Brabham confirms Le Mans returnby Samarth Kanal on 9th January 2019
Brabham announces long-awaited racing return with 2021-22 World Endurance Championship season in sights
Brabham Automotive will target the 2021-22 World Endurance Championship season with its BT62 hypercar.
The release – issued on Wednesday by the Australian manufacturer – says that Brabham has already 'committed to a factory racing team'. The news comes just days after the road-legal BT62 was announced.
Testing for the Le Mans car has already begun and has been underway for months, with 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winner David Brabham leading the project.
“Returning the Brabham name to Le Mans is something I have been working on for years, so it’s fantastic to make this announcement today," he said.
"Brabham Automotive only launched its first car, the BT62, in May 2018 so we have a long road to travel to earn the right to return to compete at Le Mans.
"That work starts now with a long-term racing commitment. We look forward to developing the BT62 and future products while building a world-class competitive race team around the leading engineering and manufacturing talent we have in the business.”
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The Brabham BT62 Driver Development Programme, for owners of the £1 million hypercar, will also provide data for the team. Brabham also says that the development programme will provide 'top-level Pro-Am racing opportunities to owners', with customers able to race the BT62 elsewhere as the marque prepares for Le Mans.
ACO president Pierre Fillon said: "The legendary Brabham name instantly conjures up memories of an outstanding family success story.
"It all began in July 1967 at the only French Grand Prix to be held at the Bugatti Circuit, when three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham took the honours in a car sporting the Brabham name.
"Sir Jack’s sons, Geoff and David, perpetuated the family tradition by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1993 and 2009 respectively, both with Peugeot. For the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the return of the Brabham name to endurance racing is therefore much more than symbolic. It demonstrates remarkable loyalty and an extraordinary competitive spirit.”
Brabham's commercial director Dan Marks added that the move will "help put the Australian car industry back on the world stage."