Matthew Brabham has claimed his first major motorsports championship, winning the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda.
The 18-year-old finished eighth in the final race of the year at Virginia International Raceway, enough to secure the title.
The third-generation Australian star also claimed the Rookie of the year prize.
Having only to finish higher than 14th to win the title, Brabham carefully negotiated the first corner and drove just quick enough to stay out of trouble and bring the DTE Group, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing #83 home safely.
However his race was not without drama as the car he was following started leaking oil all over Matthew’s visor. By the end of t he race he could hardly see where he was going which made the last few laps very difficult.
Brabham was pleased to lock away a hard-fought crown.
“I am over the moon at how the whole year went,” Brabham said.
“I didn’t expect to come into the year and, within the first couple of races, to be up to the front straightaway. So, my goals changed pretty quickly and I was going for the championship for the rest of the year.
“Spencer [Pigot] was really quick all year. We pushed each other so much and I think we we’re in a class of our own the whole season and I am sure that he and I will be racing together for many years to come. It was definitely a good rivalry.
“Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing were just awesome and I have to really, really thank them and my parents plus everyone that I have been staying within the U.S. as I have been gypsying across the country. It’s been a fantastic year and I am just very happy.”
Brabham will attend the USF2000 awards banquet tonight at the Greensboro, NC Marriott hotel, where he will receive the $375,000 cheque to put into the next rung of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.