Tributes have flowed for former Verizon IndyCar Series team, KV Racing which announced its closure yesterday, with one of the most glowing coming from Australian team owner, Brett Murray – who operated the successful Pirtek Team Murray program with KV.
Murray – a long time friend of KV Racing co-owner, Kevin Kalkhoven – took rookie Matt Brabham to the Indianapolis Speedway last year for a two race program that included the Angie’s List Grand Prix and the 100th Indianapolis 500.
He said that Kalkhoven’s contribution 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.”
Kalkhoven and team co-owner, former IndyCar Champion Jimmy Vasser were two of the most ardent supporters of Murray’s ambitious campaign.
“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,” Murray quipped.
“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.
“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.”
Team driver, Matt Brabham was thankful for the opportunity presented by Pirtek Team Murray and acknowledged that his on-track success couldn’t have been achieved without the support of KV Racing – with whom he struck a close relationship.
“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.”