The storied history of the Brabham family and motor sport will add yet another chapter to its history book at the upcoming Shannons Nationals at Sandown.
Matthew Brabham has confirmed he will compete in the debut round of the S5000 Series, which will see Australia’s newest open-wheeler category display its impressive performance on track in race conditions for the first time.
Brabham has plenty of open wheel experience under his belt, as well as various other motor sport categories, with the majority of his racing having taken place in America.
“I have obviously kept an eye on the development of the S5000 and was a bit excited when I got the call offering me a drive in the first ever race,” Brabham said.
“I have looked at the bit of vision floating around after the couple of tests the car has had and the S5000 looks like it will be fun to drive.”
After racing Formula Ford in Australia, Brabham graduated to open wheel competition in the United States, winning the F2000 championship in 2012 and the 2013 Pro-Mazda Championship, before graduating to secure race wins in the Indy Lights Series.
He had plenty of success in the Road to Indy program, which included 13 victories from 16 starts on the way to his Pro-Mazda title.
His experience and speed saw him make an historic appearance in the 2016 Indianapolis Grand Prix and the 100th Indy 500.
He finished 16th on debut in the grand prix before finishing an impressive 22nd in a memorable Indy 500.
Brabham is the second driver officially confirmed for the series, with former Formula 1 ace Rubens Barrichello previously announced as a starter at Sandown.
“To have Rubens Barrichello also in the field is pretty cool and I am looking forward to seeing who else we will be battling against,” Brabham added.
“Obviously the Brabham family has had links with open-wheel racing for many decades now and I am proud to be flying the flag in the first race of this new Australian-created formula.
“To be having the race at Sandown International Raceway is also pretty cool, considering its history in Australian motor sport.”
Australian Racing Group Director Matt Braid, the promoters of the S5000 Series, said Brabham’s inclusion on the grid was another proud moment in the category’s short history.
“It is fantastic to see someone of Matt’s calibre being the first Australian driver confirmed for the inaugural S5000 race,” Braid said.
“Matt has a great background in various open-wheel cars, particularly in the US, and it will be good to see how he comes to terms with the S5000 car at Sandown when he goes up against Rubens Barrichello and other top tier drivers.”