KV Racing Technology general Mark Johnson has resigned after seven years. KV's three drivers, Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and E.J. Viso finished ninth, 12th and 20th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings this year, with a best finish of second by Kanaan in Milwaukee.
Johnson, one of the most experienced and respected motorsports executives, assumed the general manager position six races into the 2006 Champ Car season, and oversaw the team's integration of KVRT from the Champ Car World Series into the IZOD IndyCar Series following unification in 2008. Under Johnson's guidance, KVRT was the highest ranked team to make the transition and the only transition team to finish in the top-10 in the standings.
“Having resigned my position as General Manager of KV Racing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our team members, valued team partners and especially Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, for the opportunity to work with this team for the past seven seasons,” Johnson said. “What originally started as a two to three year endeavor, morphed into seven years before we knew it. Jimmy and I worked day to day, shoulder to shoulder, at and away from the racetrack. We formed a tremendous business relationship and an even stronger friendship. That is why, the seven years, feels like only three. Jimmy and I, with the help of so many dedicated individuals, accomplished goals I would have never thought possible. Because these individuals feel like family, it makes this decision that much more difficult.”
Johnson went on to say, “A lot has transpired since I joined the team in 2006. I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to contribute to so many of the different projects, both in growing the team and in series initiatives. It has been a privilege to work with some of the most successful and brightest minds in motorsports today.”
“At this point in my career, it is time for a reassessment on many levels. My life and my family's have always been and will continue to be in the motorsports industry. However, it is time for us to define new goals and how we would like to move forward in the sport. This is the opportune time of the season to make this change, since it will allow adequate time for KVRT to reposition themselves for 2013 and allow me to investigate my next challenge in motorsports.”
Kalkhoven said, “I want to thank Mark Johnson for the service and effort he put forth during his seven years with the team. This was a very difficult, but exciting period in open-wheel racing and Mark did a great job of helping guide us through the process. I wish Mark and his family all the best in the future and once again want to thank him for all his leadership over the last seven years.”
Vasser said, “First, I have to thank Mark. When he joined the team, we set out on a quest to make KVRT one of the most respected and competitive teams in the series, which I think we achieved. There were a lot of forks in the road, series mergers, driver changes, new equipment and new rules, just to mention a few. Throughout it all, Mark was a guiding force. You just don't replace the leadership and experience of Mark Johnson. I wish him well in his next endeavor and I am sure that he will have the same profound effect that he had with KVRT on the people he works with in the future. He is and always will be a great friend.”