Power Joins KV Indy Lineup
March 12, 2008 | 2:50 P.M. EST
Power will join teammate Oriol Servia with KV Racing Technology in the March 29 season-opening Gainsco Auto Insurance Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Servia will drive the No. 32 Honda Dallara, while Power will race the No. 8 Aussie Vineyards – Team Australia machine.
“Right now, all of us are on the same page,” said Servia. “This is a little late for us. It will take some adapting, but I’m real excited. It’s going to be a huge challenge for the drivers and the teams.”
“I think we will be running at the front of the former Champ Car teams on the ovals,” said Power, a 27-year-old Australian who won two of 30 races in Champ Car competition. “On the road courses, I hope we can be near the front of the field and contending for podiums and victories. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I can’t wait to drive.”
Other former Champ Car teams already announcing the transition are Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing with drivers Grahal Rahal and Justin Wilson, and Conquest with Franck.
“The first few races will be very difficult,” said Wilson, a four-time winner in 54 career Champ Car races. “We’ve only got a short time getting the car set up, and that takes time. But I’m confident that I’m in the right place with Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing, and that we can work it out.”
Wilson replaces Sebastien Bourdais, who is moving to Formula One’s Toro Rosso team after winning four consecutive Champ Car titles with Newman-Haas-Lanigan. Ironically, Bourdais joined the team after Wilson opted to race in Formula One after testing with Newman-Haas at Homestead-Miami Speedway in late 2002.
Rahal finished fifth in the 2007 Champ Car standings, and was expected to be among the title contenders in 2008 before the unification of the two series. Now, the son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal is a rookie again.
“It’s going to be tough, especially at the first couple of races on the ovals,” Rahal said. “I’ve only raced ovals in Star Mazda, and those cars are significantly slower. They’re going to be quite an eye opener, especially in the opener at Homestead. I think putting the car back on the truck in one piece will be quite a good result. We certainly don’t expect to be the quickest, and we don’t expect to compete with the Penskes, Ganassi and Andretti Greens. But as the year goes on, I feel we will be getting quicker and quicker, and contend for rookie of the year. Hopefully, we will be contending to win.”
With IRL Spring Training concluded, the former Champ Car teams will have a pair of special tests. The teams are scheduled run on the road course at Sebring, Florida March19-20, and then on the oval at Homestead March 24-25. Joining them for the tests will be Jay Howard, who was officially added to the Marty Roth Racing lineup on Wednesday. Howard passed his rookie test at Homestead on February 29, the day after IndyCar Series Spring Training at the circuit.
The series then opens with a pair of back-to-back weekends. One week after the Homestead opener, the series travels to race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.