The 2010 season is already shaping up to be an exciting one, and after the success of last year, winning Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series title, that's not something lightly said.

With Highcroft Racing all set to make their Le Mans 24 Hours debut in June and the recently announced news that I will be heading back to Australia to drive with IRWIN Racing and Stone Brothers in V8 Supercars, 2010 promises to be pretty special.

Unfortunately, I've been away from Australian racing for a few years, due to clashing events. This year is the first time for a while that the endurance races in Australia don't clash with my schedule.

I was really surprised and honoured to get a call from Stone Brothers' Ross Stone about driving this year. Obviously, I had to get permission from Highcroft Racing and Duncan Dayton to even consider doing it. Duncan has always been great like that - he gave his full blessing to let me go to Le Mans last year and win - so hopefully I can do the same when I go to Bathurst.

The first V8 endurance event falls just after the ALMS round at Mosport. I fly from Canada to Australia to test and then I'll be there for a week, which will be a great opportunity to see family and friends.

I'll then head down to Phillip Island to do the first V8 endurance race, which will be a brilliant experience and preparation for Bathurst. It's a great track too. Lindsay Fox and the Fox family have done a great job and I think every driver enjoys driving there.

I've been involved with many championships over the years and certainly V8 Supercars is the most competitive. The cars are extremely close and there are a lot of them. You can be three or four tenths off and be way out of the top ten, so it's really important to be on top of the car and be consistent.

That's the challenge, and it's a great challenge for any non-regular V8 driver - to go into that environment and try to be as quick as the locals isn't easy.

All of the drivers are very good. The fact that they haven't gone abroad to race doesn't mean that they're any less talented than the drivers who have. They are some of the best in the business and very good at what they do.

It's a great and professionally run organisation and all the teams are fantastic - they are always pushing and they've made a big show of it for the last 30 years or so. Without question, V8 is the number one racing category there. The whole nation gets behind the racing, particularly at Bathurst.

Obviously it's always nice to go back to Australia but I always find it interesting there. No-one really knows who I am because I don't race in the V8 championship, so I can enjoy quiet time and get on with my work, which is great!

I have fond memories of Bathurst, particularly of winning the two-litre event in 1997 racing with my brother Geoff, and now I can't wait to go back and try and win in V8.

The revamped Armor All Gold Coast 600 event in Surfers Paradise and the opening of V8 regulations to allow international drivers make this a special event. With so many top drivers taking part, the competition will be fierce. But it won't be easy for some of those drivers, as they won't have driven the car. They will arrive perhaps knowing the track but not the car, so it will be interesting to see how people get on.

I've been to the event once before but I didn't compete, so it'll be the first time I've seen the track properly, which in itself will be a new experience, but by the time we get to the Gold Coast I would have done two races and know the car pretty well.

It will also be a privilege to drive alongside my IRWIN Racing teammate, Alex Davison. Like the Brabhams, the Davison family go back a long way in Australian motorsport history and they are a great family and very competitive. Both boys, Will and Alex, race in V8 Supercars and it will be good for me to get to know Alex more, race with him and compete together.

I'm driving with one of the best teams, so I'm really looking forward to all three races and what I am sure will be an amazing experience.

David Brabham

 

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