Brabham returns to podium in Germany
20 September 2010
Making his race debut in the penultimate double-header rounds of the innovative Scirocco R Cup - billed as the world's most eco-conscious one-make championship - David Brabham was joined on the podium by fellow Legend drivers and Le Mans heroes Marco Werner and Frank Biela.
The outright winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2009, Brabham took the wheel of the 2.0-litre Volkswagen Scirocco R, which runs on bio-CNG and reduces CO2 emissions by 80 per cent compared with conventional engines, during practice on Friday.
Come Saturday, the reigning American Le Mans Series champion and current leader of the ALMS LMP title fight with Patrón Highcroft Racing was ready to turn sixth on the grid to finish as the highest-placed legend driver, and seventh overall, in race one.
With a reverse top eight grid for race two on Sunday, Brabham got an even better grip of the push-to-pass system, which gives a 50hp power boost, to make the most of second on the grid.
Despite dropping back to sixth after a moment midway through the 14-lap race, his sportscar prowess shone through as he battled with seasoned competitors — and jostled three-wide on the back straight — to carve his way back up to third and take a place on the outright podium.
“It's been tremendous fun racing in the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup this weekend,” said Brabham, “To be able to bring the Brabham name back to the top of the podium in Germany for the first time since my win at the Nürburgring in 2000 and my father, triple F1 world champion, Sir Jack's numerous successes in sportscars and F1, has been pretty special.
“I've been really pleased with how things have gone. I've not driven at Oschersleben since 1998 with Panoz, so it took some time to familiarise myself with the track. I've not driven a bio-gas car before either, but I've been thoroughly impressed with the performance of the Scirocco R.
“It feels just like driving a normal car, except for the rear weight distribution. I felt like I needed to balance that out with my luggage, but I soon got used to it. When you bear in mind Volkswagen has made this car 80 per cent more efficient that's seriously impressive.
“I had great fun this weekend. I certainly had to draw on my sportscar experience to battle back through the field after the odd moment. My favourite moment was going three wide and taking two places at once down the back straight in the closing stages of race two. I don't think you could have got a piece of paper between the cars. It was good, close racing.
“The list of legend drivers who have supported the Scirocco R Cup has been fantastic and I'm honoured to have been asked to come to Germany and race against such a competitive field of drivers and, of course, fellow legends Marco and Frank.”
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director, said that the brand was 'very proud' to have Brabham racing as a legend driver in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup.
"He did a really great job finishing third, especially at this point in the season when all the other drivers are more experienced," he noted, "Only two other legend drivers have also achieved third places on the podium — Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell so, with them, David is one of the best legend drivers this year.”
With his recent spot of moonlighting from Patrón Highcroft Racing and the American Le Mans Series complete, Brabham will now switch his focus to sealing back-to-back championship titles at the final season round, Petit Le Mans, at Road Atlanta on 2 October.