Former IndyCar staff proprietor and Champ Automotive boss Kevin Kalkhoven dies - Motor Informed
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Former IndyCar staff proprietor and Champ Automotive boss Kevin Kalkhoven dies

Australia-born Kalkhoven not too long ago stepped down from his place as director and chairman of the board at Cosworth, an organization he purchased from Ford together with Pi Analysis in 2004.

The KV Racing staff he co-founded with Jacques Villenueve’s supervisor Craig Pollock ran Tony Kanaan to victory within the 2013 Indianapolis 500, earlier than being disbanded after the 2016 season.

Hal Reisiger, CEO and Chairman of Cosworth, stated: “We had been extremely saddened to be taught that Kevin handed away following his current interval of sickness.

“Since his involvement with Cosworth in 2004, he had been a key supply of inspiration for the enterprise. His ardour for motorsport is effectively documented, however he was additionally a visionary and pioneer of future know-how.

“He was a number one drive behind Cosworth’s evolution right into a transportation know-how enterprise – and we honour his contribution, which is able to undoubtedly have a long-lasting helpful legacy.

“On behalf of everybody at Cosworth, I ship my honest condolences to Kevin’s spouse and household at this understandably tough time.”

McLaren System 1 boss Zak Brown additionally paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Deeply saddened on the lack of Kevin Kalkhoven.

“An Indy 500 winner, proprietor of ChampCar, Cosworth and the Lengthy Seashore Grand Prix, Kevin was a significant drive in motorsport but additionally an excellent colleague and pal, whose enterprise success was mirrored by his generosity to nice causes.”

Kalkhoven and George negotiated the merger between Champ Car and the IRL for 2008

Kalkhoven and George negotiated the merger between Champ Automotive and the IRL for 2008

Photograph by: Dan Streck

Kalkhoven, a enterprise capitalist and co-founder of KPLJ Ventures, entered racing within the winter of 2002/2003 when he and long-time CART Indycar staff proprietor Gerry Forsythe out-bid Indy Racing League founder Tony George for CART’s belongings.

The rebranded Champ Automotive World Collection struggled for grid numbers as its damaging break up with the IRL continued, however Kalkhoven and Forsythe moved to safeguard its future by shopping for into its crown jewel race, the Grand Prix of Lengthy Seashore.

Lengthy Seashore Grand Prix CEO Jim Michaelin stated: “Your complete Grand Prix Affiliation of Lengthy Seashore household is saddened to listen to of the passing of our co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven.

“He has offered robust help and visionary management over the previous 16 years and his contributions to our firm in addition to to the racing group might be sorely missed.

“Our condolences exit to his spouse Kimm and the entire Kalkhoven household in these tough instances. RIP, Kevin.”

They might additionally buy Cosworth and Pi from Ford, which grew to become the only engine provider to the championship for 2003 following Honda and Toyota’s defection to the IRL.

Having struggled in its preliminary season with journeyman driver Patrick Lemarie in 2003, PK Racing grew to become PKV Racing for 2004 with 1996 champion Jimmy Vasser turning into an proprietor driver, whereas Kalkhoven’s enterprise accomplice Dan Pettit purchased out Pollock.

The staff received its first race in 2005, when Cristiano da Matta triumphed at Portland, and fittingly received the ultimate Champ Automotive race at Lengthy Seashore in 2008 with Will Energy – now in its KV Racing guise – after Kalkhoven and George negotiated the merger of the 2 U.S. open-wheel collection for 2008.

Energy informed Autosport: “Listening to about Kevin this morning was unhappy and fairly stunning.

Kalkhoven joins podium finishers Mario Dominguez, Power and Franck Montagny after the final Champ Car race in 2008

Kalkhoven joins podium finishers Mario Dominguez, Energy and Franck Montagny after the ultimate Champ Automotive race in 2008

Photograph by: Lesley Ann Miller, Motorsport Images

“I’d say he was vital to my profession in 3 ways. First, he performed a large half in retaining Champ Automotive alive, and clearly that collection gave me and numerous drivers a possibility to interrupt into the open-wheel scene right here in America. We acquired to race quick highly effective vehicles on highway and road programs, and discovered lots, so we weren’t simply thrown into oval racing within the IRL.

“Then clearly it was Kevin and Tony George that made the merger occur, which was positively what was wanted for the sake of open-wheel racing on this nation.

“And naturally, Kevin and Jimmy [Vasser] ran me at KV Racing for the primary yr after the merger. We received that remaining Champ Automotive race at Lengthy Seashore, however I’d additionally say that once we all needed to switched to the IRL Dallara, KV was positively among the finest of the ex-Champ Automotive groups at getting up to the mark. That most likely helped get me seen by Roger [Penske] and Tim [Cindric, Team Penske president], so I’m actually grateful to Kevin for what he did.”

It took a few seasons earlier than the squad may rating common top-five finishes within the merged IndyCar Collection, its enchancment coinciding with Kanaan’s arrival in 2011.

The staff advanced into KVSH Racing with James Sullivan additionally investing, as Sebastien Bourdais scored 4 extra victories earlier than the staff was wound up in early 2017.

Paying tribute to his former accomplice, Vasser stated: “Kevin Kalkhoven lived life to absolutely the fullest. He confirmed how life was to be lived.

“He was an excellent accomplice and pricey pal. I’ll at all times miss his mischievous smile and uproarious laughter. Relaxation in peace pricey pal.”

Kalkhoven nonetheless continued his involvement with Cosworth, which helped earn him an honorary doctorate on the College of Northampton in for developments in know-how and motorsports.

Kalkhoven and George pictured after the Indy merger

Kalkhoven and George pictured after the Indy merger

Photograph by: Sutton Pictures

Throughout his time accountable for the corporate, Kalkhoven additionally arrange Cosworth’s North American base in Michigan.

Legendary IndyCar staff boss and present collection proprietor Roger Penske added: “Motorsports has misplaced one in every of its true leaders. Kevin Kalkhoven had an excellent ardour for open-wheel racing, and his imaginative and prescient and help helped information the game via some turbulent instances.

“As a pacesetter of the Champ Automotive World Collection, Cosworth Engineering and the KV Racing Expertise staff, Kevin had an unbelievable affect on IndyCar. Our ideas are with the Kalkhoven household and Kevin’s many buddies and colleagues which can be coping together with his loss.”

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