From GP2 to IndyCars
Third generation Monegasque Stefano Coletti decided to make a big change to mark his 26th birthday (b. April 6, 1989), so he crossed the ocean to try his chances in the USA in the IndyCar world. Stefano began to race at the tender age of nine with a jubilant karting career, and at 16-years-old he entered Formula racing, working up his way through the different echelons until his debut in GP2. After four years in these series, he had a total of eight wins and one pole in 90 races. In 2013, he won the GP2 Series sprint race on the Monaco circuit and became the first Monegasque driver since Louis Chrion in 1931 to have won a race in his homeland. Coletti will test his fate in a very different kind of competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
KV Racing Technology
KV Racing Technology was founded in January 2003 and joined the IndyCar Series in 2008. The Indianapolis based team is owned by successful venture capitalist Kevin Kalkhoven and 1996 IndyCar champion Jimmy Vasser. General Manager Steve Moore runs the day-to-day operations for the team and is assisted by Engineers Olivier Boisson and Matt Curry, as well as Crew Chiefs Ernie Barrameda and Brett Knostman.
KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser said, “We are very pleased and excited to add a driver of Stefano’s talent to KV Racing Technology. Stefano has shown he can win at a very high level during his time in GP2 and we were extremely impressed with his knowledge and feedback during the test last month at NOLA. There will obviously be a learning curve, especially on ovals, but I think everyone feels that Stefano is up to the task.”
Recap of Coletti’s race performance up to this date
Sunday, March 29 – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – In St. Petersburg, Coletti, was driving in the top 10 a few times, advancing from 21st to 12th in 10 laps, entering the week in 20th place in the season standings (10 points).
Coletti drove the No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone entry, making IndyCar series initiation at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg last March. His team partner is the four-time IndyCar champion 36-year-old Sebastien Bourdais native of Le Mans, France but residing in Florida, who pilots the No. 11 KVSH racing machine, finished 6th. “It’s a great opportunity to be on the same team as a driver like Sebastien Bourdais who his very experienced, very quick and a nice person to work with. I couldn’t have asked for better for my rookie year,” said Coletti.
The winner of the race was Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Sunday, April 12 – Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana – Stefano Coletti with the support of local Louisiana company Variable Bore Rams, Inc. made his second Verizon IndyCar Series start at the Grand Prix of Louisiana.
“Stefano Coletti is one of the most exciting rookie drivers to come along in quite a while. Having been present to see KV Racing win the 2013 Indianapolis 500 anything could happen! I drove the track myself in February so I can personally say NOLA Motorsports Park is first class!” Hines M. “Chip” Marshall, Jr, President of Variable Bore Rams.
Coletti was on the move from the start and by lap 12 had advanced 10 spots. In an overtake he spin into a barrier and damaged the rear wing, that was later fixed but was unable to move back up the field. He gathered 13 places for a 17th position and 23 points. As for his partner Bourdais a late race incident ended his otherwise strong performance and finished 21st.
Sunday, April 19 – Grand Prix of Long Beach -Coletti set fastest race lap record and went from 23rd to 15th in the first 13 laps. “We had a great start and then the yellow came out. The team called me in for a splash of fuel and it was a really good strategy move, because we were able to pass five or six cars doing that and rejoin the race in 17th. I carried on jumping up tracking positions and got as high as 15th, which was pretty good coming from last but then I had a gearbox problem. I had to come into the pits to repair it and then my race was pretty much over and I was racing on my own. It’s a shame because the No. 4 KV Racing Technology car was really fast and the team gave me a great car, which I showed by setting the fastest lap of the race. We could have easily ended up in the top-10 and its another race that ended up like that, but we will keep on working and be ready for Barber next weekend,” explained Coletti.
Alexandra Coletti, who is a three time Winter Olympian downhill skier for Monaco, travelled to Long Beach to support her brother.Coletti’s teammate Bourdais who drove the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH, had a strong performance, who started 9th and finished 6th, earning 29 points and is now 8th in the championship race with 66 points. Scott Dixon was the winner who had started from the third place, quickly passed Montoya getting to a second place he held until lap 34 when he took over to win the race.
Sunday, April 26 – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Saturday, May 9 – Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
Sunday, May 24 – Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to coincide with the Grand Prix Formula 1 in Monte-Carlo. It will certainly bring memories of home to Stefano Coletti on his baptism in this famous race.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909 and is the home of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400, Red Bull Indianapolis GP and other racing events. The track is a two-and-a-half-mile, nearly rectangular oval with a seating capacity of over 200,000.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated 100 years of worldwide leadership in motorsports entertainment from 2009 – 2011 through its Centennial Era, which featured many special events and a retro corporate logo. Plans for the Centennial Era celebration were revealed during an event May 22, 2008, at Allison Mansion of Marian College in Indianapolis.
IMS honored the 100th anniversaries of the opening of the venerable racetrack, in 1909, and of the inaugural Indianapolis 500, in 1911, through the Centennial Era celebration.
Indiana businessmen Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Arthur C. Newby and Frank H. Wheeler pooled their resources to build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909 as an automobile testing ground to support Indiana’s growing automotive industry. The focus of the facility soon turned to racing, with Ray Harroun winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 1911.
“No other motorsports facility in the world has the rich history and tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” IMS Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George said. “The Centennial Era celebration pays homage to the heroes and events of our storied past while anticipating an even more glorious future.”
“So many people have that story as to how they could have maybe won the Indy 500, which is for me the ultimate goal. I would imagine for a lot of people it’s the ultimate goal. It’s definitely high up on the list.” Danica Sue Patrick, American auto racing driver, model, and advertising spokeswoman