Brabham: I've been away too long
28 April 2010
David Brabham has admitted that he cannot wait to get back into the cockpit of a V8 Supercar, having been confirmed as one of the international superstars scheduled to appear at this season's endurance rounds.
The reigning Le Mans 24 Hours champion will drive alongside Alex Davison for IRWIN Racing at the two regular endurance events at Phillip Island and Bathurst, as well as at the revamped Armor All Gold Coast 600 in Surfers Paradise. The son of three-time F1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham, David already has a strong Bathurst pedigree, having raced at Mount Panorama on multiple occasions, winning the two-litre event there in 1997 with elder brother Geoff.
Despite having also raced V8 Supercars there in recent seasons, however, the sportscar veteran will be making his debut with three-time V8 series champions Stone Brothers Racing.
“I've been away from V8 racing for too long, so it's fantastic to be driving at IRWIN Racing," Brabham commented, "I've been to Bathurst many times, I've won there in a two-litre and I want to win it in a V8. To be able to do this with someone like Stone Brothers is pretty cool, as they set the benchmark very early on in terms of running the cars competitively.
“Bathurst is unique, it's so difficult to describe. It's got fantastic history and heritage, some fantastic drivers have been there and we've seen some great races. For any Australian growing up, that was the big race every October. The whole country stops just to watch it, so to be able to just compete there is great. However, to go there and win would be very special.
“Winning in a V8 would be the ultimate really. I've done a lot of things in my career, winning Le Mans last year was a very special moment, but equal to that would be to go back there and win in a V8 at Bathurst.”
Brabham's commitment to IRWIN Racing also takes in the new-look Surfers Paradise round, now officially the V8 Supercars series' third endurance.
“The Gold Coast is my second home, so I'll have plenty of support at the SuperCarnivale for sure," he claimed, "I love Queensland, and I love the Gold Coast, so to go down there and race for IRWIN will be phenomenal.
“Obviously, it's going to be full-on with all the internationals but, fortunately, I'll get some practice beforehand at Phillip Island and Bathurst, which will make driving on the Gold Coast easier – in terms of understanding the IRWIN Ford, at least. It's certainly an interesting concept. I'm really looking forward to going down there.”
Davison, meanwhile, revealed that he had been pressing for Brabham to be his co-driver from the moment that V8 organisers dictated that regular team-mates couldn't pair up for the endurance events.
“I started talking to Ross [Stone] and [engineer] Dave [Stuart] about endurance drivers at the end of last year and David was my number one pick," he claimed, "I was really rapt when I was told that we had David for the enduros, then the changes to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 were announced and it worked in our favour. David will be well in the groove by then.
“I am particularly excited to be racing with David. He's very, very experienced, he's currently racing at a very high level in the American Le Mans series and he's still extremely fast. On top of that, he's got quite a lot of experience in V8 Supercars and has done really well in the past. He's used to doing endurance races, he does these races every week, so it won't take him long to adapt, and I think he will fit in really well.
"I'm looking forward to driving with him and learning something from him. The fact that he has quite a lot of experience in V8s Supercars already, and done really well when he has driven them, will give us quite an advantage.”