Motor

Saavedra secures IndyCar race through KV-AFS partnership

Sebastian Saavedra
Sebastian Saavedra has secured his ride for the IndyCar season.
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

KV Racing announced a partnership Wednesday with AFS Racing that will enable the team to field an IndyCar team for Sebastian Saavedra.

Saavedra will drive the No. 17 KV AFS Racing Chevrolet. He will be teammates with Sebastien Bourdais, who will drive an entry fielded solely by KV-SH Racing. Bourdais and Saavedra were teammates last season at Dragon Racing.

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''I am very thankful to be part of a great project that we have been working on for a good while now,'' said the 23-year-old Colombian. ''It's great to be back working with Bourdais. I believe we have unfinished business out there.''

KV last season fielded a second car for Simona de Silvestro that was done in conjunction with her management team. The deal with Saavedra and AFS Racing owner Gary Peterson replaces de Silvestro's agreement, which was muddled by differences between KV Racing and her management.

''Gary is a racer and has been involved in the sport for a long time. He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge about the sport and about business to the organization,'' said KV co-owner Jimmy Vasser. ''I'm excited to watch the growth and development of Sebastian Saavedra, an up and coming young talent who we all have high expectations for.''

Peterson has worked with Saavedra since 2009, the year he won rookie of the year in Indy Lights.

Saavedra was eighth in Indy Lights in 2010 and made his first Indianapolis 500 start that season. He made 14 IndyCar starts in 2011, three in 2012 and ran the full season last year. His best finish was eighth at Baltimore last season, and his best finish in three Indianapolis 500 starts was 23rd in 2010.

Peterson believed it was important to keep Saavedra with Bourdais.

''Seb and I have become close; It's been a pleasure to mentor him over the years,'' Peterson said. ''KV Racing is a great fit for AFS and Seb . . . Jimmy and I both thought it was important to keep the Sebastians together after Sebastian Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra were teammates last season.''

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