Team Australia announces jump to KV Racing Technology
Australian driver Will Power will begin the next exciting chapter in his racing career with the announcement today that he will front a renewed Team Australia effort in this year’s unified IndyCar Series.
Power will drive the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone in the 2008 IndyCar Series in his third full season driving for Craig Gore’s Team Australia squad, with the Aussie Vineyards-backed team taking on a new form in 2008.
Team Australia has joined forces with KV Racing Technology in an exciting partnership for the motorsport program that Gore created in 2005, which uses motorsport as a marketing tool for Australian companies, including Gore’s own Aussie Vineyards company and it’s Au wine label, wanting to increase their brand awareness and sales on a global scale, with a major focus in the United States.
KV Racing Technology is entering its sixth year of competition and its first in the IndyCar Series. Oriol Servia will be behind the wheel of the KV Racing Technology #32 Honda/Dallara//Firestone entry as Power’s team-mate in 2008.
27-year-old Power is entering his third full-season in US open-wheel motorsport, having first joined Team Australia for two races at the end of the 2005 season before joining the Aussie Vineyards-backed squad full-time in 2006.
Born in the town of Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia, Power won many accolades in his two seasons in the Champ Car World Series with Team Australia including the Rookie of the Year title in 2006.
Power has two wins to his name in Champ Car with Team Australia, as well as six pole positions and six podiums. Power has also won pole at his and Team Australia’s home event, the Gold Coast Indy 300, for the past two years, with Power to race on the streets of Surfers Paradise again this season. The Australian event confirmed its involvement with the new, unified IndyCar Series for the next six years in an announcement last week.
Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia continues it presence in US open-wheel racing by combining its effort with KV Racing Technology in 2008.
Partnerships created through its racing programs have helped Aussie Vineyards place its products in more than 5000 outlets throughout the United States. Aussie Vineyards mission is simply to ‘bring the best Australian wines to the world’.
Teams transitioning to the IndyCar Series will test at Sebring International Raceway on March 19-20 and on the Homestead-Miami Speedway under lights on March 24-25.
The first race of the 2008 IndyCar Series will be held under lights with the Gainsco Auto Insurance Indy 300 on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway – the full 2008 IndyCar Series schedule can be viewed at TeamAustraliaMotorsport.com
Power and fellow Australian Ryan Briscoe, who will race for Team Penske in this year’s IndyCar Series, will face off in their home event, the Gold Coast Indy 300, on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia on October 23-26.
WHAT THE TEAM HAD TO SAY …
Will Power – #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone
“This is a great opportunity for Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia and me,” said Power.
“It will be my first season in the IndyCar Series and having Jimmy Vasser to help mentor me on the ovals will make the transition easier.
“I look forward to racing with Oriol and working with the entire KV Racing Technology Team.
“This is a first class organization and I am happy to continue my open-wheel racing career with them.”
Craig Gore – Team Australia creator
“I think we are heading into an exciting new era of open wheel racing and I could not think of a better partners to have than Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser,” said Gore.
“I am sure KV Racing Technology will be competitive in 2008 and beyond and I look forward to seeing the Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia car, not only on the streets of Surfers Paradise in October, but at the Indy 500 for the first time in May.
“Will Power is one of the best young talents Australia has ever produced and we are delighted that he can continue his career in Team Australia colors as he continues to do his country proud.
“We believe that the Team Australia program has been a terrific platform to take Australian brands into the US market and this new partnership will only generate more opportunities.”
Kevin Kalkhoven – KV Racing Technology Co-Owner
“Jimmy and I are very pleased to announce a new chapter in the history of our team which will campaign a two-car effort during the 2008 IndyCar Series season,” said Kalkhoven.
“In conjunction with our commitment to the IndyCar Series we have re-branded the team as KV Racing Technology and agreed to a sponsorship arrangement with Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia.
“This will allow Will Power to join team-mate Oriol Servia in what I believe will be the most competitive and exciting open-wheel racing series.
“We want to welcome both Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia and Will Power to our team and we look forward to a very successful season in 2008 and for many years to come.”
Jimmy Vasser – KV Racing Technology Co-Owner
“I am very excited that KV Racing Technology will be competing in what I think will become the most challenging open-wheel series,” said Vasser.
“Speaking from past experience, this series will be one of the most difficult to win because it requires a driver and a team to race on a variety of different tracks. To win the championship you have to be competitive in all disciplines of open-wheel racing.”
“Will is an extremely capable and competitive driver. Over the last couple of years he has shown the ability to win races and challenge for the championship.
“Teaming Will with Oriol will give KV Racing Technology two veteran drivers who bring a lot of experience and talent to our team.”
ABOUT TEAM AUSTRALIA:
Team Australia was created in 2005 by successful Australian businessman Craig Gore as a platform to market Australian businesses and products in North America, including Gore’s own Aussie Vineyards company and it’s Au wine label, through a high-profile motorsport program.
Team Australia ran in partnership with Walker Racing for three seasons in the Champ Car World Series, with Queensland driver Will Power winning the Rookie of the Year title in 2006 and claiming pole position for his home event on the Gold Coast in the same year.
In 2007 Power and Team Australia claimed two race victories, the season opener in Las Vegas and also the prestigious Toronto street race. Power finished fourth in the championship, with five podium finishes and five pole positions, including a second-consecutive pole on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
For 2008 Team Australia has entered into a new partnership with KV Racing Technology, co-owned by Australian businessman Kevin Kalkhoven and 1996 Champ Car Champion Jimmy Vasser.
With the unification of open-wheel racing in the United States in 2008, Power and Team Australia will be a part of the IndyCar Series this season with the 27-year-old from Toowoomba, Queensland driving the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry for KV Racing Technology.