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Crucial mileage for Brabham ahead of Indy

Gordon Lomas

Wednesday 27th April, 2016 - 8:23am

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Matthew Brabham during his searching rookie test at Sebring for Pirtek Team Murray

Matthew Brabham during his searching rookie test at Sebring for Pirtek Team Murray

Pirtek Team Murray rookie Matthew Brabham has completed a successful test at Sebring ahead of his cameo appearances at Indianapolis next month.

Brabham’s first official rookie test saw the third generation racer log 134 laps of the 2.67km circuit as he gelled for the first time with his British-based engineer Andy Brown.

It marks in an important step in the 22-year-old’s preparation for his twin races in the Angie’s List Grand Prix on the Indianapolis road course on May 14 and two weeks later in the 100th running of the Indy 500.

Pilotting the Chevrolet chassis regularly campaigned by KV driver Sebastien Bourdais, Brabham worked through set-up changes and race strategy simulations throughout the busy single test day.

“To arrive at the track at 7am this morning and see the car in Pirtek Team Murray branding really brought home that this whole program is real,” Brabham beamed.

“I really enjoyed everything about the day and learnt so much from Andy Brown, Mitch Davis and all the KV Racing crew who really threw everything into the day.

“These cars are obviously a lot more physical to drive than open wheel cars I have been used to in the past and it was a typical hot Florida day.

“Apart from being a little stiff in the neck, which is to be expected, I feel great.”

Brown praised Brabham’s professionalism and pinpoint feedback through the test.

“You would not believe he has had very few laps in these cars,” Brown said.

“His feedback has been detailed and is very clear and precise, which is only going to serve us in good stead as we move forward into the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 500.

“He has hardly put a foot wrong all day and we have made some really good progress so I am looking forward to the next couple of events.

‘Inexperience can catch you out on days like today, but he seems to have an old head on young shoulders.

“I think he is one of those exceptional talents whose inexperience may not work against him and may actually help him.”

Team founder and Speedcafe.com owner Brett Murray said the highly productive test was trouble-free.

“To get 134 laps of running, produce some good speed and come away without a scratch on the car really is close to a perfect result,” Murray said.

“It was great to have Matt’s dad Geoff looking on from the pit lane and I am sure Sir Jack (Brabham) had a smile on his face somewhere.”

Brabham will now spend a couple of days in debrief with Brown and the team in Indianapolis before a simulator test next week.

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