PIRTEK Team Murray, which campaigned a car in last year’s 100th Indianapolis 500, has paid tribute to KV Racing Technology, which has announced it will be leaving the Verizon IndyCar Series.
KV Racing was PIRTEK Team Murray’s technical partner for the 2016 campaign which include an entry in the Angie’s List Grand Prix and the Indy 500 with talented rookie Matt Brabham.
PTM Team owner, Brett “Crusher” Murray said that the closure of the doors at KV Racing was a “sad day” for motorsport.
Murray first met Kalkhoven when he came into the Champ Car Series as a team owner and then worked directly with him as a contractor with Team Australia in that series.
The pair struck up a friendship and worked on several projects together, which led to a natural “partnership” for last year’s 500.
“To be honest, it will be so different heading to an IndyCar race and not having the KV truck in the paddock,” said Murray, who also owns Speedcafe.com.
“I have had a long and very productive friendship with KK (Kalkhoven) and that will obviously continue, but now we will drink less wine at the track.
“Kevin and Jimmy (Vasser) were enormously supportive when I went to them with my PIRTEK Team Murray concept and they gave me a freedom to be as creative as I wanted to be. The results spoke for themselves.”
PIRTEK Team Murray produced one of the most ambitious “one off” campaigns seen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While the first focus was getting a car on track for the Angie’s List Grand Prix and the Indy 500, the team also developed a program with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation – the foundation that honors the legacy of American Sniper, Chris Kyle.
The relationship with the Foundation saw the development of a one-off crew for the Tag-Heuer Pit Stop Challenge and a hospitality program, which saw more than 500 military veterans, first responders and their families hosted as guests at the track over a two-week period.
“Getting our entry into the 100th Indy 500 was an enormous task, but we could not have done it as successfully or with such impact without the co-operation of the team of people at KV Racing,” said Murray.
“Headed by Team Manager, Steve Moore, the team provided a first-class technical program and provided every assistance with our off-track program which was bigger than that of any other team for the month of May.
“Kevin was as excited about our program as us and did what he could to do it at the right price.
“Sure, he knew he was going to get paid, but if we had gone elsewhere, it would have cost us more and we would have been provided way less support.”
For Brabham, it resulted in two IndyCar starts at the one of the world’s most iconic venues and than chance to add to the foundation of his career.
“The 100th Indy 500 was such a tremendous experience and we have Kevin (Kalkhoven) and Jimmy (Vasser) and everyone at KV Racing for helping make that possible,” said Brabham.
“We would have loved to extend that relationship after what we managed to do at Indy, but that was not to be.
“I am still working every day to get into the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time and back to the 500. When we manage to do that, the guys who were a part of KV Racing will know that they helped us achieve that.”
Murray concluded by adding that the contribution by Kalkhoven and KV Racing to the sport should never be underestimated.
“Kevin has a great passion for the sport and his contribution has to be acknowledged on so many levels,” said Murray.
“Not only did he put his own money where his mouth was, he also showed a lot of humility during the open-wheel unification process and played a role in bringing it back together.
“People at so many levels of the sport were given a springboard to their careers through KV Racing, including guys like Will Power, who has gone on to win a Championship.
“Hopefully we can be in a position sooner rather than later where Matt (Brabham) can acknowledge KV Racing and the PIRTEK Team Murray program through his on-track exploits as playing a role in his success.”
In its various iterations, KV Racing won seven races over 14 seasons highlighted by the Brazilian veteran Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500 triumph.