Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK – Wednesday 12 March, 2014
David Brabham Set To Continue 50 Years Of Family Success At Sebring
David Brabham heads to the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, 12-15 March, with his sights set on continuing the family’s winning ways at the famed Sebring International Raceway by seizing his first outright victory.
A triple class winner at the gruelling once around the clock endurance marathon, Brabham took GT1 victory in 2005 in the Aston Martin Racing DBR-9, followed that with GT2 plaudits in 2006 for Multimatic Team Panoz and the LMP2 spoils in 2010 with Highcroft Racing.
Once again joining the Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) pairing of Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel for the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Brabham is confident that the team has a shot at glory this weekend.
Sebring is a circuit steeped in over 50 years of Brabham racing success. In 1959, Sir Jack took his first of three Formula 1 World Championships by pushing his out-of-fuel Cooper-Climax across the line to finish fourth in the US Grand Prix.
Sir Jack’s eldest son Geoff was next in line, taking the 12 Hours of Sebring title for Nissan in 1989 and again in 1991, teamed with brother Gary. In addition to David’s multi-class hat trick, third generation driver Matthew took his first US victory at Sebring in the 2012 Cooper Tires Winterfest USF 2000 Championship.
“I’ve had a very good run at Sebring, it’s a track I really enjoy racing at and just being at, because the atmosphere is always fantastic,” said Le Mans winner and double American Le Mans Series Champion, David. “I’ve won GT1, GT2 and LMP2 but never achieved an overall victory here. We’ve got a great opportunity with the ESM Tequila Patrón car and it would be the icing on the cake to win, particularly with the outstanding history we have as a family at Sebring.
While David is gunning for his maiden outright 12 Hours race honours, nephew Matthew is a strong contender for the John Gorsline award. If both generations of Brabhams achieve their goals, it would be another historic weekend for the family.
“Matthew’s had phenomenal success in the States with two consecutive championship titles and now he’s up for the John Gorsline award,” continued David. “To win that would be great for his career. The winner will be announced at Sebring, so with Geoff and Matthew also attending it’s going to be quite a special event.”
The 2014 12 Hours of Sebring sees yet another new era of sportscar racing at the Florida track, as it hosts the TUDOR Championship for the first time. Contesting three out of the four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC) races with ESM, Brabham and the No.1 HPD crew are determined to make up for lost points after a disappointing Daytona.
“I’ve raced a lot at Sebring but I wouldn’t say I’ve always had an opportunity to win overall, particularly as in recent years the Audis and Peugeots have been a class above everybody else. Now with the new series and changes, the Daytona Prototypes are going to be fast, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m hoping that it’s going to be a bit more even for us than it was at Daytona.
“The 12 Hours of Sebring feels worse than a 24 hour race anywhere else as the nature of the track is so rough the drivers and cars get quite a pounding. We know the Tequila Patrón HPD car is very strong, it’s done the race many times and we know what to look out for. The guys have done three days of testing already so our preparations have gone well and we’ve learnt a lot.
“The tyres are slightly different to what we had at Daytona. We are starting to understand more about what we need to do to the car around the tyre and we’ve made some good progress. We’re in pretty good shape to get the best possible result.
“It’s a long season and it’s going to be a very interesting battle as the Daytona Prototypes and P2 cars go to different tracks and the regulations are tweaked consistently. There are new changes to horsepower for Sebring so hopefully that will bridge the gap towards the P2 cars.
“I can’t wait, I think it’s going to be an awesome battle and whenever I get into a situation like that, when I have so much competition around me, I just find another gear so I’m really looking forward to it. Since Daytona I’ve got fitter, stronger and I feel 100% ready to go out there and get the job done. All in all it could be another special weekend for all the family.”
Prototype qualifying for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida takes place at 17.15 ET on Friday 14 March. The green flag will fall on the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring at 10.15 ET on Saturday, with live streaming available at www.IMSA.com from 13.00 until 22.30 ET.
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