Series news and notes 2011-01-06

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Today's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy headlines:
1. Wurtz Named Team Manager at KV Racing Technology
2. ExpoSystems joins Jensen Motorsport as feature team partner
3. Franchitti earns top honor from EMPA

1. Wurtz Named Team Manager at KV Racing Technology: KV Racing Technology has named highly-regarded motorsports executive Tom Wurtz as team manager for its Indianapolis-based IZOD IndyCar Series racing organization. Wurtz began his new role on Jan. 5.

Wurtz, a Chicago native, comes to KV Racing Technology after more than three decades in open-wheel racing as a team manager, operations manager and chief mechanic with teams such as Penske Racing, Newman Haas Racing and other racing companies.

"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."

For the past 15 years, Wurtz was charged with overseeing Penske's Indy car racing team including managing the engineering, fabrication, paint, drive line components, electrical, transportation and accounting departments. During his team with Penske, the Indy car teams won 57 races (including five Indianapolis 500 titles) and three national championships (with drivers Gil de Ferran and Sam Hornish Jr.).

"I am very excited to come to KV Racing Technology," Wurtz said. "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."

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 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.

bWe are thrilled to have a strong operations and technical manager like Tom Wurtz join KV Racing Technology," said team co-owner Jimmy 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."

Wurtz will report to the team's general manager Mark Johnson, who 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," Johnson said."We look forward to adding Tom to our already strong team personnel and preparing for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series."

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2. ExpoSystems joins Jensen Motorsport as feature team partner: ExpoSystems - an industry leader in Modular displays and exhibit solutions - has joined Firestone Indy Lights team Jensen MotorSport as a feature team partner for the 2011 season.

ExpoSystems will create a customized work area solution for the Jensen MotorSport team, and will be an active marketing partner throughout the 2011 season.

"ExpoSystems displays and exhibits are of the highest quality, and they are leaders in creating innovative display solutions to more numerous business application," said Jensen MotorSport team owner Eric Jensen. "As we enter our first year of competition, it is terrific to partner with ExpoSystems to create a unique work area solution that make our team appear distinctive and impressive among our competitors in the IndyCar community."

ExpoSystems is a full service provider of client displays and exhibits, and large format graphics. As well as being the largest modular systems manufacturer in Canada, ExpoSystems also manages customer exhibit properties, including installation and dismantle services using their own crew where possiblewho attend trade shows across North America to manage clients on site requirements. Based in Toronto and Atlanta, ExpoSystems services the display and exhibit needs of more than 400 clients across North America each year as well as supplying an ever increasing Distributor network across the North American market.

"Motorsports has been a life-long passion of mine. I am extremely excited to have my company's first commercial activation in the sport with an industry leader as Jensen MotorSport," said ExpoSystems Principal Nigel Vance-Lousada. "Together we will create a work area solution that will be both functional for the race team's competition activities, while also optimizing advertising and marketing solutions at the track for all of Jensen's commercial partners."

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3. Franchitti earns top honor from EMPA: Dario Franchitti, the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series champion and a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, has been honored by Eastern Motorsport Press Association's as its 2010 Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year.

Franchitti earned his third IZOD IndyCar Series title in four years and his second-straight for team owner Chip Ganassi by just five points over series runner-up Will Power.

The EMPA also honored Ganassi, who was been named the T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year. In addition to earning the team's third-straight series championship and the Indianapolis 500, Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Franchitti and Scott Dixon combined to win six IZOD IndyCar Series events in 2010. In Grand Am Rolex Series competition, co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas dominated the 2010 campaign, triumphing nine times in 12 events en route to taking the series title. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team won the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400 and the Bank of America 500 with Jamie McMurray, while Juan Pablo Montoya topped the August event at Watkins Glen.

-source: irl

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Series INDYCAR