In Style + Design

The Story Behind Brabham BT62, The Exclusive Australian-Made Supercar

The son of late three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham has set out to continue the legacy of his family’s iconic motorsport marque, beginning with the production of an Australian-made supercar.

The Brabham BT62 is a high-performance, unrestricted track-only vehicle created by car manufacturer Brabham Automotive in conjunction with Fusion Capital Partners, which comes as the company’s flagship project that launched globally in May.

Brabham Automotive was founded in 2016 by managing director David Brabham, a former accomplished international racing driver and the youngest sibling in the Brabham family.

Brabham Automotive Commercial Director Dan Marks said the concept for the supercar started with David, who was inspired to rectify the Brabham story which began with his father’s racing career.

“We were introduced by mutual contact to David about three years ago,” Marks said.

“From a brand perspective we engaged with him about what he wanted to do and how he wanted to bring the Brabham name back and our visions aligned in terms of the type of product and how we wanted to go racing with that product.

“For David, it was leveraging off all that history he was part of both from a Brabham driver and as a Brabham family member, but also in terms of the successes he’s had in endurance racing. So, this car is more slanted towards endurance racing than Formula 1 which sits well with David and his history in American Le Mans where he’s a two-time winner and three-time Le Mans winner.”

Marks said the BT62 follows the line of racing cars created by Sir Jack Brabham alongside fellow Australian Formula 1 driver Ron Tauranac since the early 1960’s.

“They started with the BT1, ‘B’ being Jack Brabham and ‘T’ being Ron Tauranac, so to embrace the heritage of the brand we continued that with the BT62,” Marks said.

“The last vehicle that was manufactured and used in F1 was the BT60, David Hill drove that in Hungary in 1992. When the company hit financial troubles, someone did a proto-type BT61 but never took it into production, so we decided to jump over that and start with the BT62 for the next chapter of Brabham.”

Brabham Automotive Director Christian Reynolds said the BT62 was designed to encompass modern innovation with raw performance, while staying true to the family’s racing and car making heritage.

“If you look back on the innovations of Sir Jack Brabham, he and Ron Tauranac did a phenomenal job of bringing engineering advancements, whether it be the placement of the engine in the rear of the vehicle or carbon brakes,” Reynolds said.

“These things were pioneering and evolutionary to architecture and design to have a competitive advantage which is really what we’ve tried to do with the BT62.”

“It’s there to be a demonstration of what vehicle engineering can be and what we can deliver with the Brabham marque.”

Built for long-lasting track performance, the BT62 runs a 5.4 litre naturally aspirated V8 Brabham engine boasting 522KW (700 BPH). It features a hybrid chassis system consisting of a chrome-moly tubular structure and carbon system coupled with a custom-built suspension package.

The supercar is fitted with carbon-to-carbon brakes accompanied with brake cans and an Australian made Holinger sequential-shift racing transmission. It has a total mass of 970kg with carbon fibre body panels and aerodynamic performance of 1,200kg in downforce.

“The ultimate aim for the vehicle is to be able to run through endurance race scenarios where you need performance and durability,” Reynolds said.

“It was important to David’s directory and mantra that it had to be a driver’s car, it had to be a car that was driven and not assisted in all of its technology and an engaged drive.”

The track-only race car was primarily tested at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia’s south-east, where Brabham Automotive will use as its designated testing ground.

Each BT62 is being manufactured at Fusion Capital’s facilities at Edinburgh Parks in Adelaide, a city that has a long history in car making, having previously housed factories for Holden and Mitsubishi.

“For David, having a family linked to Australia, given where his father was born and all the history around Australia, for him it was a nice touch to have something manufactured in Australia,” Marks said.

A total of 70 will be built to commemorate as many years since Sir Jack began racing in 1948. Road conversion models of the BT62 will also be made.

Buyers are engaged to reserve a built slot for their BT62 and are given the option to choose a design or architecture for the car. The first 35 units will include a celebration livery identical to Sir Jack’s winning race car in the same year.

While sparse on the inside, owners have choice to select an interior style from a safety cell to traditional racing seat variations.

Those with keys to a BT62 will also receive an invitation to become part of Brabham Automotive’s driver development program which will be run by David, who will mentor drivers to master the vehicle on the track.

More than just a joyride for the ultra-wealthy, Marks said the BT62 is about providing owners a unique and holistic experience centred around the rich Brabham motorsport fabric.

“We want them to recognise that this is not the beginning of a new company per say, it’s the continuation of a story, of heritage and it’s just a new chapter,” Marks said. It’s a continuum of what Jack started in the early 60’s and what David is going to continue with into the future.”

The company recently sold over half of its 70 Brabham BT62’s with deliveries expected to commence early next year. The exclusive supercar is priced at $1.8 million (AUD).

Published 31 October, 2018