Alliance Motorsport's Jeff Matthews knew the road to Indy required precise navigation and a good set of charts to go by. That's why he decided in April of 2007 to build the ship from the bottom up rather than putting up a flashy mast and...
Alliance Motorsport's Jeff Matthews knew the road to Indy required precise navigation and a good set of charts to go by.
That's why he decided in April of 2007 to build the ship from the bottom up rather than putting up a flashy mast and spinnaker that would tumble over in the first inevitable storm.
Matthews' Alliance Motorsports team made a Month-of-May hospitality suite at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a first priority in order to attract the interest of potential sponsors and benefactors.
The right connections soon followed.
Now Alliance is anticipating its first season of competition in the Indy Pro Series, with Matthews partnered to long-time friends businessman Chris Williams and veteran racer Tyce Carlson.
"Over the last year we've built a network," said Matthews from the team's shop on Thursday (January 24th).
"We own a suite at the Speedway and that's really how this team got started," he said. "We were able to network more effectively with people in a terrific setting at Indianapolis and now we're seeing success from it."
The team purchased the rolling stock of Kenn Hardley Racing shortly before year-end, and moved into a suite of offices and workspace alongside a burgeoning open-wheel community in Brownsburg, Indiana.
They're currently looking for a driver to compete for them in the 2008 Indy Pro Series season.
The Alliance Motorsports crew sees the rapidly-growing Indy Pro Series as a venue for their own growth as team-owners as well as a great competitive challenge.
The objectives for the first year are obviously to win, but also to push themselves toward ever-broader racing horizons.
"We're not in for just the season," said Williams of the team's ambitions. "The Indy Pro Series is a good way to get in, get started, and build for the future."
"We see it as a way to build our skill set and move into the next series," added Carlson. "Our long-term goal is to be up there with the big teams like Andretti Green and Chip Ganassi."
Matthews dates himself to the late 1990's with IndyCar and Indy Pro Series management experience. Carlson's name evokes memories of the Indianapolis 500 races in which he raced into the Speedway's history books.
One of the keys to their business plan is networking inside and outside the racing community, something they've already put in place by creating a working relationship with Apex Racing and Fuzion Autosports.
The three teams share some common space in the industrial park where all are located, and communicate freely in putting together and tweaking the equipment.
The result is smart economy for each and a greater basis from which to retrieve data and experience, something essential to a first-year team's survival.
"We're building a working infrastructure with Fuzion, with Apex Racing, and Formula BMW," added Matthews. "After all, that's what an 'alliance' is all about."
Ultimately the goal is to put the Alliance Motorsports banner over a successful racing operation that reaches into both Indy Pro Series and IndyCar Series competition.
It's also a great chance to give back to the sport.
"I truly enjoy helping young drivers," said Carlson, "and I am excited for the opportunity."
The team will make its racing debut at Homestead/Miami Speedway on March 29th as the 2008 Indy Pro Series opens for its seventh season.