David Brabham says he is confident that the JRM team will enjoy success when it switches to prototype racing for the 2012 season, having confirmed an entry into the new FIA World Endurance Championship for the year ahead.
The British team revealed last week that experienced racer Brabham would be part of its driver line-up alongside Peter Dumbreck and Karun Chandhok after it took the decision to make the move into the WEC with an LMP1 class HPD ARX-03a.
The deal will see Brabham reunited with the car that he took to second in the Sebring Twelve Hours last season with Highcroft Racing and he admitted he was excited about the season ahead.
“It's kind of amazing when I think about because the HPD car is something I have involved in since 2007 with Highcroft, the car has my DNA in it and I have been very much part of it,” he said. “Of course I was at Highcroft for Sebring last year and then they said that they didn't have the money to continue and all of a sudden it was a case of 'Gee, I have to go and find a job!'
“I ended up driving for Sumo Power in GT1, which was a move away from what I had become used to with a new team and a new series. I was wondering where it was heading and twelve months down the road, I've now been joined by the car that I know so well. It is amazing how life takes you so it was a lovely surprise to hear that they wanted to move to P1 and do it with the car that I know.”
Looking to the season ahead, Brabham said he was confident that JRM will be successful in its new venture, with the HPD package regarded as one of the strongest non-diesels set to compete in the WEC.
“Obviously part of the reason JRM chose the car is that they know it is a fast car,” he said. “Sebring was an amazing event for the car because it was very late and we only got there on the week of the race. We hit the track for an installation lap and I did a five or six lap run and we were bang on the pace. The car felt good and we hit a sweet spot with the track as conditions change quickly at Sebring. As the weekend went on, we were fast although we couldn't be sure how fast we were until the race.
“Out of the box, it was quick and there was only one small issue with the car in practice. That was why we finished second as we had a good, consistent run. In reality, the diesels were a second and half quicker than us to be honest, which is to be expected with the rules and the fact we had a new car and didn't really understand the tyre. The car had more potential and I'm expecting it to be fast this year.”