Team Bentley Names British Formula One Driver Line-Up For 2003 | Part Three

  • David Brabham
  • Born: 5 September 1965
  • Nationality: British/Australian
  • Lives: Maidenhead, England

David is a true stalwart of sportscar racing in general, having contested the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for five years in succession, and Le Mans in particular with nine events already under his belt.

His surname alone reveals him as a member of one of motor-racing’s most successful dynasties, but it is his achievements over the last 20 years he has been racing that make him stand out. A veteran of 24 Grands Prix (including for Brabham in 1990) and numerous Formula 3000, Formula 3, Formula 2 and sportscar races, David’s talents have been seen at all levels of the racing discipline.

Yet, compared with some of his team-mates, David did not come to prominence until relatively late, winning the New South Wales Country Championship in a 100cc kart at the age of 18 in 1984. David started winning regularly in cars while contesting the Australian Formula Ford championship in 1987, and won the Australian F2 championship the following year.

Two years later and with his star really starting to shine, David won the British F3 championship with six wins and won the prestigious F3 World Cup in Macao.

It was enough to earn him a drive in Formula One with the Brabham team his father had started in 1962. Sadly by then the team was a poor shadow of its former self, so for 1991 David found himself racing the formidable Jaguar XJR-14 sportscar winning the Nurburgring and Sugo 1000km races and also claiming his first 24-hour victory, at Spa in a Nissan Skyline.

The following year David drove for Toyota and won his class at the Daytona 24-hours and went on to share a Jaguar XJ220 with David Coulthard at Le Mans the following year. He duly won the class again, only to be disqualified due to a minor technical infringement.

A brief return to F1 in 1994 with the ill-fated Simtek team produced no meaningful results, and by 1996 David would be back in sportscars where he has remained.

Since then David has won all over the world, in Europe, Asia, Australia and America, claiming the Japanese GT Championship in 1996, winning the legendary Bathurst 1000kms with his brother Geoff and claiming the Professional Sports Car Championship in 1998, a year in which he also won his class in the Sebring 12-hours.

In 1999 he was second overall in the ALMS championship and has figured strongly in the series since, as one of just a handful of drivers proven to be capable of offering resistance to the all-conquering works Audi team.

Team Bentley believes that these three drivers in addition to the already announced team of Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo ‘Dindo’ Capello and Guy Smith will provide the team with the best possible chance of outright victory at Le Mans this year.

Published 4 February 2003 Melanie Carter

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