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Brabham Considering Hypercar Despite Initial GTE Plans

Brabham opening up possibilities for BT62 beyond initial GTE intentions; Hypercar in view…

Photo: Nick Dungan/Goodyear

Brabham Automotive could make its 24 Hours of Le Mans return in the Hypercar class, with its BT62 currently “more aligned” to the future top-class formula than to GTE.

The Adelaide-based company initially revealed plans to run a car in GTE-Pro for its planned Le Mans entry in 2022, but has since opened up the possibility of challenging for outright victories in Hypercar.

Commercial director Dan Marks says that Brabham will follow developments in both categories and continue work on its existing BT62 and future cars to help decide which class, and what car, it uses for its ultimate goal of Le Mans.

The BT62 took to the track at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Thursday as part of a joint event with Goodyear, following the announcement of the two companies’ rekindled partnership earlier in the day

“We’re currently assessing whether GTE or Hypercar are appropriate for the business, as we move forward, and watching what the final Hypercar regulations are going to be,” Marks told Sportscar365.

“The Hypercar regulations have been designed for cars like the BT62 so, conceptually, it makes sense for us to have a look at that but that’s part of our review process as we move forward.”

Marks says the BT62, in its current form as a track-focused car with an optional kit to make it road legal, is closer to Hypercar regulations than GTE.

“Subject to what the regulations, say, there obviously needs to be engineering changes [to make it fully compliant to either category],” he said.

“We’ve surmised, based on what we’ve read, that this is more aligned to Hypercar than GTE at the moment.”

Homologation requirements will also impact Brabham’s final direction, but Marks says they aren’t currently too concerned by different regulations, which could easily change in the future.

“We’re looking at [homologation] regulations now and where it fits in,” he explained.

“It may dictate where we go, in terms of what the rules and regulations are. They change all the time.

“The numbers used to be higher, and if we get to a number of road-compliant conversions, they’re road cars and they qualify, so it may open up different doors in terms of where we race.”

For now, a Le Mans entry in 2022 remains the ultimate plan, as part of a full-season FIA World Endurance Championship program in 2021-22, although further details including what class and car are still yet to be ironed out.

Brands Hatch Race Debut the “Next Step” Towards Le Mans Aim

The BT62’s race debut in November’s Britcar ‘Into the Night’ race at Brands Hatch, also announced on Thursday, will be followed by further race outings in 2020.

“Going racing at Brands Hatch in an invitational race is the next step on our journey to Le Mans,” Marks said.

“For 2020, we’re currently looking what it looks like so we’re assessing where we take the car next, and whether that’s with potential customers in the car or more professional drivers, and whether we start to integrate that into a customer racing program.

“I think we’ll look at different geographies as well, we’ll look at where there’s an appetite to have a BT62 at, and whether we can start to do a bit of a world tour of showing what this car can do on different tracks around the world.”

Marks says they are “looking at” options in VLN and Creventic’s 24H Series, which already cater to non-homologated cars with classes such as SPX.

“Some customers have said that they wouldn’t mind racing in one or more of those series in a BT62,” he confirmed.

“I think we’d take maybe to do a two, or a four, or a six-hour, rather than jump straight to a 24-hour. We’ll be sensible in the way that we do it; we won’t necessarily jump right to the end.

“We’ll take those methodical steps to go where we need to go to.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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