ALMS' Brabham returns home for Bathurst 24

Australian sportscar ace David Brabham will join forces with the BE Racing Ferrari 360 squad to launch a star-studded attack on next week's Bathurst 24 Hour. Brabham will drive with Sebring 12-Hour winner Philipp Peter, ex-F1 and CART driver ...

Australian sportscar ace David Brabham will join forces with the BE Racing Ferrari 360 squad to launch a star-studded attack on next week's Bathurst 24 Hour.

Brabham will drive with Sebring 12-Hour winner Philipp Peter, ex-F1 and CART driver Andrea Montermini and new Austrian Nation's Cup driver Klaus Engelhorn.

Peter, Montermini and Engelhorn were victorious in last week's Le Mans 1000km in France and have now recruited the Australian star to make up a four man assault on the mountain.

Brabham dominated last year's inaugural Bathurst 24 Hour, leading up the 18th hour before one of his co-drivers suffered an accident.

However, he is no stranger to the Ferrari marque, having driven a Ferrari 550 to three victories in this year's American Le Mans Series for Prodrive.

"I had a great time in last year's event and I always thought the event would grow - that has certainly turned out to be the case," Brabham said.

"Going back in a Ferrari 360 should be quite a blast and the guys were obviously very quick at Le Mans last week.

"I always like coming home to Australia and after having a bit of tough race in the V8 Supercar 1000, it would be great to make amends at the Bathurst 24 Hour."

Brabham has had an extremely busy 2003 with the Australian star being in high demand throughout the world.

He took victories at Road America and Laguna Seca for Prodrive Ferrari with Jan Magnussen and completed a third victory with Darren Turner in Miami.

He drove at Sandown and Bathurst for Dick Johnson Racing in a Ford Falcon and finished 2nd in the Le Mans 24 Hour with Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell aboard a Bentley.

Brabham also won the Daytona Prototype class at the Daytona 24 Hour driving a Multimatic-built Ford.

After a great year aboard the Ferrari 550 in the US, Brabham is eagerly awaiting the chance to drive the 360.

"The 550 has been a great car to drive this year, but the 360 will be very different," Brabham said.

"However, I have driven a wide variety of cars throughout the year so I am pretty used to driving different machinery."

Brabham is Australia's most successful international sportscar ace having driven for leading marques including Jaguar, McLaren, Panoz, Bentley and Ferrari.

His CV includes a Bathurst Super Touring 1000 victory with his brother Geoff, the British Formula Three Championship title and two years in Formula One for the Brabham and Simtek teams.

Brabham will depart his UK base on Sunday after watching Australia's Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday.

"I certainly will be cheering for the Wallabies - my wife was born in New Zealand so the rivalry in our house will be pretty fierce," Brabham said.

"When we make the final I will have to make sure Phillipp, Andrea or Klaus is in the car when the game is on!"

The Channel Seven television network in Australia will devote more than seven hours live coverage to the race, mixed with its telecast on Saturday night of the Rugby World Cup final match, which will be watched by fans on two giant screens at the top and bottom of Mount Panorama.

Tickets to the Bathurst 24-Hour are on sale from $32 for adults through Ticketmaster7, on ph. 1300 136 122 or www.ticketmaster7.com.au.

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Johnny Herbert , David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Darren Turner , Andrea Montermini , Dick Johnson , Philipp Peter