The Brabham name has been synonymous with world-class motorsport for over 70 years.
A triple Formula 1 World Drivers’ (1959, 1960 and 1966) and double Constructors’ Champion (1966 and 1967)
Sir Jack Brabham is one of the most accomplished drivers and team owners in the history of the sport. The first driver to be knighted for services to motorsport, ‘Black Jack’ rose from racing midget cars on dirt ovals in Australia to dominate global motorsport.
His first two titles in the Cooper Climax marked the end for front-engined Formula 1 cars. The third made him the only driver in history to win a World Championship in a car bearing his own name and make, the Brabham BT19.
It was in a Cooper that Sir Jack shook the establishment at Indianapolis 500 as the first driver to race a modern rear-engined car, rising as high as third place and finishing in ninth place, triggering the open-wheeler rear-engine revolution in America.
Acclaimed as a brilliant engineer, Jack Brabham was the driving force in the team that brought about technological innovations that have helped to shape the sport today. Through his partnership with Ron Tauranac, over 500 Brabham racecars were built from the Surrey base of Motor Racing Developments in the UK, resulting not only in the 1966 and 1967 Constructors’ titles but also multiple Formula 2 crowns. Although Jack scored his final F1 win in the South African Grand Prix in 1970, the Brabham racing legacy has continued with Jack’s sons achieving their own global success.
Geoff won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1993 and a staggering four IMSA GTP Championship titles. Double American Le Mans Series Champion and 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, David has competed at the highest echelons of sportscar racing in a career spanning over 35 years.
With grandsons Matthew and Sam now carving their own notable racing careers, the dynasty continues with a third generation of Brabhams. Matthew, son of Geoff, has an ever-expanding CV that includes USF2000 and Pro Mazda championship crowns, Indy Lights race victory on route to his Indy 500 debut, twice Stadium Super Trucks series runner-up and 2018 Bathurst 12-Hour GT4 class spoils. David’s son Sam has already underlined his potential with multiple British Formula Ford race wins and podium finishes.
The Brabhams’ racing achievements are vast and wide-ranging. There is an undeniable ‘racing DNA’ that runs strongly throughout the family, manifesting itself as a calm and thoughtful approach, unfaltering focus and determination to succeed on the racetrack.
David’s passion for racing ignited at 17 seeing a go-kart during a USA factory visit with Geoff, who was racing Indycars. In Australia, David won regularly in karts; next, Ford Lasers; then single seaters, winning 1987’s F2 Gold Star. Moving to Britain he won 1989’s British F3 crown and Jewson Scottish Superprix. His F1 debut was fittingly with Brabham. After test driving for Footwork, David drove for Simtek, completing 1994’s season despite Roland Ratzenberger’s tragic loss.
Sportscar glory followed. David, having won 1991’s Spa 24-Hour race and FIA World Sportscar Championship, took 1996’s Japanese GTC GT500 Championship, then 1997’s Bathurst 1000 with Geoff. With Panoz came 1998’s USA PSC Championship, 1999’s Petit Le Mans and five ALMS wins; with Multimatic Ford, 2003’s Daytona Prototype crown; with Prodrive, 2004’s Bahrain GT Festival. 2005 saw his ALMS GT1 Sebring victory for Aston Martin and in 2006 for Multimatic Team Panoz.
David became triple Le Mans 24-Hour winner: 2007/2008 Aston Martin GT1 victories and 2009’s Peugeot Total LMP1 crown. In 2009/2010 he won for LMP Patrón Highcroft in ALMS; also Petit Le Mans P2, one of four 2010 wins. Four FIA GT1 2011 World Championship podiums, two LMP 2nd places in 2012’s FIA World Endurance championships plus P2 pole and 2nd in class for ESM Patrón at 2013’s final Petit Le Mans completed David’s roll of honour.