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David Brabham

Full name
David Philip Brabham
Born
5th September 1965 (Age 55) - Wimbledon, London (GB)
Nationality
Australian
Australian
Years Raced
26
Recent Race
Starts
75 (7)
Wins
24
Poles
10
Podiums
36

The youngest of the Brabham boys enjoyed the longest racing career of all of them. David Brabham raced in Formula 1 for a couple of seasons – making his debut with the team that his father had founded – but it is in endurance racing that he became a champion.

Success in the junior categories 

Born in England the year before Sir Jack Brabham won his third world championship, he started racing in Australia during 1986. Fourth in national Formula Ford that year, he won the 1987 Formula Pacific title – a championship decided by a one-off race that supported the Australian Grand Prix.

He moved to England in 1988 to race in Vauxhall-Lotus but it was when he stepped up to Class B Formula 3 later that year that he impressed. The result was a fully sponsored drive with Bowman Racing for the 1989 British F3 Championship and his Ralt RT33-Volkswagen won six times before capping a fine season with victory in Macau. He was only confirmed as champion in February 1990 after a series of disputes between the rival Bowman and West Surrey Racing teams were finally resolved by the RAC MSA.

Formula 1 with his father’s team 

Brabham planned to graduate to Formula 3000 with the Middlebridge Group but he was suddenly thrust into the F1 limelight. Middlebridge bought the Brabham F1 team and he made his debut in the 1990 San Marino GP. But it was now a shadow of its former self and he struggled to qualify, only starting eight times and finishing just once – a distant 15th in France.

Brabham began 1991 in F3000 and ended the year with long-distance success. His Jaguar won at the Nürburgring and Sugo in the World and Japanese sports car championships respectively. He was also victorious in the Spa 24 Hours for Nissan. Brabham had not given up on F1 however and he spent the next two seasons testing for Footwork Arrows. He was also in the Jaguar XJ220 that won its class in the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours only to be disqualified.

Brabham returned to F1 race action in 1994 with Simtek. He started all 16 races but the death of team-mate Roland Ratzenberger at Imola cast a shadow over the year as the small team struggled against the sport’s heavyweights. 10th in the 1994 Spanish GP was Brabham’s best result from his 24 GP starts.

Success in endurance racing 

Without an F1 ride for 1995, he spent a season in the British Touring Car Championship with BMW before heading East to win the 1996 Japanese Super GT title with a Lark McLaren F1-GTR-BMW and co-driver John Nielsen. His growing reputation was enhanced by 1997 successes at Bathurst (sharing a BMW 320i with his brother Geoff) and in the United States Road Racing Championship for Panoz.

That was the forerunner of the American Le Mans Series and Brabham was runner-up to Elliott Forbes-Robinson in the inaugural ALMS championship in 1999. He drove for Panoz until 2003 when Brabham moved to Bentley for a schedule that included the British marque’s first Le Mans victory since 1930. Unfortunately for Brabham, he was in the second placed Bentley EXP Speed Eight that year.

He drove for Aston Martin at Le Mans from 2005 to 2008 – winning the GT1 class in 2007 (when fifth overall) and 2008. It was 2009 in which the personable and popular “Brabs” finally won sports car racing’s major accolades. In the victorious diesel Peugeot 908 at Le Mans, he also won the ALMS title with Scott Sharp and Highcroft Racing’s Acura ARX-02a.

He repeated that ALMS success in 2010 with Simon Pagenaud now his co-driver. His Highcroft HPD ARX-01e finished second in the 2011 Sebring 12 Hours but a lack of sponsorship forced the team to withdraw from racing shortly before Le Mans. That left Brabham without a drive in the race for the first time since 1995 and he raced a Sumo Power Nissan GT-R in the GT1 World Championship instead.

Brabham drove a JRM-entered HPD ARX-03a in the new World Endurance Championship during 2012 and finished sixth overall on his return to Le Mans.

Brabham Automotive 

Reacquiring the Brabham trade name and launching Brabham Automotive has taken much of his energies in recent years. The company was launched in 2018 with mid-engine Brabham BT62 track day car its first product. A production run of 70 cars is planned, each with a themed livery to reflect 70 years of Brabham heritage.

In November, the Brabham BT62 made its racing debut in the Brit Car ‘Into the Night’ races at Brands Hatch. Along with Will Powell, Brabham won in the car’s first competitive appearance.

Championship Seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points Results

2015

World Endurance Championship

Extreme Speed Motorsport

0

0

0

0

33

0

2014

World Endurance Championship

Extreme Speed Motorsport

0

0

0

0

U

0

2012

World Endurance Championship

JRM Racing

0

0

0

0

10

50

2011

FIA GT1 World Championship

Sumo Power GT

0

0

2

0

18

75

2010

American Le Mans Series

Highcroft Racing

0

1

3

3

U

0

2009

American Le Mans Series

Highcroft Racing

0

1

3

3

U

0

2008

American Le Mans Series

Highcroft Racing

1

1

1

1 - 100% win rate

U

0

2006

FIA GT Championship

Cirtek Motorsport

1

0

0

0

33

5

2005

FIA GT Championship

Aston Martin Racing

2

1

1

0

66

0

2002

American Le Mans Series

Panoz Motorsports

0

0

2

2

U

0

2001

American Le Mans Series

Panoz Motorsports

2

1

2

2 - 100% win rate

U

0

2000

American Le Mans Series

Panoz Motorsports

1

0

1

1 - 100% win rate

U

0

1999

American Le Mans Series

Panoz Motorsports

2

1

2

2 - 100% win rate

U

0

1998

PSCR Championship

Panoz Motorsports

1

0

1

1 - 100% win rate

U

0

1998

FIA GT Championship

DAMS

5

0

2

0

11

15

1997

FIA GT Championship

Dave Price Racing

1

0

1

0

23

4

1996

Global Endurance GT Championship

GTC Competition

2

0

0

0

U

0

1994

F1 World Championship

MTV Simtek Ford

16

0

0

0

U

0

1992

World Sportscar Championship

Toyota Team TOM's

4

0

2

0

10

22

1991

World Sportscar Championship

Silk Cut Jaguar

5 (1)

2

4

1 - 20% win rate

18

18

1991

FIA International F3000 Championship

Roni Team Ralt

4

0

0

0

U

0

1990

F1 World Championship

Motor Racing Developments

8 (6)

0

0

0

U

0

1989

Lucas British F3 Championship

Bowman Racing

6

2

6

6 - 100% win rate

1

80

Non Championship Races

Title Date Circuit Laps Position

2010 Le Mans 24 Hours

12/06/2010

Le Mans

397

25

2009 Le Mans 24 Hours

13/06/2009

Le Mans

382

1

2008 Le Mans 24 Hours

14/06/2008

Le Mans

381

13

2007 Le Mans 24 Hours

16/06/2007

Le Mans

369

5

2006 Le Mans 24 Hours

17/06/2006

Le Mans

380

9

2005 Le Mans 24 Hours

18/06/2005

Le Mans

370

9

2004 Le Mans 24 Hours

12/06/2004

Le Mans

379

R

2003 Le Mans 24 Hours

14/06/2003

Le Mans

377

2

2002 Le Mans 24 Hours

15/06/2002

Le Mans

375

R

2001 Le Mans 24 Hours

16/06/2001

Le Mans

321

R

2000 Le Mans 24 Hours

17/06/2000

Le Mans

368

15

1999 Le Mans 24 Hours

12/06/1999

Le Mans

366

7

1998 Le Mans 24 Hours

06/06/1998

Le Mans

351

7

1997 Le Mans 24 Hours

14/06/1997

Le Mans

361

R

1996 Le Mans 24 Hours

15/06/1996

Le Mans

354

5

1993 Le Mans 24 Hours

19/06/1993

Le Mans

375

DSQ

1989 Macau Grand Prix

26/11/1989

Macau

27

1

3,128

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