Brabham BT62 Breaks Bathurst Lap Record
It wasn't long ago that Brabham announced that it was returning to competition with the BT62 to compete at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans. They also announced that they will be building a road-legal version of their mighty BT62, likely to qualify for the GTE class requirements so it can compete at Le Mans. Capitalizing on that, Brabham was planning on taking a BT62 for demonstration laps in the build-up to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race that's running this weekend, but they gave the people a lot more than a few hot laps.
With minimal testing on Thursday and with just four laps on Saturday, conditions were good so the BT62 test driver Luke Youlden went for a flying lap. That flying lap set a new track record of 1:58.67. The lap time is a verified clocked time, but it is labeled "unofficial" because it wasn't set during a competitive session. The current official lap record is 1:59.29, set by Christopher Mies in an unrestricted Audi R8 GT3 race car last year in testing. The fastest lap in full race-spec is 2:01.57, which was set by a McLaren 650S GT3 race car during the 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12.
Test driver Luke Youlden was obviously very proud, saying: "To be the lap record holder around such an iconic circuit is a dream come true and I’d like to thank all the guys at Brabham Automotive for creating a car that made it possible." Even more impressive, he told Motorsport.com that they had a few issues in that lap. He thinks it would have done a 1:57 lap comfortably, and maybe even a high 1:56.
He also confirmed Brabham's claims that the BT62 is pure, capable, and rewarding to drive. He said: "the Brabham BT62 is on another level. It’s a racecar and it feels like a racecar. The car feels planted and gives you great feedback through the steering wheel which gives you the confidence to keep pushing." Want to see it break the record? Watch the on-board flying lap below.