Bicester, Oxfordshire - Thursday 7 September, 2017
Brabham Heads Back To The Mountain With First Retro Livery
Bathurst 1000 winner David Brabham will return to Mt Panorama next month as an invited driver in the Toyota 86 Racing Series, donning the first retro-inspired Brabham livery ever presented on a current car.
Brabham, youngest son of three-time Formula One champion Sir Jack, is one of the world’s elite sports-car racers, having carved out his own legacy befitting the Brabham name.
Among the highlights of an illustrious motorsport career, he is one of just four Australians to have won the famous Le Mans 24-hour race, which he accomplished in 2009.
In doing so, he joined his father and older brother Geoff as outright winners at Le Mans: Geoff won the 24-hour race in 1993 and Sir Jack triumphed in 1967 in the only French Formula One grand prix held there.
David’s first race at Le Mans was for the works Toyota team in 1992, qualifying third in the Toyota TS010 but succumbing to a mechanical issue. He is also a triple class winner in the endurance classic.
He also competed in Formula One for the Brabham and Simtek teams, scored a class victory at Daytona in 2003 and won the American Le Mans Series in 2009 and 2010.
His other titles include the Australian Formula Two, British Formula Three, Japanese GT500 and US Professional Sports Car championships as well as victory in the 1997 Bathurst 1000 in its Super Touring era.
Brabham, like local champions Mark Skaife and Tony Longhurst, gained valuable experience as a youngster in Australia by competing in a one-make series.
“It’s always a thrill to race at Bathurst – and it’s even better when you’re part of a series that involves such close competition among drivers who are passionate enthusiasts aiming to forge a career in motorsport,” Brabham said.
“By spending the weekend with these drivers, racing against them and just talking to them, I hope I can help improve their performance and encourage them to work hard and be prepared to take the opportunities as they happen.”
Toyota asked Brabham to select a special livery and racing number on his car for the Bathurst event.
“I thought it would be interesting to see how a retro-inspired Brabham design from my father’s era would work on a current car,” he said. “I asked for car number 66, as it represents one of Australia's greatest motorsport achievements, when Jack won the 1966 Formula 1 World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.”
Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said regular series competitors would benefit from the competitive presence of Brabham, whose career has spanned the highest echelons of global motorsport.
“David is a sports car legend who brings extensive global experience, a winning mentality and an unrivalled ability to motivate other drivers looking to advance their circuit-racing careers through the Toyota 86 Racing Series,” Mr Cramb said.
Toyota 86 Racing Series
The Toyota 86 Racing Series is designed to provide an entry point and training ground for up-and-coming drivers, offering a confirmed prize pool of $125,000.
Open to variants of Toyota's cult-classic sports car, the series is part of the support program at selected rounds of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
In 2017 the Toyota 86 Racing Series will run over five events: Phillip Island 500 (April 21-23), Townsville 400 (July 7-9), Sydney SuperSprint (August 18-20), Bathurst 1000 (October 5-8) and Newcastle 500 (November 24-26).
For regular updates and more information go to https://toyota.com.au/86/racing-series.
Toyota motorsport: In 2017, Toyota marks the 60th anniversary of its first international motorsport entry (and the first by a Japanese car manufacturer), when it contested the 1957 Round Australia Trial. This is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar Rally. Closer to home, the Toyota 86 Racing Series seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category.
1&2 - Sean Bull Design
3 - Chris Schotanus
4 - Jakob Ebrey