Matt Brabham comes into the Gold Coast round of the Boost Mobile Stadium SUPER Trucks looking to stamp his claim on the series title in front of his home crowd.
The 25-year-old grew up on the Gold Coast and describes hearing the roar of the cars on track from his school classroom, which was situated just across the Nerang River from the circuit.
It will be a special homecoming for the 2018 SST champ, who last year had hoped to seal his maiden title at the track only for the round to be cancelled.
Coming to the Surfers Paradise track with his family as a youngster to watch IndyCar was a massive highlight for the 2016 PIRTEK Team Murray Indy 500 starter and being able to race in front of his Australian friends and family is undoubtedly a special feeling.
Brabham has never won a race on the streets of Surfers but will be out to tick that box this weekend, motivated by the support of his home crowd.
He’s previously contested two rounds of the SST series on the track (2015,2016) and before that had raced in Formula Ford (2010) with a pair of seconds’ in 2016 his best result to date.
He will aim to go one step further in the categories’ two races this weekend.
During 2019, Brabham has put together an enviable points lead over the rest of the SST field in his quest for back-to-back championships.
There’s 49 points between Brabham at the top of the table and Gavin Harlien in second.
While the event as billed as his ‘home’ round, Brabham is fresh off a 13-hour flight from Las Vegas.
Having raced last weekend in the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series in the Headstrong/Carlisle Porsche Cayman GT4 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Showing considerable speed across the weekend and topping the second practice session in the older spec-Porsche, Brabham qualified fourth for the first race and eventually finished in sixth.
Brabham started in the mid-field for the second race and had the pace to fight for the outright podium before an incident with another competitor led to a DNF for the team.
Stadium SUPER Trucks are on track for practice and qualifying Friday afternoon (17:30 local).
What Matt has to say…
“It would be awesome to get a round win or a race win here on the Gold Coast. I grew up here and could hear the cars from my classroom at school. The place is definitely special for me,” said Brabham.
“It’s definitely a bit of extra motivation when you’ve got all your friends and family around. I know my friends will give me a bit of a hard time if I don’t do well.
“I can remember coming to the track with my family as a kid to watch IndyCar. I actually met some of the guys from the Andretti team who worked on my car (In USF2000 and IndyLights) when they came out to race here back when I was younger.
“It’s going to be an awesome round on the Gold Coast. It’s great to see the guys at The Boat Works get behind Russell Ingall this weekend, they’re a great partner and it’s cool to see them bring someone like Ingall into the field.
“I’m thankful for all the support I have from the Carlisle and Headstrong guys and it’d be great to get our truck in the winner’s circle this weekend for them.”