VIDEO – PIRTEK USA BACKS TEAM MURRAY AND MATT BRABHAM FOR INDY 500 TILT
PIRTEK USA has created the opportunity of a lifetime for Matt Brabham in next year’s 100th Indianapolis 500, set to take place on May 29.
Brabham, just 21, will become just the third third-generation driver to qualify for the 500, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Sir Jack who drove the first ever rear-engined car in the race in 1961 and his father Geoff, who had a best finish of fourth from his 10 starts (1981-1993).
The team has been created by Australian motorsport identity, Brett “Crusher” Murray and will be run in conjunction with KV Racing Technology, who won the Indy 500 in 2013 with Tony Kanaan.
The entry will be known as PIRTEK Team Murray and will compete in the Angie’s List Grand Prix road course race at Indianapolis on May 14 and the 100th running of the Indy 500 on May 29.
The PIRTEK USA master franchise was brought back under the Sydney-based Duncan family umbrella in December 2014. The Duncan family created what has become a globally-recognised franchise network from humble beginnings in Sydney’s Western Suburbs in 1980.
Executive Director of PIRTEK International, Glenn Duncan, is overseeing a national expansion plan of its unique franchise model that integrates mobile and ‘bricks and mortar’ service and supply centers across the 48 mainland US states.
Globally, PIRTEK has successfully used sports – and motorsport in particular – to promote its brand for more than 30 years. Duncan believes that the 100th running of the Indy 500 will provide the perfect platform to accelerate awareness of the PIRTEK franchise system and products to the wider US market.
While preparing for the 100th Indy 500 will be significant enough, PIRTEK will be working with Team Murray management on a series of business and charitable initiatives leading up to the May events.
Details of that next phase of the team’s program will be announced at a major media conference in Indianapolis next week.
The investment will also be leveraged globally, but especially in the Australian and New Zealand markets where the Brabham name is legendary.
The PIRTEK program holds even more significance when you realise that Matt was born in the US, raised in Australia and now resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Brabham has spent the last four years forging his open-wheel career in the US. He won the USF2000 and Pro Mazda Championships before progressing to Indy Lights.
He is set to get seat time in a varied list of events in preparation for next year’s Indy 500, which he is hoping will lay the foundation for a full-time IndyCar drive.
21-year-old Brabham will be the ninth Australian to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 since Rupert Jeffkins, from Maitland in NSW, drove in the very first event in 1911 in a car entered by the Velie Motor Company, from Illinois.
PIRTEK Team Murray was officially launched in Sydney today where Matt is taking part in Stadium Super Truck exhibition races as part of the final round of the V8 Supercars Championship around Sydney Olympic Park.
For an in depth history of the Indianapolis 500, the history of Australians and Kiwis at the event and everything you need to know about the “greatest spectacle in racing” head to the team’s official site at www.teammurray.com.au
FROM THE YARD OF BRICKS:
GLENN DUNCAN – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL – PIRTEK USA
“We have been working hard on getting all our systems in place for a well-structured expansion in the US market and a partnership with Team Murray and Matt Brabham provides a perfect platform for us to showcase the value of our franchise network to America while giving us enormous leveraging opportunities globally,” said Duncan.
“The Brabham name is synonymous with success and we are determined to provide Matt with the opportunity to extend his career and be successful in the top ranks of IndyCar.
“The Brabham and PIRTEK names both have a long and proud history. Matt and PIRTEK USA are embarking on an exciting new adventure in the next stage of their development in North America and it is great that we will be doing some of that together.
“There is no doubt that the 100th running of the Indy 500 is going to be one of the biggest days ever in world sports and we are excited to be along for the ride.
“There is a terrific program planned with our franchisees, customers and the broader community around this investment and we are excited about the announcements we have to make in coming months.”
MATT BRABHAM – PIRTEK TEAM MURRAY – DRIVER:
“There is no doubt that this is a dream come true,” said Matt Brabham.
“I cannot thank ‘Crusher’ enough for his belief and Glenn Duncan and PIRTEK for their faith and financial commitment.
“To have the support of a fantastic company like PIRTEK for my first Indy 500 really is amazing.
“PIRTEK has some serious plans for their business in North America and I look forward to working with them to help them achieve their goals.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is nice to get this plan in place this far out. We now have the job of creating a first class experience on and off the track for everyone involved.
“KV Racing Technology also have a first class program which has already made me feel extremely welcome. Kevin (Kalkhoven) is obviously extremely successful in business and what Jimmy (Vasser) don’t know about open-wheel racing is not worth knowing. Team Manager Steve Moore has also been enormously accommodating and helped us wherever he can.
“My mum and dad are over the moon with the position we are in and I am sure my Grandfather is looking down on us with a smile and can’t wait for May 29 to roll around.
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”
BRETT ‘CRUSHER’ MURRAY – PIRTEK TEAM MURRAY – OWNER:
“I have had a dream of having my own car in the Indy 500 since before Matt was born and Matt has had a dream of being a starter in the 500 since he was old enough to get behind the wheel,” said Murray, who heads up the BAM Group of companies.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have had PIRTEK as a client and be a part of the PIRTEK ‘family’ for more than 15 years and I could not think of any better people to be standing in pit lane beside us at next year’s 100th Indy 500.
“I guess a different kind of passion from Matt and I created a common dream. With the help of PIRTEK, we now have an opportunity to make that a reality – and in the 100th year of the world’s greatest race.
“I made a promise to Sir Jack (Brabham) before he passed away that I would do what I could to help Matt’s career.
“Glenn (Duncan) has known about my Indy 500 dream for a long time and when I told him I was determined to make the show in 2016 and what I thought our program could do for PIRTEK in the US market – and right around the world – coupled with the opportunities it would create for Matt, he put up his hand. And for that we will be forever grateful.
“If you are going to enter into such a program you need to do it with people you trust and who share a similar passion. So that made KV Racing the natural choice for us because of my long-term personal and professional relationships with Kevin (Kalkhoven) and Jimmy (Vasser).
“Team Manager Steve Moore and I have also know each other for some time and the energy he has put into helping me bring this together has been nothing short of first class.
“It’s going to be one hell of a journey.”
KEVIN KALKHOVEN – CO-OWNER – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY:
“Lots of people talk about ‘one day’ having an entry in the Indianapolis 500, but when ‘Crusher’ came to me and showed me his plans I was never in any doubt that he would make it happen,” said Kalkhoven.
“What a wonderful thing to have an Australian-owned team being driven by only the third third-generation driver, a Brabham no less, and in the 100th running of the world’s greatest race!
“Matt is a terrific young man, who has a great racing pedigree, but who is also very talented and who has a single-minded desire to be successful in the sport.
“‘Crusher’ is an amazing character who is one of the hardest working and most passionate people I have met in racing who has one of greatest relationship networks I have seen. I never doubted that he would get the deal done and make it one hell of a program for his partners.
“What he has planned and what he will roll out over the coming months is incredibly impressive.
“Jimmy (Vasser) and I have been friends of ‘Crusher’ for many years and we are delighted to be working with him to provide the equipment needed for Matt to showcase his undoubted ability on this wonderful stage and to be competitIve in what will be an incredibly special event.”
GEOFF BRABHAM – 10 TIME INDY 500 STARTER; 4 TIME IMSA CHAMPION:
“I don’t think I have ever seen as much time, effort or determination put into something in my life,”said Geoff Brabham.
“When ‘Crusher’ showed me the tools he had built to make this program a reality, I simply could not believe it. Every minor detail had been thought through. It was all built around giving Matt the opportunity to show his talent on the Indianapolis 500 stage, which I am absolutely confident he can do.
“‘Crusher’ has his own dream of having his own car in the Indy 500 and for him to include Matt and the rest of the Brabham family on that journey is something else. Dad (Sir Jack) and ‘Crusher’ had a special friendship considering their age difference and it’s just a pity he won’t be here to share this with us.
“The Indianapolis 500 is such an amazing event which you just can’t explain to someone if they have not experienced it – on or off the track.
“The opportunity ‘Crusher’, PIRTEK and all of the other sponsors have created for Matt is tremendous. He understands the work that has gone into this and the opportunity presented and he will do everything needed to put his best foot forward.”
INDIANAPOLIS 500 HISTORY:
There will be a maximum 33 starters in the Indianapolis 500. If there are more than 33 cars entered for the event, then teams will have to “qualify” for the race.
Matt Brabham will become just the third third-generation driver to start the Indy 500 in the 100th event.
The first Indy 500 was won by Ray Harroun in 1911. The race was not run in 1917-18 because of World War I and was cancelled in 1942-45 due to World War II.
Bill Vukovich III became the first third-generation starter in 1988, following in the footsteps of his two-time winning grandfather (1953 and 54) and father, who finished second in 1973.
Marco Andretti won rookie of the year honors in 2006, a feat achieved by his grandfather Mario in 1965 and father Michael in 1984. Mario won the race in 1969.
Sir Jack Brabham debuted the first rear-engined car in the race in 1961 and finished ninth after tyre issues. He had three more starts in 1964, 69 and 1970, when he finished 13th.
Geoff Brabham had 10 starts in the race from 1981 with his best finish of fourth coming in 1983 in a Ford-Cosworth powered Penske for Team VDS.
A full media, online and social media program is being established for the new team which will enable fans in Australia and around the world to watch the progress of the outfit and interact with it on a daily basis.
Tour and hospitality packages for Australian and New Zealand fans will be finalised in coming weeks.
An hour-long documentary noting all the highs and lows of the team will also be produced and shown after the 2016 event.
PIRTEK is the market leader in providing its diverse group of customers with a comprehensive portfolio of fluid transfer solution products and services. Founded in Sydney, Australia in 1980, PIRTEK has grown to be in 23 countries around the world, with over 400 touchpoints through its globally recognized franchise system.
PIRTEK’s highly visible field sales and mobile service vans aim to minimize downtime for customers through a strategic partnership that delivers remedial and preventative hose maintenance and replacement services, along with expert support and a range of complementary products.
With customers, large organisations and small businesses, from key industries including manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, construction, earthmoving, agriculture and defence, PIRTEK consistently delivers the highest quality products and services where and when they are needed.