Matt Brabham’s weekend came down to the wire as he notched second overall in Stadium Super Trucks in Adelaide.
Brabham finished the three races in third, first and third while also being the quickest qualifier in the Friday session. However it came down to the final corner of the last lap in race three to decide the round honours, with Brabham just missing out on the overall win.
On Friday with race starting positions determined in reverse order from qualifying, Brabham’s speed earnt him points for pole position but a rear of grid race start.
In the first race, the dual series champion’s experience was on show as he masterfully picked through the field to finish third as Robby Gordon took victory.
For Saturday qualifying, Brabham had an issue in the Carlisle machine but was allowed to jump aboard fellow competitor, Shae Davies’ truck and to set a lap time.
Starting from mid-pack, Brabham carved through the field for the second time in the weekend.
Brabham revived his friendly rivalry with Stadium Super Trucks creator Gordon, the two dicing for top honours.
The pair were inseparable as they came to the last part of the lap but ultimately Brabham claimed the chequered flag ahead of Gordon.
The story replayed in the final affair in Sunday’s race. Brabham and Gordon started off the back row and were battling right until the final corner. The round win was on offer to whoever came out on top in the duel.
Coming over the ramp at Turn 14, Gordon locked up, unsettling Brabham who was right beside him. Brabham landed awkwardly, losing momentum and ultimately unable to challenge Gordon at the flag. They came home second and third, while Shae Davies took his maiden win in the series.
The 25-year-old also drove the historic Brabham BT19 in demonstration laps across the weekend, the car that had taken his legendary grandfather Sir Jack Brabham to his third F1 World Championship.
It was an emotional event for Brabham who, while having driven cars like this in the past had never been at the wheel of the 1966 championship winner.
Brabham also had a taste of the BT62 over the weekend.
The next Australian Stadium Super Trucks round is at Symmons Plains, Tasmania (3-5 April) while the next international edition of the series’ hits the streets of Long Beach (17-19 April).
WHAT MATT HAD TO SAY…
On the weekend
“It was good, it was a positive weekend. I didn’t end up getting the overall win but I definitely came close and it all came down to the last corner of the last race. I really tried to put it down the inside of Robby and we both came together a little bit but he just came out on top and I came second in the points,” said Brabham.
“It was a good weekend; you win some you lose some. I did everything I could to try and win this weekend and we got the race win from the back yesterday; it was all positive.
“The racing was just so close this weekend, we obviously had some new guys with us this weekend. But the race between Robby and I coming through the field was pretty tight. Yesterday we had a really good battle for the win and it was very close and then today was the same thing. We finished pretty much side-by-side at the last two jumps again.
On driving the BT19
“It was really cool, it is definitely a historic car. The history behind it is just unbelievable. I definitely had to take it easy. It’s irreplaceable so I just wanted to get in and have a go. I’ve driven similar cars to it, but just not that one. It was pretty emotional. Obviously, it’s an older car but it was quite smooth and it drove really nice.
“It was so cool to be driving that car and I’m sure he (Sir Jack Brabham) would have been so happy that I got to experience it. I was definitely happy that I got to see what it was like to drive it, it was really really cool.
On the history of the car
“I can definitely see how he would have loved to slide that thing around. It had fairly skinny tyres but it was really nimble and light. I feel like if you were in race mode and you were pushing that car to the limit, you would be four wheels sliding through all the corners. I can definitely see how all those photos where he’s smoking the tyres and driving that car, I can see how he had so much fun, he would have had so much fun doing it.
On driving the BT62
“It was awesome, I was really surprised at how friendly the car was. I mean with all the stats and the power and the speed and obviously the lap time it produces – it’s just so fast. I kind of had these expectations going into it, thinking it would be a bit of a beast to drive but I jumped in and it was super friendly. It was a very nice and smooth experience which I almost wasn’t expecting.”