Double Le Mans GT1 class winner David Brabham has said that he is excited by the opportunity to chase a third straight win at the French classic having been added to the Peugeot LMP1 squad for the 2009 event.
The Australian's surprise inclusion was revealed as Peugeot announced its programme for the coming year, and will see him return to the P1 category at Le Mans for the first time since 2003, when he teamed up with Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell to finish second in the Bentley EXP Speed 8.
Already the most successful driver in the history of the American Le Mans Series, boasting pole positions and race wins in all four categories, Brabham will be hoping to get one step closer to repeating the feat at Le Mans by capturing an elusive P1 and outright win this year. The 43-year old will warm-up by contesting the Spa 1000km in May, before joining the eight other drivers that Peugeot has tabbed for its 24 Hours and LMS assault at La Sarthe in June.
“I'm absolutely delighted to be asked to drive the Le Mans 24 Hours with Peugeot Sport and am very grateful to Duncan Dayton and Patrón Highcroft Racing, John Mendel and Acura, and Erik Berkman at Honda Performance Development for giving me their blessing to race once again in this historic event,” Brabham said, “I'm really looking forward to racing at both Spa and Le Mans and to continuing the testing programme leading up to the events."
The Australian's return to the P1 category - on both sides of the Atlantic following Acura's confirmation that the Patron Highcroft team will step up to the senior class in the American Le Mans Series in 2009 - coincides with the 50th anniversary of his father's first F1 world championship crown. The Brabham family is also enshrined in the history of Le Mans, as Sir Jack first tackled the endurance race back in 1957, two years before he reached the heights of F1 champion. David's brother, Geoff, also tasted ultimate success in the 24 Hours, winning in 1993 - with Peugeot.
Having been central to Aston Martin Racing's back-to-back success in the GT1 class in 2007 and 2008, Brabham now hopes to match his father and brother on the back of a unique hat-trick.
"It's been fantastic to be able to win the GT1 class for the past two years and this drive gives me a great opportunity to go for outright victory and three wins in a row,“ he confirmed, "I had the opportunity to drive the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP at Barcelona last week and, while the car and the turbo diesel engine are naturally completely different to what I am used to [in the ALMS], it was a great experience. I left the test extremely optimistic of Peugeot Sport doing well at Le Mans this year."