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Indy 500 Winning Constructor

and Alan Mertens: A brief history

Born in the UK, Alan commenced his career as an engineering apprentice at British Aerospace, during which period he was sponsored through College to earn his Mechanical Engineering Degree. Alan discovered motor racing and began racing himself in Formula Ford 1600 in 1970, and after three seasons won the Shell Trophy Championship.

Prototype of Galmer G92

In 1976, Alan left the aerospace industry to join March Engineering, at the time one of the world's largest manufacturers of racing cars. He rapidly advanced in the company to become March's Chief Designer. After a several years in F1, F2 and F3, from 1981 through to 1988 Alan led March's highly successful IndyCar design and manufacturing team, supporting the product in the field commuting back and forth from England to America.

In 1988 he started his own company, Galmer Engineering. The company was formed to provide a fully operational research and development facility for an American IndyCar team, Galles Racing (subsequently Galles Kraco). In 1990, Galmer successfully guided Galles Kraco to the PPG IndyCar World Championship title, in a car developed by Galmer, engineered by Alan and driven by Al Unser Jr.. Alan and Al Unser Jr., to date, are still one of IndyCar's most successful partnerships, winning 21 races in just six years.

In 1991, Galmer designed and built its own IndyCar, the G92. This car was extremely successful in the 1992 season. In its very first race it won pole position, it won the third race of the season, and won the prestigious USA Indy 500. Its two drivers (Al Unser Jr. and Danny Sullivan) finished in the top five on 15 occasions in the season, and only failed to finish twice (from 32 starts). The car won over $3,500,000 in Prize Money for its owner, Galles Kraco Racing.

Alan Mertens and Al Unser, Jr. at Indy

In 1992, Alan was awarded the Society of Automotive Engineers "Schwitzer Award" in recognition of "engineering excellence and innovation in race car design and development" for his work on the Indy 500 winning Galmer G92.

In 1994 Alan moved on to create a partnership with Bruce McCaw to form the PacWest Racing Group, a new IndyCar team launched from the years of experience within Galmer Engineering. Taking its first tentative steps running a year old Galmer in 1993 PacWest became a full-fledged IndyCar team in 1994 starting with nothing more than a handful of committed enthusiasts. By 1997 PacWest had established itself as a winning team and was large enough to be self-sufficient.

Late 1997 and throughout 1998 Alan turned his attention back to Europe and established yet another successful partnership helping to develop a F3 and F3000 team for The Honourable Piers Portman (the son of Viscount Portman), a young man keen to develop a motor racing career for himself.

1999 saw the return of Alan to Galles Racing, now racing in the Indy Racing League, to act as Technical Director and Director of Operations. Once again, partnered with Al Unser Jr., he found his way back onto the Podium and into the Winners Circle.

With March Engineering and Galmer Engineering, Alan has been responsible for 74 IndyCar wins, including six at the USA Indy 500.