Brabham eyeing full-time Indy Lights return
Sunday 7th November, 2021 - 1:42pm
Five years after his Indianapolis 500 debut, third-generation racer Matt Brabham is eyeing a competitive return to the IndyCar Series feeder Indy Lights.
Brabham recently took part in the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Andretti Autosport as part of an evaluation ahead of the 2022 season.
Driving one of the team’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Dallara IL-15 single-seaters, Brabham completed 99 laps on the road course-configured Brickyard.
Since his sole start in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 with Pirtek Team Murray, Brabham has largely concentrated his efforts on Stadium Super Trucks in Australia and the United States.
Now, the 27-year-old is eyeing a return to the IndyCar Series circus.
Asked of his 2022 plans, Brabham said he’s not looking at an immediate return to the IndyCar Series, rather an Indy Lights programme.
“The goal is to just get back into it full time and work away at getting back in there,” Brabham told IndyCar.com.
“[Returning to the IndyCar Series] is still my ultimate goal. I’d love to be back racing IndyCar, and this is obviously a great way to do it, especially with a lot of stuff changing next year.
“I’m excited to see how it all plays out, and hopefully I’m all a part of it. Obviously, that’s the end goal is the IndyCar stuff, and this is all part of it too.
“It’s great to be back driving something that’s similar.”
While Brabham hasn’t raced competitively in the IndyCar Scene of late, he has maintained a presence driving the category’s two-seater experience.
However, a return to the cockpit of an Indy Lights car for the first time in over five years took a bit of time to readjust to.
“It’s definitely been a long time since I’ve been back in a Lights car,” said Brabham after the Indianapolis test.
“It’s a little weird coming back. I’m having a blast. I’m just taking my time getting up to speed, especially with the weather. I’m loving it.”
Brabham contested the 2014 Indy Lights in full where he finished fourth behind Gabby Chaves, Jack Harvey, and Zach Veach who have all gone on to race full-time in the IndyCar Series.
Should Brabham return to the Indy Lights scene in 2022, he’d likely be the oldest driver in the field.