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Category: Pro Mazda

Matthew BrabhamTeenage star Matthew Brabham is the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Champion following another runaway win at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

By sweeping both races at the historic street circuit the MAZDASPEED AFS Racing Andretti Autosport driver has rewritten the record books, his record race win total now stands at 11. He also holds the record for the most consecutive wins in a season at 7, the record for most podiums in a season at 13, and ties the record for fastest race laps in a season at 11.

The grandson of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham and son of Le Mans 24 Hours winner and four-time IMSA champion Geoff Brabham has definitely upheld the family pedigree. Brabham is the first driver to advance to the Indy Lights series after winning USF2000 and Pro Mazda titles in succession.

As Pro Mazda champion, Brabham will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the Firestone Indy Lights Series next season – the third and final step on the highly regarded Mazda Road to Indy ladder system which provides a clear and scholarship-supported path for drivers to reach the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

Expectations were high after winning at Mid Ohio and dominating the previous street circuits at St Petersburg and Toronto. Brabs wasted no time learning the circuit in the only practice session, by setting the fastest time. Qualifying again went smoothly with him taking the pole by 0.271 sec from championship rival Diego Ferreira from Venezuela.

The second standing start of the year proved to be no problem for Matty as he launched into the lead and immediately drew away from the chasing field. In a caution free race the #83 crossed the line 10.815 sec ahead of Ferreira.

Race two was a carbon copy of race 1. Even though Brabham only had to finish 2nd to the clinch the championship, the third generation driver won the race and the championship in style, by leading every lap and crossing the line 5.582 sec ahead.

“I am absolutely speechless. To get two wins and the championship makes this just an unbelievable weekend, and I couldn’t think of a better place to win the championship, it has been so much fun here in Trois-Rivières.” A very happy Matthew said after the race. “I can’t thank everyone who supported me enough – Mazda, for giving me the opportunity to have this wonderful year, Cooper Tires and AFS Racing for coming in at the end. Andretti Autosport has been fantastic all year, so a big thanks to them. At the start of the season, I couldn’t have predicted that I would have a year like this. I am just so, so happy”

Brabham’s last race weekend for the year is at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar race on Oct 5 – 6

Scott MalvernBarkingside Single seater champion Scott Malvern hopes that his maiden test on USA soil can lead to a professional career stateside. Scott travelled to Florida last week to spend time with USA Formula Star Mazda Champions Team Pelfrey at their workshops in Clearwater culminating in a two day test at Sebring International circuit. Despite not being used to the searing temperatures, which topped 112 degrees on track, Scott performed well over the two days and was very much on the pace.

The team already have a good record with British drivers having won the 2012 Star Mazda Championship with Yorkshire’s Jack Hawksworth who was able to move up to the next level Indy Lights Series thanks to the prize money he collected for taking the title. Scott commented “I really enjoyed the test in spite of the heat which really does take some getting used to, though I coped with it much better on the second day than I did on the first. I am confident that if I was out there full time I’d be able to acclimatise without a problem and as races are held right across the whole of the USA and Canada conditions wouldn’t always be so extreme. The team were very happy with my input and my pace and we are now looking to see what can be done to get me into the car on a permanent basis. That could mean that I join them for a race or two towards the end of this season but the main focus now is really fixed towards mounting a full championship campaign in 2014”

Scott who won the British & European Formula Ford title in 2011 & The UK Formula Renault Championship in 2012 as well as collecting the coveted Autosport National Club Driver of the Year Award, previously won by the likes of Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard, has struggled to mount a campaign in the UK this season after losing his seat at Jamun Racing after just one event at Brands Hatch at Easter. “The economy in the UK has certainly made things very difficult and people just cannot understand that I have won so much but that doesn’t automatically reward you with the right to move up to the next level. You are still required to bring finance to most teams. In the USA they pay substantial prize money and because they have the Road To Indy ladder in place the champion of any series within the structure will always move up all the way to Indycar, which includes the Indy 500, arguably along with Le Mans the most famous motor race in the world. Star or Pro Mazda as it is now referred to sits just two levels below that. The cars are very fast using the Mazda Rotary engine producing 260 BHP so roughly equivalent to our own Formula 3 but the budgets are considerably less”

Scott will also be hosting his own business networking event at Brands hatch on Friday 9th August where he will talk about his career and his recent experience in the USA.

Matthew BrabhamMazdaspeed Andretti Autosport driver Matthew Brabham dominated round five of the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires held at the 5/8 mile Lucas Oil Raceway oval, Ind.

Brabham claimed pole position by a commanding 6/10th sec, over the two laps in single file qualifying, however rain stated to fall as soon as the cars left the grid and the red flag was thrown after 11 laps behind the pace car. A 2 hour rain delay meant the race started at 11:00pm, and was shortened to 52 laps from the scheduled 90.

Matthew jumped into the lead at the start and proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field, but a single car accident brought the pace car out b etween laps 24 and 30. The third generation driver learnt from the mistake he made in this race last year, and made a great restart to immediately gap the field. When the chequered flag was thrown at the end of lap 52, Brabham won the most prestigious race of his young career with a comfortable 6 second margin. This was his 4th straight win and now has a 31 point lead in the Championship to take into the next race at the famed Milwaukee mile oval track on June 14th.

“It was tough waiting so long before our race,” said Brabham. “It just builds the nerves and it was just painful waiting and watching the rain come down. I wasn’t sure we were even going to get a race in. So it was good we got it in. The car was fantastic and I can’t thank the Andretti crew enough. The car has been great all year. The team has been working really hard and I owe it all to them. The race was a little shortened but there was a restart and Spencer was right there at both the start and restart b ut I just had the car speed and kept plodding along. The rain started to come down on the last lap and I was kind of taking it easy. I just can’t describe the feeling. It’s great. To come so close last year to winning it and now to finally get the win this year is just awesome.”

Matthew Brabham has been selected into the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) Rising Star program for 2013. Rising Stars membership is by strict invitation by the BRDC Rising Star Panel, adding yet another accolade for the young third generation driver, to go along with the Team USA Scholarship Matthew received in 2012.

Active racing drivers of British and Commonwealth nationality are eligible from their 14th to 24th birthday; the BRDC Rising Stars are very much the future of the Club. Scouted from trackside, the BRDC Rising Stars are in effect ‘Junior Members’ of the Club, all taking their motor racing very seriously and all aiming for a profession al career within the sport. From all four-wheel racing disciplines, the Rising Stars represent the BRDC in national championships, and from the races contested while wearing the schemes unique ‘blue roundel’ it is hoped the Rising Star will graduate to the ranks of Full membership.

Lewis Hamilton and Alex Lloyd are just two success stories from the Rising Star scheme – and with eight national champions from its ranks last season alone, BRDC Rising Stars has a proven track record of selecting only the best of individuals. Once scouted by a member of the ‘Rising Stars Panel’, the driver is invited to Silverstone for an informal meeting. Following this meeting, the driver will be invited to become a Rising Star, and providing his or her career continues with upward momentum, the ability to stay on the scheme until the year of their 24th birthday. From Formula Ford to Formula 3 from British GT to BTCC, the BRDC Rising Stars will be in action throughout the season, and wi th BRDC SuperStars adding a second tier to the BRDC ‘youth policy’, with the BRDC embracing this important sector of the sport – the future of British motor racing is in safe hands.

The new Rising Stars for 2013 are: Matthew Brabham, Josh Cook, Jody Fannin, Jack Goff, Archie Hamilton, Daniel Lloyd and Chris Middlehurst.

“It is a great honour to be chosen for the Rising Star program by the BRDC” A proud Matthew said. “I have heard many stories about the BRDC from my grandpa, and seen some old photos of him receiving awards and attending functions at the club. The history of the BRDC is amazing and to be even a very small part of that is awesome.”

About Matthew Brabham:
Matthew was born in Boca Raton, FL USA, and has dual American and Australian nationality. He started racing Karts in Australia at the age of 7, and graduated up to Formula Ford. He moved back to the USA in 2012 and won the USF2000 Championship and Rookie Titles . Matthew also received scholarships from Team USA to compete in three Formula Renault 2.0 races in England, and the Mazdaspeed scholarship to compete in the Pro Mazda Championship, the next step in the “Road to Indy” program. Matthew is currently driving for Andretti Autosport in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires.

Matthew BrabhamYoung third generation racer Matthew Brabham, laid down a marker for the rest of the Pro Mazda Teams to chase, when he set the fastest time by a comfortable margin in both the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires official tests. The tests were conducted at the Palm Beach and Sebring International Raceways, over four gruelling days.

Brabham was over 7/10th of a second faster than his nearest competitor at the Palm Beach test. The Florida sunshine enabled the Andretti Autosport team to run over 160 laps and finish their extensive test program that had been scheduled. Various combinations were tried, and Matthew feels he, and the team have a muc h better understanding now on how the car reacts to the Cooper Tires, which the Pro Mazda Championship will be using this year.

The teams then packed up and headed for the Sebring International long course for another two day test starting the next day. Matthew and the Andretti Autosport team immediately continued where they had left off at Palm Beach: At the top of the time sheets.

Sebring is one of Matthew’s favourite tracks, and was in devastating form as he bested the competition by a massive 1.5 seconds. The young 18 year old has quickly gelled with his new team, and Matty is excited about his chances for the upcoming season based on the car speed shown in these tests.

“It was a quality test from my point of view” a happy but exhausted Matthew said. “I was able to work through many combinations with my engineer Yancy and I think we both have a good feel for the direction we need to go in. I also was working on my driving style with the Pro Mazda, and I definitely made some gains in that area as well. A big thank you must go to the whole Andretti Autosport team as they gave me a very quick car at both tracks. So obviously I am thrilled how the test went, and I wish the racing would start tomorrow as we are ready to go.”

The first race of the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, is being held on March 1-2 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.Palm Beach combined top 5
1 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1:11.695
2 Diego Ferreira Juncos Racing 1:12.419 0.724
3 Francisco Cerullo Linares Racing 1:12.433 0.738
4 Shelby Blackstock Andretti Autosport 1:12.513 0.818
5 Scott Anderson Juncos Racing 1:12.873 1.178

Sebring combined top 5
1 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 2:00.417
2 Shelby Blackstock Andretti Autosport 2:01.959 1.542
3 Diego Ferreira Juncos Racing 2:02.147 1.730
4 Spencer Pigot Pelfrey Racing 2:02.644 2.227
5 Scott Anderson Juncos Racing 2:03.189 2.772

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.”