The next piece of the PIRTEK Team Murray puzzle for this year’s 100th Indianapolis 500 was put into place today when it was announced that legendary engineer Andy Brown will be working with rookie Matt Brabham as he prepares for his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in May.
Brown, one of the most experienced engineers in the business, has been part of multiple Indy 500 and IndyCar Series winning programs.
He was the assistant technical director at Galles/KRACO Racing when Al Unser Jr won in 1992 in the closest ever Indy 500 finish in the team’s self built Galmer chassis.
He then went on to engineer Sam Hornish Jr when he claimed his back-to-back Indy Racing League Championships in 2001 and 2002 at Panther Racing.
PIRTEK Team Murray has been established by Australian motorsport entrepreneur Brett “Crusher” Murray and will run in cohesion with KV Racing Technology who will provide the infrastructure and support for the Angie’s List Grand Prix on May 14 and the 100th Indianapolis 500 on May 29.
Brabham is the grandson of three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham and 10-time Indy 500 starter and 1993 Le Mans 24-hour race winner, Geoff Brabham. The Brabham family will create history as just the third family to have three generations start the Indy 500.
Brown studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Bath in England, graduating in 1981 before joining British Aerospace.
In 1984 he joined March Engineering and worked on their Formula 3000 program before becoming a race engineer for the March-Leyton House Formula 1 team from 1988 through 1990, where he worked with Brazilian Driver Mauricio Gugelmin.
In 1991 Brown had his first contact with the Brabham name, when he became Race Engineer for Martin Brundle at the Brabham F1 team.
The following year he stamped his name on the world of IndyCar when he joined Galmer Engineering as assistant technical director and went on to record that memorable win with ‘Little Al’ in a car the team designed itself.
Brown later became a founding member and Chief Engineer for PacWest Racing where he renewed his relationship with Gugelmin.
A move to Panther Racing would result in the back-to-back IRL Championships with Hornish Jr.
He joined Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2006 season to work as Dan Wheldon’s race engineer for a couple of seasons before moving into R&D with a focus on aerodynamics.
For 2011, he returned to the UK and created his engineering business ACB Consulting Ltd, however maintains a lot of on-going business in US open-wheel racing.
To satisfy his need for racing, Brown has recently been involved with 2013 British Touring Car Champion, Andrew Jordan in the British Touring Car Championship – ironically, in a car sponsored by PIRTEK.
Brown and Brabham will be working out of the KV Racing Technology shop in Indianapolis on a daily basis.
They are set to be involved work together in a road course test later this month before some sessions on the Dallara simulator in Indianapolis.
The PIRTEK Team Murray outfit will contest the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis May 12-14 and then begin the Indianapolis 500 quest with opening practice on Monday, May 16. Qualifying will be Saturday May 21 with the 100th Indianapolis 500 taking place on May 29.
PIRTEK Team Murray has welcomed international Fluid Transfer Solutions company, PIRTEK on board as major sponsor and has partnered with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to honor military service members, veterans and first responders throughout the Memorial Day Weekend celebration.
The entry of PIRTEK Team Murray in the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Competition on Miller Lite Carb Day will be made up of military veterans and first responders – and will be known as the CK Crew. The concept has been backed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment who will use the relationship to promote American Sniper – the Chris Kyle Memorial Edition Blu-Ray.
WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY…
ANDY BROWN – ENGINEER #61 PIRTEK TEAM MURRAY CHEVROLET:
“The PIRTEK Team Murray concept is an exciting one and one which really gets back to the core of what racing is all about,” said Brown.
“The team has managed to create a terrific program for its partners off the track, but at the same time we know “Crusher” is a racer at heart and really wants the best for Matt and everyone involved on track. They want to be seriously competitive and they know what it will take to achieve that.
“The 100th Indianapolis 500 is going to be a special event and we will be doing everything we can to ensure we have the best preparation possible.
“I’m excited to be going to the Brickyard with Matt – and create our own history. I know what it is like to have that feeling – the Unser family made their history in 1992 when I was at Galles/KRACO when Little Al joined Big Al as the first father and son to have their faces etched on the Borg Warner trophy.
“Matt is a terrific young lad with plenty of talent and the right work ethic. He also is in the business for the right reasons. That is a pretty good foundation for us to build on – his breeding is not too bad either.
“I think the 100th Indianapolis 500 is a event everyone in the business wants to be a part of and to be going there with an exciting new team and a talented young driver with the name, Brabham, adds that little bit extra for me.”
MATT BRABHAM – DRIVER #61 PIRTEK TEAM MURRAY CHEVROLET:
“When we were putting this deal together obviously one of the biggest questions is, ‘who is your engineer?’,” said Brabham.
“There are so many variables, but there are not too many rookie drivers who would be disappointed heading into their first Indy 500 campaign with Andy Brown as their engineer.
“He has forgotten plenty more than I know at this point of my career and has tremendous respect in the paddock.
“We have a lot to get through and I cannot wait to get to work – whether that is in front of the laptop, in the simulator or on the racetrack. We only have one focus and that is doing the best job we possibly can for ourselves and everyone that has shown faith in us.”
BRETT “CRUSHER” MURRAY – OWNER PIRTEK TEAM MURRAY:
“I have never worked with Andy personally, but his reputation in the business is first class,” said Murray.
“Despite his many years in the sport I know he is genuinely excited about working with our team and having a positive influence on Matt (Brabham) as he enters this stage of his career.
“We are a young organization about to embark on an incredible journey and Andy is instantly an important part of that. He knows what it takes to win at the big race and knows all about history at the Speedway.
“It is also pleasing to have this relationship in place so a real plan can be put together and built on day-by-day.
“It is also cool that the creation of PIRTEK Team Murray will enable a person the calibre of Andy Brown, who has devoted his entire adult life to the sport, the chance to be a part of the 100th Indy 500 – a place he deserves to be.”
STEVE MOORE – TEAM MANAGER – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY:
“Andy has done so much in the sport and we believe he will be the perfect fit for a young talent like Matt (Brabham),” said Moore.
“Our relationship with PIRTEK Team Murray has opened the door and it will be great to have an engineer of his experience in pitlane with us.”