SA-built Brabham takes over the flag after 37 years of drought

An Adelaide-designed and built Brabham has beaten a field of Porsches, Audis and a Lamborghini in Italy to take the brand’s first competitive motorsport win since the 1985 French Grand Prix.

The Brabham BT63 GT2 drove through the field and won the GT2 European Series race at the Misano World Circuit near San Marino last weekend.

It was the car’s fifth race in the 2022 series and the first time it has taken the podium after mixed results in the first four races at Imola, also in Italy, and the Red Bull Ring circuit in Austria.

After starting 10e of the 13 cars on the grid on Saturday, the Brabham Automotive Factory Racing car overtook the race leader on the final lap before crossing the line 0.79 of a second ahead.

“A lot of things have to go well for you during the race and having the safety car come out towards the end allowed us to get a little closer to first when we were second,” said Brabham Automotive CEO Dan Marks.

“It gives us credibility – if you consistently race against Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini and win, you go from a company that produces men’s racers to a company that can manufacture and service competitive motorsport vehicles.

“The feedback we’ve had has been completely positive and it’s creating that platform for us to not only be a one-off winner, but to push through in the GT2 series and get other teams and drivers to promote those vehicles. “

Brabham is part of the High Class Racing team in the series that includes amateur and professional drivers.

The team’s amateur driver Kevin Weeda qualified 10e and started the race, rising to 8e position when the drivers switched after 20 minutes.

Professional driver Anders Fjordbach, last year’s series winner, made his way through the field in the final 30 minutes of the race and secured victory with a brilliant pass on the final lap.

SA-built Brabham takes over the flag after 37 years of drought

Winning Brabham drivers Kevin Weeda (center left) and Anders Fjordbach. Image courtesy of SRO Motorsports Group.

It is the first time a Brabham car has won a competitive race since Nelson Piquet’s victory in the 1985 French Grand Prix, Brabham’s 35e and final Formula 1 win.

David Brabham, son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, unveiled Brabham Automotive’s BT62 car in 2018 and announced that production would take place in Adelaide.

The track BT62 sells for about $1.3 million with a custom road version available for $1.8 million.

The company developed the BT63 to meet racing standards so that it could compete at the GT2 level, reducing the price to $625,000 or €400,000.

The first BT63 was produced in mid-2021 and made its racing debut in October following an invitation to participate in the final race of the 2021 GT2 European Series in France.

The Brabham cars will be designed and manufactured in Edinburgh Parks in a facility shared with sister company BusTech.

The group is owned by Fusion Capital, which has approximately 120 employees at its plant in north Adelaide.

While not disclosing the total number of vehicles made or sold, Marks said Brabham had manufactured a combination of road and track BT62s that were sold primarily in Europe.

“The BT63 is the little brother of the BT62, an unrestricted GT car, while the BT63 GT2 meets certain rules and regulations so that it can race in the GT2 series and can now compete in any GT series around the world. racing,” said Marks. †

“The spec is a bit more mainstream and not quite as custom or high-end as the exclusive BT62 – we’re getting into the bracket where we have to compete from a spare parts perspective.

“For example, the BT63 has an aluminum floor, while the BT62 has a full carbon floor, which saves 10 kilograms, so there are areas where we need to add weight to the vehicle, but by adding weight, we cut costs.”

The Brabham name has always been strong in the UK and Europe due to its success in Formula 1 in the 1970s and 1980s, but the company is looking to have more of its cars raced elsewhere, including Australia.

“There are plans to build on what we’ve created in Europe and look abroad, maybe the US, Asia and Australia to follow the GT series,” said Marks.

“If you look at the DNA of the Brabham brand, it’s always been in motorsport, and for us it was relaunching the Brabham name in the same guise as before and creating that brand equity and getting people to use the brand. recognize and resonate with it. create a platform so that we can grow not only into track cars, but also into road cars.”

Marks said one of the reasons David Brabham wanted to settle in Adelaide was to prove that quality cars can still be made in Australia.

“We still believe that possibility exists,” he said.

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