Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) has announced that father and son Geoff and Matt Brabham will race 1971 Brabham BT35 Formula B cars at Circuit Of The Americas (COTA). Car owner Ron Hornig will race alongside them, as he has with Geoff since 2015. The November 5-8 races are part of SVRA’s U.S. Vintage National Championships held annually at COTA since 2014.
“Anytime you have an entry list that includes a Le Mans 24 champion like Geoff and his son Matt, one of the most talented young drivers anywhere, you have struck gold,” said Tony Parella, SVRA President and CEO and majority owner of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. “I know those cars will be at the front, and there will be some pretty intense but friendly father and son competition.”
Since 2015 when Hornig and Geoff teamed up, Brabham has been the dominant force among the small-bore open-wheel racers. Hornig says he can account for Geoff winning 26 of 32 races. He expects the talented young Matt Brabham to give his father all he can handle.
“These are fast cars, and it will be full-on racing,” said Matt. “I’m super excited to race Dad, and I know neither one of us want to finish behind the other.”
The field for Formula B at COTA will be stout with 15 or more entries. There will be at least 12 Brabham cars competing.
“Geoff and Matt are pumped-up to race each other. I just hope I get my cars back in one piece,” jokes Hornig.
Matt competed in the 2016 Indianapolis 500. He attracted top INDYCAR teams’ attention when he dominated the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship with 13 race wins and two other podiums out of 16 rounds. That performance was an excellent follow-up to 2012, when he captured the U.S. F2000 National Championship, edging Spencer Pigot by seven points. Brabham ran a full season of Indy Lights in 2014, winning the Indianapolis GP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The versatile driver has competed in various series, including Australian Super Cars, GT World Challenge, Formula E, and Stadium Super Trucks (SST). Matt has won two SST championships. He also scored a class win in Australia’s 12-hour GT4 race in 2018.
Hornig and the Brabhams agree this is a one-off opportunity for Matt to race against his father and run a serious race in a Brabham car. It is also special to the family for Matt to race one of his legendary grandfather’s cars. Three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jack Brabham designed and built the BT35s. Sir Jack is Geoff’s father and Matt’s grandfather. Matt is concentrating his efforts on securing another opportunity to return to INDYCAR, where he rightfully belongs.
Geoff Brabham was a master of sports car racing and the star driver of the dominant Nissan team that won four successive IMSA GTP championships from 1988 through 1991. During this time, he scored an amazing 27 overall victories. Winner at the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans, Geoff also prevailed in the 1989 and 1991 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1981 Can-Am Series championship. Geoff’s outstanding career earned him six invitations to compete in the elite IROC Series, where he won two races. He began racing Formula Fords in Australia in 1973 and won the 1975 Australian Formula 2 championship and the 1979 Formula Super Vee championship before reaching the sport’s top levels. He won the prestigious Bathurst 1000 in 1997. International Motorsports Hall of Fame inducted Geoff in 2004, and the Australian Hall of Fame in 2018. Brabham is a 10-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, with the best finish a fourth in 1983. He was active in the INDYCAR SERIES during the 1980s recording eight podium finishes and 31 top-ten finishes.