Gary Brabham

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Gary Brabham
Born (1961-03-29) 29 March 1961 (age 53)
Wimbledon, London, England, UK
Retired 1995
Related to Sir Jack Brabham (father)
Geoff Brabham (brother)
David Brabham (brother)
Lisa Thackwell (sister-in-law)
Matthew Brabham (nephew)
Indy Car World Series
Years active 1993-94
Teams Dick Simon Racing
Bettenhausen Motorsports
Starts 2
Wins 0
Poles 0
Fastest laps 0
Best finish 40th in 1993
Previous series
1982
1985
1986-88
1987
1989
1989-90
1990
1990-91
1991-92
1991
Australian Formula Ford
British Formula Ford 2000
British Formula Three Championship
World Touring Car Championship
British Formula 3000 Championship
International Formula 3000
Formula 1
Australian Endurance Championship
IMSA GT Championship
Interserie
Championship titles
1989
1991
British Formula 3000
12 Hours of Sebring
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Australia Australian
Active years 1990
Teams Life
Races 2 (0 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1990 United States Grand Prix
Last race 1990 Brazilian Grand Prix

Gary Brabham (born 29 March 1961 in Wimbledon, London) is a former professional racing driver from Australia and a British Formula 3000 champion.

He is the son of three time World Formula One Champion Sir Jack Brabham, and the brother of Le Mans winners Geoff and David Brabham. He is also the uncle of Geoff's son Matthew who has also taken up motor racing.

His solitary F1 berth, though, came with arguably the worst Grand Prix team effort in the history of the sport, Life. Brabham’s career never fully recovered, despite winning the 1991 Sebring 12 Hours and the first Australian to start the Gold Coast Indy Grand Prix.[1]

Early life[edit]

Brabham was the second born of the triple World Champion Sir Jack Brabham. Despite hopes from his mother that he would avoid the motor racing scene altogether, he grew up on a diet of Formula Ford in both Australia and the UK. Originally, he was content to be a farmer in Wagga Wagga, in rural New South Wales. But, he had inherited the racing bug, made his racing debut in 1982, finishing his first race at Calder Park Raceway in 3rd despite being in a nine-year old car. He later broke the Formula Ford lap record at the Sandown Raceway in the same car. [2][3]

Career[edit]

Starter formulae[edit]

Later in 1982, he was chosen to go to Europe for 1983. Despite very little support from the Australian public, Brabham raced in the British Formula Ford 2000 Championship for Neil Trundle Racing, in a Reynard SF83. He finishing the season in 11th place. During this season, he also made his sports car racing début, sharing a March-Ford 83S, with Alo Lawler at Brands Hatch. [4]

For the following season, he remained in the same series, joining Penistone Racing, partnering Julian Bailey, in their Reynard SF84. Brabham regularly outpaced his team-mate and despite team orders not to outperformed his team-mate being imposed, he still was not disgraced taking 6th overall in the final championship positions. Meanwhile during 1984, he tried his hand at other categories, including racing sport cars in the Thundersports Series, taking his maiden victory at Snetterton, sharing a Tiga-Ford TS84 with Tim Lee-Davey. With no top single-seater drives available for him in 1985, Brabham had a slight reprieve through the Thundersports series, where a raced for the TechSpeed Racing team in a Shrike-Ford P15 alongside Divina Galica, recording five 2nd places. [4]

Come 1986, his father got a team together under the banner of Jack Brabham Racing. Gary raced in 9 of the 18 rounds of the British Formula 3 Championship in a Ralt-Volkswagen RT30, managing some decent results, such as 2nd at Silverstone. This was enough to take him to 5th in the championship. For 1987, the team had secured Panasonic backing for 15 races of the 19 F3 races, in a Ralt-Volkswagen RT31. Brabham won two races at Silverstone and Donington Park, coming 6th in the championship. He was threatening Johnny Herbert for the title until his budget tragically ran out. [4]

He returned to Australia briefly to race in the 1987 James Hardie 1000, at Bathurst sharing a works BMW M3 with Juan Manuel Fangio II. The car was up to 5th at one stage before Fangio glanced a stricken car in the rain. Brabham showed his speed late in the race, dicing and passing the Aussie legend Peter Brock. Although Brock would eventually win the race, Brabham and Fangio were classified 16th at the end. [3]

For 1988, Brabham returned to England, joining Bowman Racing for a third season of British Formula 3. Although JJ Lehto won the championship, Brabham stormed home late in the season, winning four races in his Ralt-Volkswagen RT32, to finish 2nd. On his way, he also won the Scottish Superprix and Oulton Park Gold Cup. He was so impressive, that this got him his first chance to test a Formula One car. He tested a Benetton B188 at the behest of team manager, Peter Collins, at Jerez. [3]

A chance to move up to International Formula 3000 arose in 1989, however the drive went to Andrea Chiesa instead. Brabham settled for a drive with Bromley Motorsport, in the British Formula 3000 Championship, in an ex-Jean Alesi Reynard-Cosworth 88D. He took this car to the inaugural title, with four victories and pole positions along the way. During the season, he also managed to secure some outings in the International series for both Bromley and Leyton House teams, his best result being 5th at Brands Hatch. [4]

Life in F1[edit]

After more F1 test for Leyton House and Brabham teams, he also assisted Porsche with their Indy car, before the opportunity arose to race in F1. [4]

He failed to prequalify for two Formula One Grands Prix with the troubled Life project, a team that failed to prequalify for all 14 of its attempts during the 1990 season. Brabham was the second-slowest prequalifier (leading only the Coloni-Subaru of Bertrand Gachot, who recorded a lap time of 5:15.010, but 30 seconds behind the EuroBrun of Claudio Langes) at Phoenix and the engine gave up after only 400 meters in Brazil. After those two races, it was clear that no improvement was forthcoming, Brabham promptly quit the team in disgust. [2][4]

After Formula One[edit]

For the remainder of 1990, Brabham raced in F3000 for Middlebridge Racing in their Lola-Mugen T89/50, collecting two third places at Monza and Enna. However, his bad luck continued as he failed to qualify for Pau and Birmingham. He returned to Australia for the Eastern Creek 500, teaming up with his brother, David in a Ford Sierra RS500 for Frank Gardner’s. The brothers finished 4th. [4]

In 1991, he went Stateside to the IMSA championship and drove for Nissan Performance Technology Inc. [NPTI] at the Sebring 12 Hours along his other brother Geoff and Irishman, Derek Daly. Starting from pole, they won the race, in their Nissan NPT-90. This victory did not open anymore doors, Brabham settled for a series of one-off drives; a drive in an older Nissan at Miami; an outing in a Stürtz-BMW SM in an Interserie race at Brands Hatch, and another visit to the Bathurst 1000. [4]


Brabham did accept an invitation from NPTI to race in the IMSA Endurance races, alongside Daly and Steve Millen at Daytona, recording a DNF whilst running in third. At Sebring, the winning crew form 1991, were joined by Arie Luyendyk. This crew came close to defending the title, finishing 2nd. [4]

In 1993 and 1994, he later raced in CART, becoming the first Australian driver to race the Gold Coast Indycar street race before retiring from racing in 1995 to teach advanced driver training. His pupils have included Rowan Atkinson and Captain Mark Phillips, for celebrities competing in the Australian and British GP celebrity races [2][5][4]


Racing record[edit]

Career highlights[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1982 Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series 12th Birrana-Ford
1983 British Formula Ford 2000 Championship [6] 11th Reynard SF83-Ford Neil Trundle Racing
1984 BBC Grandstand Formula Ford 2000 Championship [6] 4th Reynard SF84-Ford Penistone Racing
1984 British Formula Ford 2000 Championship [6] 6th Reynard SF84-Ford Penistone Racing
1986 Lucas British Formula 3 Championship 5th Ralt RT30 Volkswagen Jack Brabham Racing
1987 Lucas British Formula 3 Championship 6th Ralt RT31 Volkswagen Jack Brabham Racing
1988 Lucas British Formula 3 Championship 2nd Ralt RT32 Volkswagen Bowman Racing
1989 British Formula 3000 Championship 1st Reynard 88D Cosworth Bromley Motorsport
1989 International Formula 3000 Championship 17th Reynard 88D Cosworth
March 89B Judd
Bromley Motorsport
Leyton House Racing
1990 International Formula 3000 Championship 11th Lola T90/50 Cosworth Middlebridge Racing
1990 Australian Endurance Championship 17th Ford Sierra RS500 Tony Longhurst Racing
1991 IMSA GTP Championship 40th Nissan NPT90
Nissan GTP ZX-T
Nissan Performance Technology

Complete British Formula 3 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total Points
1986 Jack Brabham Racing THR
DNS
SIL
6
THR
11
SIL
2
BRH
5
THR
DON
10
SIL
4
SIL
DNS
OUL
ZAN
DON
SNE
SIL
5
BRH
4
SPA
ZOL
15
SIL
4
5th 22
1987 Jack Brabham Racing THR
5
BRH
2
SIL
1
THR
4
SIL
RET
BRH
4
THR
7
SIL
9
ZAN
RET
DON
DNS
SIL
33
SNE
7
DON
1
OUL
6
SIL
5
BRH
DNS
SPA
THR
6th 37
1988 Bowman Racing THR
9
SIL
5
THR
2
BRH
3
DON
RET
SIL
4
BRH
21
THR
2
SIL
4
DON
3
SIL
2
SNE
2
OUL
1
SIL
8
BRH
1
SPA
8
THR
1
SIL
1
2nd 81

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1987 BMW Motorsport BMW M3 MNZ JAR DIJ NUR SPA BNO SIL BAT
16
CLD WEL FJI NC 0

Complete British Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total Points
1989 Bromley Motorsport BRH
3
THR
1
OUL
2
DON
6
BRH
1
SNE
5
SIL
1
OUL
2
BRH
1
1st 55

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1989 Bromley Motorsport SIL
Ret
VAL
8
PAU JER
13
PER 18th 2
Leyton House Racing BRH
5
BIR
DNQ
SPA
11
BUG
Ret
DIJ
Ret
1990 Middlebridge Racing DON SIL
Ret
PAU
DNQ
JER
12
MNZ
3
PER
3
HOC
14†
BRH
8
BIR
DNQ
BUG
8
NOG
11
11th 8

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1990 Life Racing Engines Life L190 Life W12 USA
DNPQ
BRA
DNPQ
SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS NC 0

Complete Australian Endurance Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 DC Points
1990 Benson & Hedges Racing Ford Sierra Sandown 500 Tooheys 1000 Nissan Sydney 500
4
17th 10

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1989 C1 55 D Porsche 962C
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
Australia Team Schuppan Australia Vern Schuppan
Sweden Eje Elgh
321 13th 10th

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1992 GTP 84 G Nissan R90CK
Nissan V8/90° 4v 3.0L Turbo
United States Nissan Performance Technology Inc. Republic of Ireland Derek Daly
New Zealand Steve Millen
150 DNF

Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1991 GTP 83 G Nissan NPT-90
Nissan V6 3.0L 2x Garrett Turbo
United States Nissan Performance Technology Inc. Australia Geoff Brabham
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly
298 1st
1992 GTP 1 G Nissan NPT-91A
Nissan V6 3.0L 2x Garrett Turbo
United States Nissan Performance Technology Inc. Netherlands Arie Luyendyk 20 DNF
Withdrawn
GTP 83 G Nissan NPT-91A
Nissan V6 3.0L 2x Garrett Turbo
United States Nissan Performance Technology Inc. Australia Geoff Brabham
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly
Netherlands Arie Luyendyk
355 2nd
DNF - Wheel

American Open Wheel racing results[edit]

(key)

CART[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
1993 Dick Simon Racing Australia
SRF
14
United States
PHX
United States
LBH
United States
INDY
United States
MIL
United States
DET
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
United States
MIS
United States
NHM
United States
ROA
Canada
VAN
United States
MDO
United States
NZR
United States
LS
40th 0
1994 Bettenhausen Racing Australia
SRF
Ret
United States
PHX
United States
LBH
United States
INDY
United States
MIL
United States
DET
United States
POR
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
United States
MIS
United States
MDO
United States
NHM
Canada
VAN
United States
ROA
United States
NZR
United States
LS
52nd 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Gary Brabham". F1 Rejects. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  2. ^ a b c "Gary Brabham – Richard’s F1". Richardsf1.com. 1961-03-29. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gary Brabham - Biography". F1rejects.com. 2001-05-10. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Gary Brabham - Biography". F1rejects.com. 2001-05-10. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  5. ^ "Celebrity Photo Gallery, Celebrity Wallpapers, Celebrity Videos, Bio, News, Songs, Movies". In.com. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 
  6. ^ a b c "Gary Brabham - Career Summary". F1rejects.com. Retrieved 2014-03-05. 


Sporting positions
Preceded by
None
British Formula 3000 champion
1989
Succeeded by
Pedro Chaves