DAVID AND THE GOLIATHS

David Brab­ham out­lines his com­pany’s am­bi­tions – on track and road

Evo - - BRIEFING -

MCL AREN P1 GTR, FER­RARI FXX K, AS­TON Mar tin Vul­can – just a small se­lec­tion of the track- only hy­per­cars to have hit the mar­ket in re­cent years, with sev­eral more on the way. To com­pete is no ea sy ta sk, but there’s a lot to be said for an evoca­tive name – Brab­ham Au­to­mo­tive, for example. At the BT62’ s of fi­cial de­but, we sat down with David Brab­ham to find out a lit­tle more, from the car’s rai­son d’être, to fu­ture road cars, and a crack at Le Mans...

What makes now the right time to build a car such as the BT62?

It’s a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors. There seems to be an ap­petite for cars like this right now, but ul­ti­mately it’s about what I wanted the car to be like, a kind of un­re­stricted GT car, in­flu­enced by my experience from 35 years of rac­ing.

How does the car com­pare to some of the race cars you’ve driven over the years?

It’s a big step for ward from the GT 1 cars – I’d say it’s some­where be­tween a GT 1 and a Le Mans Pro­to­type, that kind of range.

And was the de­ci­sion to go with a track­only su­per­car the most de­sir­able op­tion? Sim­i­lar tech­nol­ogy could pro­duce a road car or a full race car, for example.

It wa s, be­cause our brand is a s a thor­ough­bred rac­ing com­pany. We’re cel­e­brat­ing 70 years of rac­ing his­tor y this year, which is in­cred­i­ble – Fer­rari cel­e­brated its 70th la st year, Porsche this year... If Brab­ham’s go­ing to come out with some­thing , it makes sense for it to have high per for­mance, blis­ter­ing lap times, to be durable – and that sets the scene for what you do nex t.

How far away is the BT62 from be­ing road- le­gal?

We’ve cer tainly looked into it in some de­tail, but our pri­mar y goal is to pro­duce BT62 a s a track car. But you never know…

Are you look­ing to be­come the next big su­per­car brand – a Mclaren com­peti­tor?

We have am­bi­tions to pro­duce a road car, but it’s a bit too far down the road to talk about that yet. We’re not go­ing to be a ma sspro­duc­tion su­per­car com­pany, though – it’s go­ing to be more niche.

You’ve got am­bi­tions to go to Le Mans with the com­pany. Is that with the BT62? And is there a time­frame?

It’s not been de­signed to race in a par tic­u­lar cham­pi­onship. Our nex t model will prob­a­bly be de­signed more with GT rac­ing in mind. There are a lot of reg­u­la­tion dis­cus­sions go­ing on with the ACO in terms of GT and LMP, and it cer tainly opens up a win­dow of op­por tu­nity for us. We have to wait un­til those reg­u­la­tions be­come firm – we’re talk­ing around 2020 – and we can re­spond quickly once those reg­u­la­tions have been re­vealed.

Where do you see Le Mans reg­u­la­tions head­ing? GT cars rather than pro­to­types?

That’s a ver y good ques­tion. GT ha s al­ways been pretty strong. LMP1 ha s al­ways gone in cir­cles, and I’ve lived in that world where one minute it’s the hot thing and the nex t minute it’s not. Man­u­fac­tur­ers spend ga zil­lions tr ying to win Le Mans and then it all changes. There’s a pos­si­bil­ity that there could be an­other cla ss, or that LMP be­comes sim­pler – a lit­tle like IMSA . What’s im­por tant is that we have a busi­ness that sup­por ts the race team.

Would you race again your­self – aim­ing for a win in a car bear­ing your name?

Ob­vi­ously there’s a par t of me that thinks that’s pretty cool! But a s a driver... in 2020 I’m go­ing to be like 54, 55, so will I feel like I can get in and do the job? I’m ei­ther go­ing to con­trib­ute prop­erly a s a driver, and if not, then I’ll stick some­body else in. It’s all about the per for­mance.

Above: David Brab­ham says the BT62 will set the scene for what Brab­ham Au­to­mo­tive does next

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