Matthew BrabhamMatthew Brabham had his first run the Andretti Autosport’s Star Mazda team, at the second annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test on the IMS F1 circuit. Having just flown in from England the young third generation driver sat out the first official day of testing to give him some time to recover from jet lag, but ran in both sessions on the 2nd and last day of the open test.

Matthew was quickly up to speed in the first session and before some of the other drivers put new tyres on at the end, he was sitting in P1 and 3/10th under the lap record help by the current Star Mazda Champion Jack Hawksworth. Brabham’s USF2000 rival Spencer Pigot and Renan Guerra jumped ahead in the last few minutes.

The second session proved to be a little slower and nobody improved their position. Brabham is fully aware that there is a lot to learn driving the Star Mazda cars, particularly in regards to managing the tyres. And when the rookie driver put new tyres on, he was disappointed not to get a big gain in the 2nd session. But overall this is a very good start to be so competitive straight out of the box, and with a proper test schedule before the first race Brabham is confident of fighting for the Championship in 2013.

“I can’t really talk about my plans for next season in Star Mazda right now, but this was a tremendous learning experience for me and obviously the Andretti Autosport team is an impressive team,” says Brabham, who will be joining the Star Mazda Championship grid in 2013 with scholarship funding from the Mazda Road to Indy. “I wasn’t expecting the Star Mazda to be so powerful in comparison to my USF2000 car, and the sequential shifting took a bit of getting used to, but I felt comfortable in the car and with some more seat time, I’m sure Spencer, my teammate from last year, and I will take up our head-to-head battle again at the first race.”

Brabham will now fly back to England for the first race of the British Formula Renault Winter Series on Oct 20/21 at the Brands Hatch GP circuit. He will again drive the Team USA Scholarship Cliff Dempsey Racing #23, in which he made his debut at Silverstone a couple of week ago finishing an impressive 6th.

The Team USA Scholarship is supported by Doug Mockett & Company, Road Racing Drivers Club and its ground-breaking SAFEisFAST.com video tutorial initiative, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, INDYCAR’s Mazda Road to Indy, Mazda, Honda Performance Development, NameSilo, Silicon Salvage, McMurry Inc., Parathyroid.com, Dyson Racing, Allen Berg Racing Schools, Seat Time, LLC, PitFit Training, Sparco USA, RACER Magazine, eF ormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group as well as numerous past Scholarship winners.