DB– Sam Brabham's Stunning Formula Ford Debut

DB– Sam Brabham's Stunning Formula Ford Debut

25.04.2013: The 20th April 2013 was a pretty special day for my family. As a third generation Brabham,

The 20th April 2013 was a pretty special day for my family. As a third generation Brabham, my son Sam made his single-seater racing debut in the UK, and what an unbelievable weekend it turned out to be.

We had no expectations heading into Sam’s first Dunlop British Formula Ford race weekend. He tested the JTR Mygale for the first time the week before, and had just two additional tests by the time he got to Donington Park. His first chance to learn the circuit was in qualifying and he did a stellar job to clock-in seventh.

He then just had an amazing first race, fighting back from second last to fifth to finish second in the Scholarship class. He set the second fastest lap of the race, the top Scholarship time and he was the fastest car through the second sector. He followed that with two third place class podiums, seventh and sixth overall.

So it’s really been a dream start for Sam. I’m just so happy for him. He’s worked so hard and finally got his opportunity to drive a proper racecar and delivered.

I think karting is important but so is the way you develop the character of a young driver. I’ve worked as hard with Sam on that than anything else. I’m super impressed with his dedication, he’s a different kid than he was in karting and is driving like someone who’s been racing cars for a couple of years.

For myself, my wife Lisa, our youngest son Finn and of course Sam, it’s a big moment. From the bigger perspective of the family with my dad, my mum, my brothers and nephews, and also Lisa’s family – the Thackwells – it’s a huge deal.

Lisa and I were down at the Old Hairpin watching on Saturday and my heart rate was much higher than it would be in a racecar! We were just choking up, to be honest, and both had a tear in our eye. Of course, we’ve seen Sam grow up and, like every kid, he’s had his ups and downs and we’ve lived and breathed those with him. Then we see him deliver a performance way beyond our expectations and his years.

I’m very, very impressed. Put it this way, if I was watching a Formula Ford race and there was a kid I heard had just come out of karting and did a performance like that, I’d be saying ‘that’s the kid’. It is kind of bizarre, as I never expected that to be my son.

The JTR cars are very fast this year, it’s an experienced team and Dan Cammish has won every race so far. But when you look at the data between Dan and Sam, there are some corners where Sam is quicker already.

He just hasn’t had the time in the car to piece it all together, that’s just inexperience but it gives you an idea of his potential.

Clearly Sam has a lot to learn and this is just the beginning of a two-year programme, but it raises the question, if he can do that in his first race, what can he do later on?

Once he gets time in the car and more races under his belt he’s going to have a competitive year, much more so than we thought, and that’s fantastic.

DB  25.04.2013

- Emma Spearing, photos Jakob Ebrey, Proud Parents by Paul Davies

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/david-brabham-sam-stunning-formula-ford-debut---110259.html

25.04.2013 / MaP

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