SUPERCARS STAR TO GIVE BRABHAM AUSSIE RACE DEBUT

Tim Slade behind the wheel of the Brabham during testing. Pic: Supplied

WHILE the Bathurst 12 Hour takes place at Mount Panorama this weekend, Australia’s own supercar – the Brabham BT62 – will be quietly making its local race debut at Phillip Island.

Supercars ace Tim Slade is set to drive a privately-owned example of one of the limited-build Brabhams in the Sports Car races during Round 3 of the Victorian State Racing Series.

The brainchild of David Brabham, son of the late three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack, the BT62 was launched in 2018 primarily as a track day weapon.

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The 1000kg cars feature a space-frame chassis designed by Queensland firm PACE Innovations and are fitted with a mid-mounted, 5.4-litre Ford V8 engine that produces around 700bhp.

The example Slade will drive was the second chassis built and used by Brabham Automotive for testing and promotional duties.

It famously lapped the Mount Panorama Circuit in 1:58.69s during a demo run at the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour in the hands of Luke Youlden.

It scored a race win in a one-off Britcar Endurance Championship appearance at Brands Hatch later that year, before being rebuilt in 2021 with Brabham’s customer parts package.

Slade has tested the car previously at Phillip Island and The Bend and is looking forward to tackling the Sports Car races against a variety of GT machines this weekend.

“A private owner from Adelaide who I’ve done a bit of stuff with in the past just wants to get it out on track and doing some races,” Slade explained to V8 Sleuth.

“There are plans to do a bit more for the rest of the year, so it should be good fun. It’s a really cool car to drive.

“It’s got good power and sounds pretty awesome. The grip, both aero and from the tyre, is quite good as well.

Slade will tackle the Sports Car races. Pic: Supplied

“It’s been fun to drive at tracks like Tailem Bend and Phillip Island, you make the most of the aero on the long, fast corners there.

“The balance is fairly stable and forgiving, so you can jump in it and have pretty good confidence in it straight away.”

Although this will be the first race outing for a BT62 in Australia, one did win the 2019 Bend Classic (run to a Top 10 Shootout format) and another has competed in New Zealand.

Kiwi team Carters Tyres Motorsport took delivery of a car last year and campaigned it in the South Island Endurance Series.

The Brabham at Phillip Island. Pic: Supplied

Brabham Automotive’s own racing exploits are this year focused on a new GT2-specification version called the BT63, with which it is tackling the Fanatec GT2 European Series.

Slade is available to drive the BT62 at Phillip Island after missing out on a seat in the Bathurst 12 Hour; an event he tackled seven times between 2012 and its most recent running in 2020.

Coincidentally, Slade and David Brabham have history together, having teamed up for the 2013 Gold Coast 600 in an Erebus Motorsport Mercedes.

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