Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Brabham named in prestigious us drivers club list

Matt Brabham has become the fourth member of his family to be voted into the prestigious Road Racing Drivers Club. The 22-year-old is one of the youngest drivers nominated for the ‘invitation only’ club which is voted on by RRDC members.

He joins his late grandfather Sir Jack Brabham, father Geoff and uncle David as members of the prestigious club which also includes fellow Australian drivers Allan Moffat, Vern Schuppan, Marcos Ambrose, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Dennis Firestone and commentator Leigh Diffey.

Brabham, who was born in Florida, raised in Australia and lives in Indiana, made his IndyCar debut in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May, two weeks before qualified in his maiden Indy 500, finishing 22nd.

“To be nominated and then voted in as a member of the Road Racing Drivers Club is a terrific honor,” young Brabham said.

“There are some amazing names that are part of the club and to be considered a part of that group by my peers is humbling.

“To be the third generation of Brabhams on the list is also something pretty special.

“To make my Indycar debut at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and then to make my first Indy 500 appearance as part of Pirtek Team Murray was a little surreal looking back on it.

“Hopefully there are plenty more to come.”

A total of 25 racecar drivers and motorsport professionals were included in the 2016 list of inductees, including 17 regular members from the open-wheel and sportscar ranks, five associate members and three honorary members.

Other well-known names included in the list include former Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr, sportscar champion and former IndyCar Christian Fittipaldi, Le Mans 24-hour winner and former F1 driver Alex Wurz, 1960s and 70s English saloon car and sportscar ace John Fitzpatrick and reigning Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 as a way to give champion drivers a say in their sport, particularly in the areas of safety, and has evolved to serve the future of road racing by mentoring new drivers on both amateur and professional levels.

The Club’s membership includes leading industry professionals, race officials and motorsports journalists, in addition to prominent racing names.

Brabham also became just the third third generation driver to make his Indy 500 debut behind his grandfather Sir Jack Brabham and his father, Geoff, who made 10 Indy 500 starts.

He set the foundation for his open-wheel career by winning the 2012 USF2000 championship and the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship before going on to win several Indy Lights races.

The current list of inductees brings the total number of members to 510 since its inception in 1952.

“We are honored to welcome a group of outstanding racing champions and high achievers in the auto-racing arena,” RRDC president Bobby Rahal said of the new inductees.

“It’s clear that they are not only accomplished representatives of the sport, they have conducted themselves honorably off the track, a quality the RRDC members take into consideration when voting in new members.”

Road Racing Drivers Club