Aussie Brabham drives toward Sebring victory

Fifty years after an exhausted and sweaty Jack Brabham pushed his Cooper Climax across the finish line at the 1959 Grand Prix of The United States to seal his first Formula One World Championship, David Brabham is set to follow in his father's tyre tracks.

At the first and only running of the US Grand Prix at Sebring International Raceway, the now Sir Jack ran out of fuel with ess than one kilometre of the race remaining and had to push the car across the finish line to bank fourth place points and claim the first of his three Formula 1 World Championships.

Now the youngest of the three racing Brabham sons is chasing the Sebring 12 Hour victory at the venerable old circuit in Florida.

The LMP1 class
David will drive the Cooper Climax T51 that his father famously used to clinch his first world title in a pre race parade before the 10.30am start of the 12 Hour.

Then he'll jump into the Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura prototype for the enduro,the opening round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series and the debut race for the new Acura prototype in the LMP1 class.

Brabham will join regular team-mate Scott Sharp aboard the new Acura ARX-02a for the 2009 American Le Mans Series season. They will be joined at Sebring by 2007 Indy 500 and IndyCar Champion, Dario Franchitti.

"As a kid growing up in Australia my dad was on a lot of TV advertisements for different companies after he had retired. He was very recognizable walking down the street - it just seemed like everybody knew my dad," David said.

Brabham, right, won the American Lemans Series round at Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Sebring has been a happy hunting ground for the Brabham family. Not only did Sir Jack claim his title there, his oldest son Geoff has two overall Twelve Hours of Sebring victories to his credit in 1989 and 1991 - the second win shared with Gary Brabham - the middle of the three racing brothers.

David is also no stranger to victory lane at the historic Florida venue either. He has added GT1 (Aston Martin) and GT2 (Panoz) class victories to his resumé.

"It is a bit of a lifetime experience for me because I have never driven one of dad's cars. It is such a unique opportunity, not only to drive one of his cars, but also to do it at the track 50 years after he won his first Formula One World Championship," David said.

Every year on the third Saturday of March, the raceway hosts thousands of race fans from around the world to witness the historic 12 hour classic. All the legends have raced at Sebring; Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill and dozens of other international motor racing legends, driving race cars built by the world's great manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Ford, Maserati, Aston Martin and Nissan.

Audi's new R15
Audi has won Sebring for the past eight consecutive years.

Steve McQueen, James Brolin, Gene Hackman, Craig T. Nelson, Paul Newman and Patrick Dempsey are among the many entertainers who have driven at Sebring

Pole for the 2009 Sebring 12 Hour has gone to the reigning IndyCar champion and '06 Daytone 24 Hour winner, Scott Dixon.

Dixon is being partnered by Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud in the new de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a.

The 28-year old New Zealander stole the front spot on the grid with a time of 1m 45.278s, just under one tenth quicker than the Audi of Tom Kristensen and just under two-tenths ahead of the Peugeot of Christian Klein.

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