Kalkhoven, Vasser thank fans, confirm end of KV Racing

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KV Racing Technology’s lifespan as a Verizon IndyCar Series team is at its official end.

The team confirmed in a release on Thursday it will be supporting Juncos Racing and team principal Ricardo Juncos as it prepares for its step up into IndyCar from the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires.

KV started its lifespan as PK Racing in 2003, and went through various iterations (PKV Racing, KV Racing Technology, KV/AFS Racing, KVSH Racing) through 2016.

However, the team only barely answered the bell for 2016, with Sebastien Bourdais and HYDROXYCUT support being announced the week of the Phoenix International Raceway test. Bourdais left for Dale Coyne Racing following the end of 2016 and KV’s future became a talking point throughout this offseason.

With KV’s departure, it leaves Dale Coyne Racing as the only team left who transferred over from Champ Car in 2008 still active in 2017.

Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven. Photo courtesy KV Racing Technology
Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven. Photo courtesy KV Racing Technology

Here are the statements as issued by KV Racing Technology racing co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser:

“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. “However as I approach 73, I feel I can no longer give the team the effort and support it and the team members deserve.

“I have really enjoyed my time in the series, helping with reunification and of course winning the greatest spectacle in racing… the Indianapolis 500!

“It is my firm belief that the series is on a major upswing under the leadership of Mark Miles and Jay Frye and has a bright future. 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.”

Vasser said, “First and foremost I want to thank all the fans who have supported the team over the years. 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.

“It has been a journey of many ups and downs, but I will always remember winning the 2013 Indy 500.

“IndyCar 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.”

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

Petit Le Mans lineup
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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.


QUALIFYING

Results

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