Two generations of Brabham got to perform the time honored tradition of drinking victory milk at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the SVRA Brickyard Invitational historic event during US Father’s Day weekend.
Fittingly, 10-time Indianapolis 500 veteran, Geoff Brabham was the first Brabham to taste success when he piloted a Brabham BT35 Formula 3 car, leading home a triumvirate of the British-built, Australian-inspired machines. Ironically, it was just the second time that Geoff had had the opportunity to pilot a car built by his illustrious father.
The opportunity came up after Geoff met car owner Ron Hornig at last year’s SVRA Brickyard festival. The four time IMSA Champion presented Hornig with the ‘Sir Jack Brabham Award’ for the best prepared Brabham racecar at the event.
Geoff mentioned that he had only ever driven one Brabham before in his life and from there the wheels were set in motion to get him behind the wheel. It was the first time that Geoff had raced competitively in 15 years.
Not to be outdone, his 22-year-old son – Matt Brabham – fresh from completing his first Indianapolis 500 with PIRTEK Team Murray – switched from being driver coach for his father to racer in a 90 minute, two driver race.
He was driving in an Indy Lights car with owner, Lee Brahin. The duo finished third overall and first in class.
Brabham, the younger, then cut some laps in Dan Gurney’s 1971 Olsonite Eagle at the request of Philippe De Lespinay – who is a keen collector and owns Sir Jack Brabham’s 1961 IndyCar that revolutionized the Indianapolis 500 forever as the first rear engined car.
“It was a lot of fun to spend Father’s Day at the track with Dad and for us both to be driving some really nice pieces of machinery,” said Matt Brabham. “Dad was out there and into it, pretty badass that he was able to step back into a car he’d never driven before and be right on the pace again.
“It was cool to have the chance to compete in the 90 minute race with Lee and come away with the class win. To drive Dan Gurney’s 1971 car was awesome and I can’t thank Philippe enough for the chance, it was a lot of fun,” Brabham beamed.
“Any time you are drinking milk at Indianapolis is good.”