Great news for IndyCar veteran Tony Kanaan, with the latest announcement that he has been confirmed as KV Racing’s newest signing just days out from the 2011 championship season getting underway at St Petersburg.
The 2004 champion has had a troubled off-season, firstly parting ways with Andretti Autosport when is major sponsor pulled its support. He then lost his 2011 drive at the De Ferran Dragon team when the team closed down after running into financial strife.
The Brazilian will partner Takuma Sato and EJ Viso in a third Group Lotus-backed car with the squad run by former driver Jimmy Vasser.
“Tony is a great addition to our team. He, along with Taku and EJ gives KVRT – Lotus a very strong driver line-up and one I am sure can compete for podium finishes and race wins. Tony’s knowledge and experience will be extremely valuable to our team,” Vasser said.
A thrilled Kanaan revealed that he had almost signed with KV before putting his lot in with the ill-fated De Ferran outfit.
“Jimmy and I started talking about joining forces at the end of last season, but the timing was not ideal and I ended up signing with Gil,” Kanaan beamed. “When I became a free agent in mid-February, calling Vasser seemed like a natural thing to do since KVRT was one of the top teams still looking for a driver.
“Jimmy and I go back a long way, we were rivals during the CART days, but more than that, we have always been good friends, which helped a lot with our negotiations.
The announcement if his signing has occurred too late for the Brazilian to participate in any pre-season testing before this weekend’s season-opener in Florida, but Kanaan is simply thankful he will be racing in 2011.
“I really can’t complain [about no pre-season testing],” Kanaan said.
“With a group of guys like Vasser and his team backing me, plus the help of my new team-mates, Takuma Sato and EJ Viso, the only thing I can say is that I’m ready to do what I do best, drive a racecar and push hard to give KVRT-Lotus their first IndyCar win.”
[Original image via LAT]