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On Thursday we caught up with Matthew Brabham, grandson of the Aussie legend Sir Jack Brabham, Matthew is racing in the Stadium Super Truck series which sees them in Perth for their second of three Australian rounds for 2018, he also joins Lee Holdsworth in the Preston Hire Commodore for the Enduro races at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
It also happened to be the day when his uncle in the UK David released the brand new Brabham BT62 Supercar, Matt comments on this the SuperTrucks and his racing in general.
Preview: Matthew Brabham flew into Western Australia for the penultimate weekend of the Stadium Supertruck Championship in Australia. He also arrived on the day that his uncle, David Brabham, launched the exciting Brabham BT62 Track car project. Velocity took the opportunity to catch up with Matthew, talk racing and try for the exclusive on the new Brabham BT62.
Velocity: Welcome to Perth Matthew, great to see you back at the track. You’re racing the Stadium Super Truck, which must be just about as far removed from an Indycar that you can get.
Matthew Brabham: Absolutely, its mental. So wild and crazy and the racing is awesome, I love it. I’ve been in love with it since I first saw it. Robbie does and awesome job and it’s just so cool to be a part of in the Australian scene.
It’s perfect for Australia. The fans love it.
I suppose the truck and the comparison to an Indycar is tha it’s just a cross between everything. They’ve got 30 inches of suspension travel. They are parts from off road trucks, parts from racing cars, it is a whole mix of everything thrown into one.
They are designed for entertainment, but at the end of the day it is still professional racing series. They have spnsors and we have a good crack at it. It’s really hard.
Velocity: I understand that this weekend in Perth covers rounds 7 and 8. Where are you sitting in the series?
Matthew Brabham: I’m leading by 35 points. Every week the goal is to get as many points as possible. I really want to win the championship. I came second last year by 1 point, so I am a bit hungrier to get it this year, that 1 extra point.
It’s tough because you get things like passing points. You are doing well and racing through the field, because you start from last if you are the quickest truck. However, it is pretty difficult to get through the field.
Velocity: You are here with Preston Hire and are going to race their Supercar. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Matthew Brabham: It’s incredible. I am so grateful to Charlie, who gave me the opportunity to jump in this year. I raced here with Lucas’ team last year and that was the first time I’d ever driven a V8 (Supercar) and that was in the race. It was crazy!
I’m going to enjoy this year, stepping into it more gradually, rather than being thrown in for the race.
They are so cool to drive. Any race car that has lots of horsepower, with wheelspin off every corner is awesome fun to drive. It is very difficult to master a Supercar. I’ve driven many different cars; DTM, Indycar, NASCAR, Supertrucks and the driving style to Supercars is unique to the category. That’s going to be the biggest challenge and they are tough to learn.
Velocity: Today we saw the launch of the Brabham BT62 and it looks amazing. Can you tell us about the car and the project?
Matthew Brabham: It’s the brainchild of David, my uncle, who is based in England. He has worked with some local guys in Australia and the cars are going to be built in Adelaide. He has been trying to get the Brabham name in some form of motorsport for a few years now and it all came together with this car. He has a long term plan with how they want to get involved in racing and this is the first step.
I’ve seen the car and been kept up to date with some aspects, but he has been quite secretive about the project. When I saw the images that was the first time I saw the complete car, with all the paint. It was incredible. It is going to be fast too, but no I haven’t driven yet, but I am looking forward to an opportunity.
Velocity: There was talk about secret testing the car at Phillip Island.
Matthew Brabham: There would, (pause) but I don’t know what David would want me to say about that. I think that they are going to keep doing some development work on it and make sure the car is 100 percent. It is pretty good at the moment I believe, and I hear that they are going to start releasing them at the end of the year.
Velocity: The goal is to get the car to Le Mans?
Matthew Brabham: I’m not sure. I don’t know what the regulations are for it to get specified for Le Mans. There is a whole process that the team would have to go through to get it homologated. I’m not up on the knowledge as to how that works. I mean it would be cool but I am not sure what the exact long term goal is, but Le Mans in the car would certainly be cool. It is designed as a track car at the moment.