Viso finds new home with Andretti/HVM collaboration
EJ Viso at Indianapolis last year (Anne Proffit photo)
When I saw INDYCAR’s confirmation of Leader Circle entrants – up to 22 from last year’s 20 entries – I wondered why HVM was on the list. After watching Keith Wiggins and Tom Brown make their way through the Rolex 24 at Daytona paddock, after hearing they were going to WEC this year, I wondered why their names were on the IZOD IndyCar Series list of those entrants committed to compete in the entire 2013 season.
Well, that didn’t even take 24 hours
This morning (at least in California it was still morning) Andretti Autosport announced a technical partnership with HVM Racing that will see EJ Viso in a fourth Andretti Autosport entry, run through Wiggins’ shop in Speedway. That means the Venezuelan partners 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti for the coming year.
It’s actually a three-way deal that results in a collaboration between Andretti, HVM and Team Venezuela, led by long-time racing supporter Vincente Tralci, who has been “following EJ’s career for quite some time and was able to help him get his start in racing 22 years ago,” Tralci said. Viso’s No. 5 Dallara DW12/Chevrolet/Firestone entry has its support once again with Venezuelan-owned petroleum company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).
“I could not ask for more than to get the opportunity to drive for a championship team while representing my country,” said Viso, now 27. “After five years in the series I believe I have found the right environment and look forward to having Ryan, James and Marco as teammates. I’m very proud to be able to move into the 2013 season with this new relationship; it’s a dream come true.”
2013 marks Viso’s sixth season in the Indy cars; after starting his karting career at age five, he captured five Winter National karting championships. At age 15 Viso moved to open wheel racing and secured 19 victories in 22 races his debut season. He won the Formula 3 British title and became the youngest driver in Formula 3000 International before moving to the Indy cars.
Michael Andretti welcomed Viso to the team. “We are happy to again be running four cars,” Andretti said. “EJ has shown speed in his early years as a driver, which we view as very promising, and his personality will lend well to the overall chemistry of the drivers and crew. I’d like to thank Keith (Wiggins) and HVM for their assistance in this project.”