100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: KVSH Racing/KVRT

Getty Images

MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Next up is KV Racing, which has three cars entered but under three different entrant names: KVSH Racing, KV Racing Technology and PIRTEK Team Murray.

Three cars with three team names here, for the team co-owned by Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, which captured the 2013 ‘500 win with Tony Kanaan. Its No. 11 car is traditionally its best bullet at Indy; meanwhile in the other two cars, they have a pair of ‘500 first-timers, nearly identical to last year. One could argue though that Wilson and Brabham are an upgrade over Stefano Coletti and Bryan Clauson.


Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 KVSH Racing Chevrolet (Car name TBA; will be updated)
Stefan Wilson-R, No. 25 Driven2SaveLives – KVRT Chevrolet
Matthew Brabham-R, No. 61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet (KVRT technical alliance)


It’s been a year of frustration thus far for Bourdais and the No. 11 crew, who’ve been either bloody quick but unlucky, or unlucky and then able to rebound. St. Pete and Barber saw the former occur with Phoenix and Long Beach sandwiched in the middle. Bourdais has been one of the few drivers able to pass with regularity this year and remains a force in working with lead engineer Olivier Boisson.


True to form, Bourdais will be the team’s best bet this year at Indy. In rookies Wilson and Brabham, this group has two great story lines based on their family histories, but less-than-likely contenders on race day. For both first-year drivers, the goal is to bank laps, make the finish and shoot for a top-15, perhaps top-10 result. Such a result would put either or both drivers in contention for rookie-of-the-year honors for the month.


  • 2015: 11. 11-Bourdais (7; KVSH), 25. 4-Coletti (29; KVRT), 31. 88-Clauson (30, KVSH/Byrd’s)
  • 2014: 7. 11-Bourdais (17; KVSH), 15. 17-Saavedra (32; KV/AFS), 16. 33-Davison (28; KV/AE); 25. 6-Bell (25; KVRT)
  • 2013: 1. 11-Kanaan (12; KVSH), 17. 78-de Silvestro (24; KVRT)
  • 2012: 3. 11-Kanaan (8; KVSH), 11. 8-Barrichello (10; KVRT), 18. 5-Viso (9, KVRT)

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III