Position: 10th (Bourdais), 19th (Coletti), 39th (Clauson)
2016 LINEUP (Engineer in parentheses)
11 Sebastien Bourdais (Olivier Boisson)
61 Matthew Brabham (TBC)
Sebastien Bourdais enjoyed another typical season since he’s been back in North America, where he frequently overachieved on occasion but lacked the week-to-week consistency to mount a serious title challenge. His win at Milwaukee was one of the most impressive oval victories in recent years, while a strategy gamble at Detroit race two paid dividends. The second car was again a disappointment, with rookie Stefano Coletti finding the wall seemingly more often than the finishing line in a highly underwhelming season.
The KVSH team led by Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan has the potential to deliver an RLL-in-2015 type season, where with a reduced, single-car focus there could be better overall consistency. Bourdais and engineer Olivier Boisson work well together and will seek to deliver results up against the mights of the four-car powerhouse organizations, although Bourdais admitted the team was inadvertently hampered as the commercial deals for the year got finalized late. Still, wins are likely, and a top-five championship finish is a realistic target. The only second car planned at the moment is the PIRTEK Team Murray entry for Matthew Brabham in the month of May.