When Brabham Automotive launched last year, David Brabham said the intention was to take his family name racing again. Now a date has been set for Brabham's motorsport return: 2021, when a new GTE car will be entered into the World Endurance Championship and its crowing event, Le Mans.
The racing model will have links to the new BT62 V8 track (or road) car produced by the Australian brand, but be further evolved in order to take the fight to established category marques such as Ferrari and Aston Martin. It's set to retain the BT62's 5.4-litre engine, which, with 710hp, would inevitably need taming with Balance of Performance restrictors.
Brabham's BT62 programme - the first customer cars of which are due for delivery later this year - has included stints of endurance testing. While the core focus of this running will have been to ensure the BT62 is reliable for use by its customers, no doubt Brabham will have also collected data useful for its motorsport ambitions. This close tie between BT62 and racing might sweeten the deal for those who've already ordered a car, as well as luring in others.
While Brabham's developing the BT62 at its Adelaide base, it'll run the racing operation from Britain. A factory team will be launched, but the racing car will also be offered to customer outfits, meaning Brabhams could be racing in several championships around the world. The company has already opened discussions with potential partners for its campaign.
Unsurprisingly, the factory team's first drivers are likely to hail from the Brabham family. Sam and Matthew (the grandsons of Sir Jack), both hold international racing licences and have recent experience in the cockpit, so look like likely candidates. David has extensive sportscar experience, including a win at the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, but he may choose to remain in a managerial position.
Whoever the team employs, the intent is clear: to win its class. That much is clear from the number one placed on the side of the rendered racing car...