DAVID AND THE GOLIATHS
David Brabham outlines his company’s ambitions – on track and road
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