Photo: PIRTEK Team Murray

PIRTEK Team Murray launched; Matthew Brabham set for month of May

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Some very cool news has emerged this evening from Australia, as a new team called PIRTEK Team Murray has been launched, featuring Matthew Brabham driving in a two-race program in the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Brabham, son of Geoff and grandson of the late Sir Jack Brabham, and a past champion in both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the KV Racing Technology-affiliated effort at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, then will attempt to qualify for the 100th Indianapolis 500.

The full release is below:

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International fluid transfer solution specialists PIRTEK have 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.

pirtektmmurrayThe PIRTEK USA master franchise was brought back under the Sydney-based Duncan family umbrella in December 2014. The Duncan’s 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.

Photo: PIRTEK Team Murray
Photo: PIRTEK Team Murray

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.

At the same time the team also launched a detailed website which will become an enormous resource for fans and the media.

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 http://www.teammurray.com.au

Adam Enticknap paves the way for the ‘Other 19’

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Once the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season kicks off in Anaheim, Calif. on January 4, eyes inevitably will begin to focus on the front of the field.

One rider will win that race. Two will stand on either side of him on the podium. Nineteen others will ride quietly back to the garage and if they’re lucky, get a few minutes to tell the tale of their race to a few members of the media. On their way off the track, the other 19 will take a minute to wave to the fans in the stands.

Adam Enticknap will motion for them to follow him.

One of the most engaging riders in the sport, Enticknap not only recognizes his role as a dark horse on Supercross grid, he revels in it.

“Not everyone is going to win,” Enticknap said last week at the Supercross media sessions. “There’s only one winner on a weekend; that’s it. There can’t be more than one winner. And everyone else has got to go home and eat too.”

A recognized Hip Hop artist known for his video ‘My Bikes Too Lit’, Enticknap is bringing new fans to the track – and as a result, he is putting a spotlight on riders deeper in the field.

Last year Enticknap was coming off a broken femur that marred his SX season. He made only three Mains with a 20th in Indianapolis, 15th at Houston, and an 18th at Las Vegas. In October, he earned a career-best 14th in the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. He got there by being consistent in the three heats, finishing 16-15-15.

But that’s not the point for Enticknap. Yes, he wants to win but it is just as important to be the ambassador for those riders who are known only to their fans.

“I’ve made a path for riders that are not going to win,” Enticknap said. “And that’s not saying that I don’t want to win, or that I’m not going to win, but I’ve made it so that the guy who’s finishing 20th and barely making the Mains can make a full career out of it. I’m probably the most famous, slowest guy on the track. It’s come from the way I’ve marketed myself and the way I’ve been with my fans and I’ve appreciated every second that I’ve been here.”

On a good weekend, Enticknap is one of the “other 19” in the Main Event.

“Without all of us, there really is no winner. Everybody’s got to show up and everybody’s got to compete during the weekend. In our sport, everyone is so hyper-focused on the guy who is winning all the time, but I hope that I’ve opened people’s eyes that sometimes it’s not just about the guy who wins the race as much as it is about the guy who is succeeding during the weekend.”

For Enticknap, success looks different than for last year’s champion Cooper Webb or Eli Tomac who won six of the 17 races in 2019. It’s about knowing that when it’s time to ride back to the hauler – whether that is at the end of the Main or after a Last Chance Qualifier – that nothing was left on the track.

“My best finish was a 14th at the Monster Energy Cup – ever in my career,” Enticknap emphasized. “Making my way from the bottom is huge. I made my way from not even making the top 40 to finishing 14th in A-Main Event. That’s huge.”

And that’s progress.

In his second season with H.E.P. Motorsports, Enticknap predicts he will make 10 Mains this year.

Even if he advances to only half of the Features, it will be his best season in eight years at this level. Enticknap qualified for seven Mains in 2017 with a best of 18th at Vegas. He was in five Mains in 2018 with a best of 16th at San Diego before signing with his current team – and getting injured without rightly being able to show what he could do with them.

“I want to break into the top 10 – that’s my goal for the year – but as of right now I’m succeeding in all the little goals that I’ve set and I want to keep succeeding,” Enticknap said.

It’s not enough to want to finish well, however; riders have to visualize a path to success. For Enticknap, that will come with because of how he approaches stadium races. Towering over the field, Enticknap is not a small man by anyone’s measure so it’s ironic that he makes a comparison between Supercross and ballet. The indoor season is about precision, technical mastery, and finesse. And that is where Enticknap believes he shines.

“Supercross is more of a ballet. It’s more perfection. It’s something that takes so much talent – and you can see it in real life. When you watch an outdoor race, you’re like ‘that guy’s a beast’; he’s manhandling it; he’s hammering the throttle. And when you see a Supercross race it’s just so rhythmic and flowing and light. So much finesse on everything. Just such a fluent, technical race.”

Enticknap credits his background in BMX racing as one of the reasons why he is so fluid on a tight track.

“Supercross fits my riding style a lot,” Enticknap said. “I don’t like to just hang it out and get all sideways and just swap, swap, swap. I like to be very precise in all my movement. I’m a perfectionist. It helps in Supercross because everything is just timed by the millisecond.”

More: Michael Mosiman expects magic in this third year

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