Skip to content

Driver Database News

The latest news from the world of racing

Archive

Tag: Matthew Brabham

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

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.”

Rockingham PodiumMatthew Brabham turned on a masterful display in the final round of the Formula Renault BARC Winter Series at the Rockingham Race Circuit, fighting his way into contention for the lead on slick tires in damp conditions before finally having to settle for second place.

After a troubled qualifying session Matthew started from ninth on the grid and, after consultation with team Principal Cliff Dempsey, boldly elected to run slick tires on an extremely slippery surface. Virtually all the other front-runners chose to remain on wets.

Brabham picked up two places on the opening lap, worked his way into second by Lap 12 and closed quickly o nto the tail of race leader Jack Aitken. The Fortec Motorsport driver then employed some “robust” tactics to keep Brabham behind him, including almost driving him into the wall on the exit of the oval Turn One and later pushing him onto the grass at the exit of the Tarzan hairpin on Lap 14. Aitken’s brazen manoeuvres included nudging Brabham into a spin at the final corner on the last lap. This year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Champion quickly recovered to cross the line in third, but was credited with second when officials realized the race should have been concluded after 14 laps.

The top two finishers, Aitken and Brabham, were summoned to the stewards’ office after the podium ceremonies were completed, but no further action was taken.

“It was a bit disappointing,” said Dempsey. “Matt drove a fantastic race. The chief steward said that Matt deserved to win the race and probably would have won it if it had been a regular-season champions hip race. Honestly, we could have protested the decision but that’s not the way you like to win a race. Everybody saw how well Matt drove. He made his point.”

“We made a bit of a gamble and didn’t really have anything to lose so we decided to go for slicks instead of wets,” said Brabham. “I think everyone else just played it safe” In fact, Brabham spun on his reconnaissance lap but was able to continue and regain his original starting position.

“I caught a little bit of the wet line and it just tipped me around, so I wasn’t really too concerned about whether it was the right or wrong decision,” said Brabham. “I felt confident with the dry tires but it definitely made me think twice on the first lap so I was just really, really careful on the throttle in all the corners. I knew that if I could just get around the first couple of laps without having any incidents, I would be OK. Then I started to get into a rhythm and started pushing to the limits”

“It was de finitely different racing to what I’m used to! It was really challenging to try and get past him. I think it was a little bit of an extraordinary circumstance because it was the last race of the year and he hasn’t won a race yet so he really, really wanted to win and I really, really wanted to win so there was zero room given. It was definitely an eye-opener and I’ve never really seen that kind of stuff before so I learned a hell of a lot in that race. I’ll definitely take some of it back to America with me”

“We touched a few times but it didn’t fall my way in the end and I ended up having to settle for second place. But it was great to get on the podium for the last race. I’ve been aiming for the podium the whole time I’ve been here in the UK and I just can’t explain how happy I am for myself, all our Team USA Scholarship supporters and the Cliff Dempsey Racing team. It’s just been fantastic to get on the podium and have such a great last race. I really, really had a lot of fun and enjoyed it.”

The Team USA Scholarship is made possible by support from Doug Mockett & Company, Road Racing Drivers Club and its ground-breaking www.SAFEisFAST.com video tutorial initiative, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Double R Racing, INDYCAR’s Mazda Road to Indy, Mazda, David Heinemeier Hansson, Level 5 Motorsports, 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, eFormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group as well as numerous past Scholarship winners.

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.

Matthew BrabhamToday did not go as planned for Team USA Scholarship winner Matthew Brabham and his Cliff Dempsey Racing team. After an excellent run to sixth place yesterday on his European debut at Silverstone, Brabham finished a disappointing 14th in a race that was interrupted by two Safety Car periods and was televised live on ITV4-HD in the UK.

“Yeah, it was a pretty crazy race,” said Brabham. “I think it was because the red mist fell for the last race of the championship and because it was being televised.”

Brabham lined up 14th on the grid for the 14th and final round of the Formula Renault BARC UK season, due to a les s than optimal second period of qualifying on Saturday morning, and then worsened his predicament by not making the best of getaways at the traditional standing start. He completed Lap 1 in an unrepresentative 18th and was embroiled in a hectic midfield battle throughout what turned out to be a 21-lap contest.

“The race was pretty exciting,” he said. “I got a bad start and lost a few positions so it was tough to recover. I managed to gain a few positions back before the first Safety Car. My restart was good so I managed to get another position back and then stayed there for most of the race. Right before the end of the race there was another Safety Car and we had a two-lap dash to the finish. Unfortunately, I lost another position on this restart. The racing was definitely tough and I really got to see how these guys race over here. Everyone is so close, so my qualifying position really made it hard for me.”

Brabham, who recently clinched this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and will graduate to the Star Mazda Championship as part of the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship ladder, will now return to the United States to take part in the Mazda Road to Indy test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 10/11 for Andretti Autosport. He will then travel back to the UK for the first round of the Formula Renault BARC Winter Series at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on October 20/21, keen to build upon the experience he gained at Silverstone.

“I’m happy with how the weekend went,” he concluded. “I learned a lot from racing with these guys. It was quite challenging as everyone was so close. My first qualifying and race went really well; it was great to get sixth place for the first race. I struggled a bit in the second qualifying and that hurt me in the second race. I learned so much from this weekend though and really enjoyed it. The team was great and worked extremely hard, and all the peopl e here supporting me were a great help; I can’t thank them enough. I head back to Indianapolis for the Star Mazda test there but I can’t wait to get back over here for the first race of the Winter Series at the Brands Hatch GP circuit.”

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, eFormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group as well as numerous past Scholarship winners.

For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org or find us on Facebook.

Matthew BrabhamMatthew Brabham made a fine debut in the Formula Renault BARC Championship today at Silverstone, finishing sixth among an extremely competitive 32-car field at the wheel of his Team USA Scholarship/Cliff Dempsey Racing entry. The result ensured an impressive start to his tenure as the latest Team USA Scholarship winner, following in the footsteps of accomplished veterans such as Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, AJ Allmendinger and Andy Lally, and rising stars JR Hildebrand, Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden

Brabham benefited from the brief experience he gained during test sessions on Wednesday and Friday – and t he data from English CDR teammate Chris Middlehurst – to qualify fifth for today’s race. His best time of 56.875s was just over 0.3s adrift of polesitter Seb Morris in a field where the top 22 cars were separated by less than a second. Brabham was a scant .030s adrift of championship leader Scott Malvern and a similar margin in front of Middlehurst. After a short break, the cars returned to the track to set the grid order for Race Two on Sunday. This time Brabham had to settle for 14th.

“Qualifying went well,” said Brabham. “It was a little different to what I’m used to with the split sessions although it was quite fun to change it up a bit. It was a little wet but there was a clear dry line and I managed to qualify fifth for the first race which was excellent. It was so close, as it’s been all week, and I was only half a tenth off second place! In the second session everyone got a bit quicker but I stayed the same so I fell down the order. It was a little disappoint ing for me, but it’s all so close that only a few tenths separates us all.”

The usual first-lap shuffle in today’s 18-lap race resulted in Brabham losing a place to Middlehurst. The Florida-born and based Brabham then settled into a race-long battle with Russian Ivan Taranov and Briton Kieran Vernon. Their infighting allowed Middlehurst to make a slight break, but there was no respite for Brabham. Vernon found a way past his Russian rival on Lap 9, but Brabham withstood the pressure to secure a sixth-place result.

“It was a lot of fun as the racing was quite tough,” he said. “I was a little nervous as it’s been a long time since I’ve done a standing start, but I got away well. Into the second corner I got a little nudge from behind and went wide. I didn’t lose any positions but I lost a bit of time to the people in front, so the rest of the race I was defending quite hard. The last few laps I managed to get a slight gap and hold my position. I’m very happy to fin ish sixth. These guys have been racing all year and I still have a lot to learn about these cars and the way these guys race over here.

“Tomorrow I start 14th so it’s going to be a tough race but I’m looking forward to it. I’m learning a huge amount and really enjoying the challenge. And a big thanks to all the people who support the Team USA Scholarship, and have made this awesome opportunity possible for me.”

The full results from today’s race are available at http://bit.ly/SCF9l4.

Race Two tomorrow will start at 3:10 UK time. Live timing is available via TSL-Timing.com at http://bit.ly/VCT6yu. And you can see the action live online at www.itv.com/btcc

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, eFormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group as well as numerous past Scholarship winners.

For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org or find us on Facebook.