Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK - Friday 22 November, 2013
V8 Gold Coast Call Up & Returning to Macau
Fresh from P2 pole and second in the final American Le Mans Series race at Petit Le Mans, David Brabham got the call-up to race in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 with Erebus Motorsport, triggering a month-long stretch of international races.
After competing in the final ALMS race at Petit Le Mans, I had planned to fly straight home. But, while I was at Road Atlanta, I got an email from David Stuart at Erebus Motorsport asking if I could go to the Gold Coast and help them out. It didn’t take long for me to say ‘yes’, as it’s always a fabulous race to do.
It was good to drive with Tim [Slade] again. We work well together and we fit the same seat! The team and I also know each other well, so it’s always really easy for me to just fit in. Last year we came close to winning, but this year things didn’t go as well.
The set-up on the car didn’t come good until the Sunday race, when we switched to follow the sister car and Lee Holdsworth, as his set-up was really good. I got turned around at the start and someone T-boned me and pushed the drivers’ door in. Consequently, when it came to the pitstop, I couldn’t get out of the car…! We lost nearly two laps and so our race was done.
From the Gold Coast I went straight to Macau to contest the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup Masters Challenge – a one-off invitational race to commemorate the 60th running of the Macau GP.
Winning the Macau GP 24 years ago as a rookie gave my career a huge boost. I remember attending the FIA Gala Prize-Giving Ceremony in Paris, sitting on Frank Williams’ table and going to collect my World Cup with Alain Prost – an amazing experience! The following year I was on the F1 grid with my heroes, so winning Macau really helped.
It was really special to go back and race there again; it’s an amazing circuit – probably the best street track in the world! I was delighted to be invited to race and with drivers from the ‘60s and across the decades taking part, it was ‘game on’ for the young and the old!
I qualified sixth, which I wasn't happy about. I didn't get the warm-up right for the tyres so I didn't get the best from them. A few of us were on a much quicker lap until a red flag came out when Steve Soper and Stefan Johansson got together. I tried to be a bit too clever on the start and dropped down to 11th, so I was pleased to get fifth in the end.
Macau has changed so much since ‘89, but thankfully the track hasn't. The circuit is still as challenging as ever, but the rest of the town is unrecognisable. To give you an idea, Macau's casino revenue is six times bigger than Las Vegas – staggering!
It was great to race with old friends and make some new ones as well. We had as much fun off the track as we did on it, so it was a great way to end the season.