Matthew BrabhamAndretti Autosport announced today that they have signed Matthew Brabham, a third-generation racer, to pilot their Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires entry for the 2013 season.

The son of former IMSA and IndyCar star Geoff Brabham and grandson of F1 World Champion Jack Brabham, 18-year-old Matthew won the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at his first attempt this year, and subsequently was invited to test with the Andretti Pro Mazda squad at Indianapolis. He was also named to the prestigious Team USA Scholarship team at the end of the year, and ably represented the squad in British Formula Renault last month, finishing second at the season finale.

“I am so excited to be driving for the Andretti Autosport team in the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship,” said Brabham. “It was fantastic to drive for the team at the Indy test, and get a feel for how they operate. They are really professional and seem like a great bunch of guys to work with. The Pro Mazda had more power than the USF2000 car, so it was lots of fun to drive and gave me a good understanding of what to expect next season.”

The Brabham racing pedigree started in the 1950s, when Jack Brabham left his Australian homeland to join open-wheel racing competition in Europe. Jack Brabham went on to become a three-time Formula 1 World Champion and receive a knighthood. He is also credited with starting the rear engine revolution at the Indianapolis 500 in 1961.

Matthew’s father, Geoff Brabham followed in his father’s footsteps and successfully competed in CART early in his career – where he was team mates with Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti on the Kraco Racing team. He had 10 Indianapolis 500 starts, with a best result of fourth in 1983.

“I think it is really cool to have the Andretti and Brabham names come together with Matthew joining the Andretti Autosport team,” said Geoff Brabham. “Both his grandfather Sir Jack and Mario are Formula 1 World Champions. Mario, Michael and I drove against each other for many years in Indy cars. Now Matthew has a chance to forge his own career. Having the history and heritage of both families behind him can only be positive, not only on the race track but also giving potential sponsors a unique combination.”

“I cannot wait to get next year’s season underway,” added Brabham. “I can’t thank the Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship program enough for giving me the opportunity to move up into this class. Andretti Autosport is really experienced in multiple avenues of racing, and has tremendous resources and knowledge. It i s quite an honour to be a part of such a prestigious team.”

Brabham is also looking forward to being part of the same team as Marco Andretti, with both being third-generation drivers. This will allow Brabham the opportunity to consult with the youngest Andretti racer, who knows the ins and outs of competing as a racing legacy.

Brabham started racing karts in Australia at the age of seven. He won four State Titles, was second in the Australian Nationals and won numerous high profile races during his Karting career. In 2009, Brabham switched from karts to Formula Ford, winning an Australian National Championship round at Winton, Vic; also he had a seven race winning streak in the Victorian Formula Ford State Series. In 2012 Brabham came back to the United States and won The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, with 11 podium finishes, four of which were wins. He accrued a total of six pole positions and had eight of the fastest race laps.

“I’m really looking forward to progressing through the Mazda Road to Indy ranks, all the way to Indy cars,” said Brabham. “Driving for Andretti Autosport certainly gives me that chance, now it is up to me to make this opportunity count.”