Matthew Brabham has landed a ride for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
The 21-year old driver will drive the PIRTEK Team Murray entry in both 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The entry is a partnership between Bretty Murray and KV Racing. The Chevrolet car will carry the number 61, in honor of Matthew’s grandfather Sir Jack Brabham, who finished ninth in the 1961 Indy 500. Matt’s father Geoff participated in ten Indy 500 races. If he qualifies for the race in May, the Brabhams will join the Andretti and Vukovich families as the only ones with three generations of Indy 500 drivers.
Even with the rich history of his father and grandfather, Matthew does have one accomplishment already that neither of them have – a win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won the road course race and finished runner-up on the oval in 2014. Matthew also won the USF200 Championship in 2012, and the Pro Mazda Championship in 2013.
“There is no doubt that this is a dream come true,” said Brabham. “I cannot thank Crusher enough for his belief and PIRTEK for their faith and financial commitment. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is nice to get this plan in place this far out. 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] doesn’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.”
For Murray, it’s all part of a life-long dream that he has been pursuing. “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.” He went on to talk about the promise he made to Matthew’s grandfather. “I made a promise to Sir Jack (Brabham) before he passed away that I would do what I could to help Matt’s career. 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 and Jimmy.
Below is a video covering today’s announcement, courtesy of IndyCar.