So now that David Brabham is the only driver in the American Le Mans Series to win races in four different classes, the question becomes obvious. Which one is the most memorable? With 13 victories over the years, it’s naturally quite a task for even someone the level of Brabs.
“Each one was great. You can’t deny that,” said Brabham, whose most recent triumph came with Scott Sharp in Patr¢n Highcroft Racing’s Acura ARX-01b at Long Beach. Then Brabham seemingly went down the list of highlights, starting with his stint as part of the factory Panoz prototype effort.
“We took Petit Le Mans in 1999. And the Washington DC win with Jan (Magnussen) in 2002 was one of the highlights,” Brabham noted. “The location was great and to beat Audi back then, only a few of those opportunities came your way. We had a fraction of their budget. The Nurburgring win in 2000 was fantastic having beaten Audi and BMW in their backyard. With GT1, the Ferrari 550 won a few. Then winning at Sebring driving an Aston Martin in its first race in more than 40 years meant a lot, for sure. Then there was the Panoz win at Sebring in 2006. That was probably the most unlikely win that we could have scored. And Long Beach was really good. Having the record happen there with such strong support from Patr¢n will be one of my most memorable ones.”
Brabham also is the first driver to win with four different manufacturers (Panoz, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Acura) and tied Oliver Gavin’s record of winning races with eight different co-drivers.
Speaking of Aston Martin, Brabham once again will be part of the Aston Martin Racing roster in defense of the GT1 championship the works squad captured last year with its DBR9. Brabham will rejoin Darren Turner and new teammate Antonio Garcia in the No. 009 entry. This will be his 15th Le Mans and fourth in a DBR9 after receiving the blessing of Patr¢n Highcroft owner Duncan Dayton and key figures within Honda Performance Development.
“I’m delighted to be asked back and have the opportunity to race at Le Mans again this year,” Brabham said. “If anything it’s going to be an even bigger challenge now as I’m sure the competition will have moved on, so we’ll need another faultless run. I feel we’re well-prepared but anything can happen at Le Mans - which is precisely what makes it such a fascinating place.”
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by the Grand and Little Hotels on Sunday, May 18 from Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The green flag is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT with live television coverage on SPEED. Live radio coverage will be available on XM Satellite Radio Channel 144 and American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring.
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