Putting a legend back on the road
Wednesday, 24th February 2021
After rekindling their iconic partnership in 2019, Goodyear join forces with Brabham Automotive once again to equip the road going BT62R with Eagle F1 SuperSport RS tyres.
The accomplishment that the legendary Brabham dynasty has had within the motorsport world is unrivalled. Patriarch Sir Jack remains the only driver to this day to win a Formula 1 World Championship in a car of his own construction, cementing the triple world champion's status among the greats with a unique achievement.
Success has continued through three generations of the family, as prestigious titles came in sportscars for Jack's sons – including the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans for youngest son David, who is now at the forefront of a revival for the iconic marque with one of its historic partners.
The Brabham organization began in 1962 and a partnership with Goodyear followed three years later. Sir Jack’s iconic BT19 became the machine to beat in 1966, his third and final championship year. The cornerstone of the 1966 championship was Sir Jack’s four successive mid-season wins – including on the undulating Brands Hatch circuit and the daunting Nürburgring Nordschleife. Brabham also secured a unique double by also clinching the constructors' crown at Watkins Glen – Goodyear's home race.
This combination would win championships and races together through into the 1980s and Goodyear would contribute to over 50 world drivers’ or constructors’ championships and hundreds of race victories until 1997.
In 2019, Brabham Automotive and Goodyear reunited as the iconic pairing returned to the racetrack. The Brabham BT62 track day car carries on the tradition of the family's racing pedigree. The 700 horsepower, lightweight, 6-speed drive, aerodynamically advanced racer is designed with the same ideologies in mind that applies to any top race car.
The car is already a winner too. David took the chequered flag on the car's competitive debut later that year with co-driver Will Powell in the Britcar “Race into the Night” for sportscars, touring cars and production cars at a typically soaked Brands Hatch.
“When we launched the BT62, we launched it as the ultimate track car," David said. “If you look at the incredible history that Brabham has had in Formula 1, I kind of felt like it was my duty to bring the name back to life. And then all of a sudden, we thought 'right, we need to go racing'.
“We approached Goodyear, we did a test, and we tried their F1 SuperSport tires, and it was just the perfect match. The balance between the car and the tire and the driver was exactly what we needed, and we won."
Such is the range of Goodyear's tires that it was the natural choice for the road-going version of the BT62 – the BT62R. This car is designed to be the pinnacle of its kind – striking the balance between peak performance on a track and comfort on the everyday roads, while also retaining many of the characteristics shared with the racing variant despite being road legal.
It is a unique demand for the differences in surfaces and characteristics between a racetrack and the city streets or a motorway and a tire must be ready for each of these scenarios.
This is where Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport RS comes into play as the ideal solution for such a conundrum. These tires are designed to deliver the performance desired for the track enthusiast while it can negotiate the everyday surfaces that dedicated racing tires are not suited to – making it the perfect companion for the BT62R.
“Racing is a part of both Goodyear and Brabham’s DNA, it’s a perfect platform for the two brands to work together,” said Ben Crawley, Director of Motorsports for Goodyear Europe. “When Goodyear develops tires for a race car, they are bespoke, competition spec. When we translate that across to a road-going track car like the BT62R, our Eagle F1 SuperSport RS tires draw on that racing expertise.”
More than 50 years on from Sir Jack's famous title success with Goodyear, it is no secret that David's desire is for the marque to head to Le Mans and once more target some historic wins. With Goodyear already having a strong involvement in the legendary endurance race as the sole supplier of the ultra-competitive LMP2 class, major motorsport success for Brabham and Goodyear together once again is more than just a dream.
Concluding, David said: “the relationship between Goodyear and my father and the Brabham racing history was very much part of the ingredients of making this car the BT62R. To get the name back out there and where it is today with what we're doing means a lot to me and my family.
“It's a shame that my father wasn’t around to see this come to life but I’m sure he’d be pretty happy. The partnership between Goodyear and Brabham Automotive for our car on the track on the road is extremely important.”