Tony Kanaan’s upcoming departure from KV Racing will leave a vacancy the reigning Indy 500-winning team has needed to fill with a similar, high-profile driver, and as RACER has learned, the Kevin Kalkhoven- and Jimmy Vasser-owned team has found their man.
Four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, who has helped to assert the Dragon Racing team as one of the bigger surprises on road and street courses during the second half of the 2013 IndyCar Series championship, is set to join KV as its lead driver in 2014 and 2015.
?I am extremely pleased to announce that Sebastien Bourdais will be driving for our team for the next two years,? Kalkhoven confirmed in a release sent by the team late Wednesday. ?Sebastien is a proven champion and we look forward to working with him to produce more championships.”
Bourdais, as RACER recently revealed, was vying for the KV seat with Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe, but with the 34-year-old Frenchman having come to terms with the Indianapolis-based outfit, it appears the Canadian’s options have narrowed.
?I want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Sulli for this opportunity,? said Bourdais.? The fact that we have an agreement with KVSH Racing so early, and that I have a two-year contract, means we have the opportunity to develop as a team. I am looking forward to meeting the crew and getting started with testing as soon as possible. I also want to thank Jay and all the guys at Dragon Racing for their support over the last two seasons. I wish them the best of luck in the future.?
In addition to questions about Hinchcliffe’s future plans, the acquisition of Bourdais leaves the Jay Penske-owned Dragon team without its most marketable driver. Penske, who also runs Colombian Sebastian Saavedra, confirmed the team’s 2014 plans are undefined, opening the door for Bourdais to find a stable opportunity with KV.
BELOW: Former rivals Vasser and Bourdais are joining forces at Jimmy’s team (Photo: Dan Streck/LAT)