Young Matt Brabham to race at Indy 500

The grandson of motorsport legend Jack Brabham will drive an Australian-backed entry at the 100th running of the Indy 500 next year.

Matt Brabham is to become just the third third-generation driver – and ninth Australian since 1911 – to qualify for the famous race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, following his father Geoff and grandfather Jack.

Jack – who died last year – drove the first-ever rear-engined car in the race in 1961, while Geoff made 10 starts between 1981 and 1993 with a best finish of fourth.

The youngest Brabham will spearhead PIRTEK Team Murray, created by sports media identity Brett `Crusher’ Murray, which will be run in conjunction with KV Racing Technology – winner of the 2013 Indy 500.

The 21-year-old will make his Indy series debut in the Angie’s List Grand Prix at Indianapolis on May 14 and the Indy 500 on May 29.

“Every bit of my life has been coming to this point and I believe I’m ready,” he said on Friday.

“I grew up listening to stories of my dad and grandfather racing at the race, and to finally be able to say that I’ll be on the starting grid is one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.”

Brabham has spent the past four years forging a career in US open-wheel racing, including time in Indy Lights and some IndyCar tests with Andretti Autosport.

The program is the brainchild of Murray, who himself is realising a dream in running a car at the Indy 500.

“Eight months ago I was sitting at a coffee shop in Sydney and I just thought `why don’t you have a crack?'” said Murray.

It’s come at a cost of $US1.5 million ($A2 million), but more money is needed to keep it going.

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