KV Racing and AFS confirm Saavedra
INDIANAPOLIS, IN KV Racing Technology co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, and AFS Racing owner Gary Peterson, announced today a strategic partnership to field an entry for the 2014 IndyCar Series season.
The team also announced that talented young driver Sebastian Saavedra will pilot the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet/.Dallara/Bridgestone machine during the 2014 season.
"I am extremely pleased to announce that KV Racing Technology and AFS Racing have reached an agreement to field an entry for the 2014 IndyCar season," said Kalkhoven. "AFS Racing has strong leadership and a solid history in IndyCar and Indy Lights. I look forward to our partnership and having a successful season with Sebastian Saavedra behind the wheel of the No. 17 KV AFS entry."
"I'm excited about moving forward with the KV AFS entry #17," Peterson said. "It looks to be a great alignment between AFS Racing, KV Racing Technology and Sebastian Saavedra. My heart is always in racing and I'm looking forward to another great year!
"AFS Racing started its relationship with Seb back in 2009. I've been supporting young drivers since I stopped racing myself, so Seb and I have become close. It's been a pleasure to mentor him over the years. KV Racing is a great fit for AFS and Seb and we appreciate the opportunity to join them. I've known Jimmy for years and I'm looking forward to getting to know Kevin better. Everyone at KV has been great to work with. Steve Moore, their General Manager, has really been on top of things. KV has a strong two car team and will be a contender for the 2014 IndyCar Series Championship, as well as another Indy 500 win this year. Jimmy and I both thought it was important to keep the Sebastians together after Sebastian Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra were teammates last season. I'm looking forward to a great season and hope for many more to come''.
Commenting on the announcement Vasser said, "I am very pleased that this partnership has come together. Gary (Peterson) is a racer and has been involved in the sport for a long time. He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge about the sport and about business to the organization. I look forward to a very successful year for KV AFS Racing in 2014 and hopefully for many years to come. I am also excited to watch the growth and development of Sebastian Saavedra, an up and coming young talent who we all have high expectations for."
Saavedra, 23, has been one of the youngest drivers in nearly every series he has raced. The native of Bogotá, Colombia began his career driving go-karts at age 10 throughout South America and Europe. Saavedra moved into cars in 2006 competing in Formula BMW USA, Formula BMW ADAC and Formula BMW Asia in 2007. In 2008, he finished second in ATS Formula 3 Cup with three wins, four poles and eight podium finishes. Saavedra competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Series in 2009 and won "Rookie of the Year" honors on the strength of a third place showing in the championship winning two races. He placed eighth in the Indy Lights Series in 2010 and also made his first IndyCar start at the Indianapolis 500. Saavedra made 14 IndyCar starts in 2011 and three more in 2012.
"I am very thankful to be part of a great project that we have been working on for a good while now," said Saavedra. "Seeing the AFS car back in action and with a great partnership with KV Racing Technology is something that brings a lot of excitement. All of this gives me great confidence to push not only my limits but the teams too. It's also great to be back working with (Sebastien) Bourdais. I believe we have unfinished business out there. I am very grateful to all sponsors and supporters that are making this possible and looking forward to a great year ahead of us all."