5 May 2011
Paul Tracy still raw over collapse of KVRT deal
Taking a first look at the new Edmonton Indy layout, Paul Tracy shared his feelings over how the deal he thought he had with KV Racing Technology went up in smoke at the last minute.
Paul Tracy is not happy. And Paul Tracy being Paul Tracy, he's not keeping his feelings to himself - he's making his dissatisfaction known to one and all.
He's still smarting over losing a full 2011 season race seat at KV Racing Technology-Lotus, that went to Tony Kanaan at the last minute.
"When somebody steals something right out from under you, it leaves a pretty sour taste in your mouth," he told the press when inspecting the new circuit for this year's Edmonton Indy. "The deal was mine. I was going to be in the car. Everything was a go. This was right up until two or three days before they signed Tony Kanaan."
Kanaan had got a last minute new sponsor on board that KVRT co-owner Jimmy Vasser described as a "game changer", and Tracy was abruptly left without a seat for 2011 at the last minute before St Petersburg.
Since then his anger has been ably illustrated by a series of comments on Twitter, mainly directing his ire at KVRT-Lotus' accident-prone Venezuelan driver EJ Viso. "Viso is a total train wreck", he tweeted before the IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park on April 10, cheerfully retweeting a picture of Jimmy Vasser ruefully looking at some green-and-yellow bodywork debris off the #59.
"3 mil in crash damage, he is the champion of crash damage - ohh viso," he tweeeted during the race itself. Other comments included "Viiiso - viiiiiiso - heeeee is on the hook again" and "Ohhh viso viso, why do u do me this way" and later still adding "Oooooohhhhh Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, back to the parts truck again."
Safe to say, there's some definite unresolved issues between Tracy and the team. But for all the anger and frustration about the way things worked out with KVRT-Lotus and Vasser, Tracy is happy about how things subsequently came together with the newly resurrected Dragon Racing owned and managed by Jay Penske.
"Hooking back up with the Penske name and brand through Roger's son Jay has been great," he insists. "Any team owner who's been through what Jay Penske's been through these past couple months knows about frustration, too. You could say that between us we've got some points to prove," he wrote in a blog for racer.com at the start of April.
Tracy is signed up for five races with Dragon this season - Long Beach last month, Texas, Toronto, Edmonton and Sonoma - and is hopeful of adding some "smaller ones", referring to Milwaukee, Mid-Ohio and New Hampshire, should the sponsorship come through. A deal to provide funds to put him in the Las Vegas series finale "world championship" is also likely in the next few weeks, and he will additionally enter the Indy 500 driving for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.
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