Brabham must "earn the right" to hypercar programme

The revived Brabham marque must "earn the right" to be able to support a hypercar programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship, says sporting director David Brabham.

Brabham must "earn the right" to hypercar programme

The Australian ex-Formula 1 racer and Le Mans 24 Hours winner admitted during the Autosport International show that recent changes to the hypercar ruleset have “opened up a window” for his BT62 design to appear in the WEC's premier category.

This is in reference to the decision to open up the class to machinery based on road cars, such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie, instead solely lookalike prototypes as originally envisaged.

Brabham, who stated last year that the BT62 was likely to be a GTE project, said that due diligence was being done before making a firm commitment to a WEC assault.

When we were here a year ago, the hypercar regulations weren’t entirely settled and it didn’t really look like a direction for us,” he said. “It was going to be more like GTE, but as those rules have altered its certainly opened up a window.

“We’re still assessing the situation. We still need to earn the right to grow as a business to be able to support a programme like that, but certainly it has shifted our focus more towards it. 

"We’ve got a bunch of due diligence to do and feasibility studies to really know what that’s looking like, but that’s where we’re headed.” 

Britcar campaign a "significant" milestone

Brabham’s BT62 will contest its first full season of racing in the Britcar series this season, with reigning champion Paul Bailey joined by sometime British GT4 champion Ross Wylie. Bailey’s example is the first customer BT62 sold by Brabham.

Running a restricted 60 percent throttle map, the 5.4-litre V8 powered supercar won its first race at Britcar’s Brands Hatch ‘Into the Night’ event in November with Brabham himself and Will Powell driving, and has now been admitted to Britcar’s approved entry list. 

Brabham said that the BT62's Britcar campaign marked a tangible step closer to the company’s goal of racing at Le Mans and in the WEC.

“It’s incredibly significant for the business,” he said. “When we launched, we had racing ambitions and we had ambitions around a customer racing programme so it’s great to see all that come to fruition now. 

"After Brands Hatch it certainly inspired a lot of people to start talking to us, so we’ve had a significant amount of interest from potential drivers and teams about buying a BT62 race-spec. 

“That’s what Paul has bought and it’s the next step towards our ultimate goal which is racing at Le Mans and building that family base of customers to be on that journey with.”

The car will be run by Bailey’s SB Race Engineering outfit, with support from Brabham Motorsport, although Brabham said that a works-run car could make cameo appearances in other series throughout the year. 

“We’re looking at doing some more invitational races in different championships where the car can race,” he said. “We’re looking forward to putting those plans together and building the momentum of what we’re doing.”

Brabham BT62 in Goodyear livery

Brabham BT62 in Goodyear livery

Photo by: Brabham Automotive

shares
comments
Aston signs Ford refugees Tincknell, Westbrook for Le Mans

Previous article

Aston signs Ford refugees Tincknell, Westbrook for Le Mans

Next article

IMSA and ACO announce Prototype rules convergence in 2022

IMSA and ACO announce Prototype rules convergence in 2022
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021