KV Racing Technology Names Veteran Tom Wurtz As Team Manager
INDIANAPOLIS, January 7, 2010: KV Racing Technology has named highly-regarded motorsports executive Tom Wurtz as team manager for its Indianapolis-based racing organization, it was announced today.
Wurtz, a Chicago native, comes to KV Racing Technology in 2011 after more than three decades in open-wheel racing as a team manager, operations manager and chief mechanic with Penske Racing, Newman Haas Racing and other racing companies.
For the past 15 years, Wurtz was charged with overseeing the Penske IndyCar Series racing team including managing the engineering, fabrication, paint, drive line components, electrical, transportation and accounting departments. The Penske IndyCar Series effort won 57 races (including five Indianapolis 500 titles) and three national championships (with drivers Gil de Ferran and Sam Hornish Jr.).
At Newman Haas Racing, Wurtz was operations manager and chief mechanic for eight years, contributing to 25 race wins and two series titles (with drivers Michael Andretti and Nigel Mansell). Wurtz’s stellar background dates to the 1970s when he was a mechanic in Can-Am and Formula 5000 competition.
KV Racing Technology, established in 2003, campaigned three full-time cars in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series with drivers Mario Moraes, Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso as well a fourth car in the two Canadian races for veteran Paul Tracy. KVRT is currently formulating its 2011 driver and sponsorship lineup. KVRT also will be teaming with SH Racing for a 2011 Indy 500 entry in the event’s 100th anniversary.
“Tom Wurtz is a great addition to KV Racing Technology,” said Kevin Kalkhoven, team co-owner and founder. “Tom is a respected team leader and holds an outstanding racing record through his career. We look forward to having Tom as part of our leadership in 2011.”
Former series champion and team co-owner Jimmy Vasser also has admired Wurtz’s work ethic.
“We are thrilled to have a strong operations and technical manager like Tom Wurtz join KV Racing Technology,” said Vasser. “Tom’s outstanding management skills and his vast racing experience gives our organization one of open-wheel’s top executives. Working closely with our general manager, Mark Johnson, the engineering staff and the crew members, Tom will contribute solid coordination within our team that can take KV Racing Technology to a consistent front runner in the highly-competitive IZOD IndyCar Series.”
Mark Johnson, now in his sixth year at KV Racing Technology, believes Wurtz’ racing knowledge and winning attitude brings a new outlook to the company.
“Tom’s great open-wheel racing background and superb organizational strategies will be a tremendous asset for KV Racing Technology,” said Johnson, a longtime motorsports executive in both two-wheel and four-wheel competition. “We look forward to adding Tom to our already strong team personnel and preparing for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.”
Wurtz is anxious to get started in his new KVRT position with the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season set to open on March 27 in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“I am very excited to come to KV Racing Technology,” said Wurtz. “I know their aspiration is to win. This team has a great core of people who have won races in the past and they want to get back to the winner’s circle. I know everyone here believes they can be competitive and race for wins. That is my philosophy too. So I am thrilled and blessed to be involved with this group and look forward to preparing for a very strong 2011 season.”
Wurtz began his new role at KV Racing Technology on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.