Third-generation driver Matt Brabham has celebrated this week’s season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix by signing an ambassador agreement with GALE Pacific for both Australia and the US.
Brabham will carry GALE Pacific and Coolaroo branding on his race suit and helmet in this year’s PIRTEK Enduro Cup for Supercars as well as the Stadium Super Truck Series and will be involved in a mix of corporate events on both sides of the Pacific.
GALE Pacific is a legendary Australian company producing advanced technical textiles for an array of commercial applications across the globe . They are also home to Coolaroo, a leading brand in domestic shade products, including shade sails, shade cloth, gazebos, umbrellas and window coverings.
The deal was announced at GALE Pacific’s head office in Melbourne today on the eve of Brabham taking up his regular role as an F1 Expert Host at the Albert Park circuit.
Matt, 24, is the son of 1993 Le Mans 24-hour winner, 1997 Bathurst 1000 winner and 10-time Indy 500 starter Geoff Brabham and the grandson of three-time world Formula One champion, Sir Jack Brabham.
It has been a big few weeks for Brabham who took the next step in his international career by signing with Preston Hire Racing for this year’s PIRTEK Enduro Cup in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
That deal will see Brabham co-drive with Lee Holdsworth in the Sandown 500, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Vodafone Gold Coast 600 as well as participating in testing and ride-day programs.
Brabham will also continue to compete in the Stadium Super Truck Series in both the US and Australia with personal support from the Preston Group which incorporates Preston Hire in Australia and Preston Rentals in the US.
Last month Brabham drove with touring car legend Tony Longhurst and fellow Gold Coast youngster Aaron Seton to clinch Class C at the Bathurst 12-hour by four laps in The Boat Works BMW GT4.
Last week Brabham was announced as an international ambassador for The Boat Works and offered the Bathurst 12-hour ride for 2019.
Brabham competed in karts and Formula Ford in Australia from the age of seven before heading to the US where he won both the F2000 and the Pro Mazda Series in record-breaking fashion.
Brabham finished 16th in his Indycar debut on the Indianapolis road course in 2016 and two weeks later competed in the 100th running on the Indianapolis 500 for PIRTEK Team Murray where he finished 22nd in front of more than 400,000 fans.
Last year he competed full-time in the Stadium Super Trucks Championship and made his Supercars debut for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsports in a one-off appearance at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.
Brabham currently leads the Stadium Super Truck Championship after an overall win in round two in Adelaide earlier this month and heads to Long Beach in California for round three on April 13-15.
WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY…
NICK PRITCHARD – GALE PACIFIC GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR
“When it comes to textiles there are few Australian companies that have the history or the reputation of the name GALE Pacific and then same could be said for the name Brabham when it comes to motorsport,” said Pritchard.
“Like Sir Jack all those years ago when he became the only person to win the F1 world title in a car he designed and built himself, GALE Pacific is innovative and proudly flying the Australian flag in the world marketplace.
“Matt is a very talented young driver who will be a perfect fit for our brands and our values. We are delighted to be with him at this stage of his career.
“We have designed a proactive program around this relationship which will provide some terrific benefits for our staff and customers.
“One of the most attractive things about this program was Matt’s international reach and his racing schedules in both Australia and the US which we can tap into. The opportunities this presents for our rapidly expanding US retail and commercial businesses are infinite.
“This will also link us indirectly with Charlie Schwerkolt’s Preston Hire Racing team which is a professional organisation that continues to be more competitive at every outing.
“We see this as the start of a long-term deal with Matt who we are sure has an exciting career ahead of him and we look forward to being a part of that and helping a young Australian realise their dreams.”
“It has been an incredible couple of weeks,” said Brabham.
“I cannot thank Nick Pritchard and the GALE Pacific team enough for their support as we move into the next phase of my career.
“We have created a boutique program which will provide some exciting experiences for GALE’s customers and staff in Australia and the US that we anticipate will evolve into some valuable business.
“We have been working for a long time to take this next step and it goes without saying that a young driver in my position could not be in a position to keep fighting for a seat without the support of companies like GALE Pacific.
“Hopefully we can have some on-track success in Supercars and the Stadium Super Trucks and have some fun with our off-track corporate activities along the way.”