Brabham to drive for Andretti
Andretti Autosport announced today that they have signed Matthew Brabham, a third-generation racer and native of Boca Raton, Fla., to pilot the No. 27 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires entry for the 2013 season. This will mark Brabham's first year in the series, after winning the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda last season and being named the VP Rookie of the Year.
"I am so excited to be driving for the Andretti Autosport team in the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship," said Brabham. "It was fantastic to drive for the team at the Indy test, and get a feel for how they operate. They are really professional and seem like a great bunch of guys to work with. The Pro Mazda had more power than the USF2000 car, so it was lots of fun to drive and gave me a good understanding of what to expect next season."
The Brabham racing pedigree started in the 1950s, with Brabham's Grandfather Sir Jack Brabham who left his home land of Australia to join open-wheel racing competition in Europe. Sir Jack Brabham went on to become a three-time World Formula One champion. He is also credited with starting the rear engine revolution at the Indianapolis 500 in 1961.
Matthew Brabham's father, Geoff Brabham followed in his father's footsteps and successfully competed in CART early in his career, where he was teammates with Andretti Autosport owner, Michael Andretti. He recorded ten Indianapolis 500 starts, with a best result of fourth in 1983.
"I think it is really cool to have the Andretti and Brabham names come together with Matthew joining the Andretti Autosport team," said Geoff Brabham. "Both his grandfather Sir Jack and Mario are Formula One World Champions. Mario, Michael and I drove against each other for many years in Indy cars. Now Matthew has a chance to forge his own career. Having the history and heritage of both families behind him can only be positive, not only on the race track but also giving potential sponsors a very unique combination."
Brabham is looking forward to having Marco Andretti as a teammate, with both being third-generation drivers. This will allow Brabham the opportunity to consult with the youngest Andretti racer, who knows the ins and outs of competing as a racing legacy.
"I cannot wait to get next year's season underway," added Brabham. "I can't thank the Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship program enough for giving me the opportunity to move up into this class. Andretti Autosport is really experienced in multiple avenues of racing, and has tremendous resources and knowledge. It is quite an honor to be a part of such a prestigious team."
Brabham, 18, finished the 2012 USF2000 season with 11 podium finishes, four of which were wins. He accrued a total of six pole positions and had eight of the fastest race laps.
Brabham started racing karts in Gold Coast, Australia in the Australian 'Midget' class at the age of seven. During that time, he won 21 races including the NSW State Title in 2004. In 2009, Brabham switched from karts in order to compete in the Australian Formula Ford championship. Before joining USF2000 in 2012, the Florida resident competed in the Victorian State Series and ran a limited schedule in the Australian National Championship.
"I'm really looking forward to progressing through the Mazda Road to Indy ranks, all the way to Indy cars," said Brabham. "Driving for Andretti Autosport certainly gives me that chance, now it is up to me to make this opportunity count."