Matt Brabham has been offered a chance to defend his Class C title at the Bathurst 12-hour event next year as part of a new ambassadorship with Tony Longhurst’s Boat Works operation on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Third-generation driver Brabham will be a permanent ambassador for The Boat Works in both Australia and the US and will get the chance to return to the 12-hour with fellow youngster Aaron Seton in Longhurst’s GT4 BMW as part of the deal.
Brabham drove with Longhurst and Seton to clinch their Bathurst win by four laps in The Boat Works BMW GT4 which was supported by the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.
It has been a big few weeks for Brabham who has also taken the next step in his international career by being signed by 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 an extensive testing and ride-day program.
Brabham will also continue to compete in the Stadium Super Truck Series in both the US and Australia with personal support from Preston Rentals in the US – the sister company of Preston Hire.
That relationship got off to a flyer in Adelaide at the weekend when Brabham finished with two thirds and a win to claim an overall victory in round of the international series.
Brabham made his Bathurst debut last month, while Longhurst had his last professional drive and was delighted to end his stellar career on a winning note.
The support of The Boat Works will see the company brand on Matt’s helmet and race suit in both the Supercar and Stadium Super Truck events in Australia and the US.
He will also be involved in several corporate events with The Boat Works, especially around the Gold Coast 600 weekend in October, where he will compete in both the Trucks and Supercar events.
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.
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.
Brabham will have corporate commitments at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next week before heading back to the US for round three of the Stadium Super Trucks event at Long Beach on April 13-15.
WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY…
“Matt is a terrific young man and came to Bathurst with us for the first time and did not put a foot wrong,” said Longhurst, who owns and operates The Boat Works.
“It was just a natural thing to automatically offer Matt and Aaron the chance to defend their Bathurst title in our car next year if they are not snapped up for an open-class drive.
“It was a pleasure to have Matt as part of our team and we are delighted that we can continue our relationship as he heads into the next chapter of his career.
“He can not only drive a car, but corporately will be a major asset for The Boatyard here on the Gold Coast.
“The Preston Hire Racing team have a very capable driver on their hands for the endurance events and I have every confidence he will do an outstanding job.
“All the team at The Boat Works are delighted to have our association with Matt and to be along for the next part of his journey.”
“It has been an incredible few weeks,” said Brabham.
“To win our class at Bathurst with Tony (Longhurst) and Aaron (Seton) was a little surreal really and then to follow that up with the PIRTEK Enduro Cup deal with Charlie (Schwerkolt) and the Preston Hire Racing team just kept the momentum rolling.
“To have this personal relationship with Tony and The Boat Works is an enormous help for a driver of my age trying to make a living out of this sport and to automatically be offered the ride for next year’s 12-hour with Aaron in a bonus.
“I am certainly grateful for Tony’s belief in me and I don’t take the responsibility of representing any my corporate partners lightly.
“Hopefully we can have some on-track success in Supercars and the Stadium Super Trucks and have some fun with my off-track corporate activities.”