LeMans/WEC: Brabham announces 2021 GTE effort
Brabham Automotive intends to enter its new BT62 supercar at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, starting in 2021. Led by Le Mans winner David Brabham, the Australia-based factory effort will see the BT62 entered at the prestigious French endurance race as part of a full-time campaign spanning the 2021-2022 FIA WEC ‘Super Season.’
“Returning the Brabham name to Le Mans is something I have been working on for years, so it’s fantastic to make this announcement today,” Brabham said. “Brabham Automotive only launched its first car, the BT62, in May 2018 so we have a long road to travel to earn the right to return to compete at Le Mans. That work starts now with a long-term racing commitment. We look forward to developing the BT62 and future products while building a world-class competitive race team around the leading engineering and manufacturing talent we have in the business.”
Announced as a multi-year commitment to compete at Le Mans and in the FIA WEC, ACO president Pierre Fillon welcomed the addition of a new manufacturer to a class that currently features Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Ford, and Porsche.
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“At Le Mans, the legendary Brabham name instantly conjures up memories of an outstanding family success story,” said the man in charge of the Le Mans circuit.
“It all began in July 1967 at the only French Grand Prix to be held at the Bugatti Circuit, when three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham took the honors in a car sporting the Brabham name. Sir Jack’s sons, Geoff and David, perpetuated the family tradition by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1993 and 2009 respectively, both with Peugeot. For the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the return of the Brabham name to endurance racing is therefore much more than symbolic. It demonstrates remarkable loyalty and an extraordinary competitive spirit.”
Drivers have not been named for the project, but a development program is being implemented, and plans to field the BT62 in other categories are also in the works.
“Brabham Automotive is a racing brand so since inception we’ve always had competitive motorsport in mind,” said Brabham commercial director Dan Marks. “Our plan to go on the Journey Back to Le Mans is a statement of intent that Brabham Automotive is back and here to stay. In the BT62, we have already built an outstanding, unrestricted track car now with a road legal option. We will develop this car to make its mark in motor racing, along with new vehicles. Today is great news for us and will help put the Australian car industry back on the world stage.”
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