BRABHAM HAS HIS SIGHT SET ON BATHURST PODIUM
IRWIN Racing's David Brabham has settled into his IRWIN Ford and is ready to attack at this weekend's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Brabham, who won his second consecutive American Le Mans Series title in the US last weekend and drove his first V8 Supercar in four years at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island last month, felt comfortable in the IRWIN Ford and has a Bathurst 1000 podium firmly in his sights.
"My goal was to get in the top ten at Phillip Island, this was the first step, the next step is to get on the podium at Bathurst," said IRWIN Racing's David Brabham.
"At Phillip Island I had to focus a lot on myself and not worry about what was happening around me and just plug away at it.
"The thing I took away from that weekend was confidence, which I'll take with me to Bathurst."
Brabham drove superbly during his double stint at the Phillip Island 500, impressing everyone with his consistently fast lap times, matching the likes of Jaimie Whincup and Mark Skaife.
Brabham believes that he has grown accustomed to driving a V8 Supercar a lot faster than he's previously experienced.
"I don't think it's actually taken me that long to feel comfortable again, which is really good, this comes from the support of everyone at IRWIN Racing," said Brabham.
"The transition (from sportscars) has been fast, it was just a quick question of me working on myself to be honest.
"It was just prior to the (Phillip Island) race that I felt 'yeah I can now contribute to the team' in terms of my pace and feedback.
"We started to make some set-up changes based on what I was saying and we had a pretty good race car, I was pleased that what I was saying had some accuracy to it."
Coming from the American Le Mans Series, which are American Le Mans sportscar protypes; Brabham had to contend with a new team and a very different car.
"You learn so much, I mean the racing is so different to what I'm used to," said Brabham.
"It's really about just trying to get a feel for the team and how they operate, and how Alex (Davison) operates.
"I mean there are still a few things that I need to look at, but with the success at Phillip Island it gives the team a really good boost leading into the big one, which is Bathurst."
Straight after the L&H 500 Brabham was on a flight returning to Europe. He raced in the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup race (coming outright third) in Germany the weekend following Phillip Island and was in the US last weekend winning the final round of the American Le Mans Series, and the championship.
Brabham is not expecting his recent American Le Mans drive to affect his performance at Bathurst this weekend.
"I'm sure the first few laps will be 'oh my god what is all this again?'" said Brabham.
"I think that what I'm pleased about the most is the narrowing gap between last time I was in a V8 four years ago, to now. I seem to have got on top of the pace pretty quickly this time.
"A few weeks break hopefully won't make too much difference."
Brabham hits the track in the #4 IRWIN Ford Falcon on Thursday.
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 starts at 10.30am on Sunday, October 10.
-source: irwin racing