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Matthew Brabham’s success goes beyond the family name

8.15.13 (via RACER.com) – Steely determination. Relentless on the racetrack. Relaxed outside the car. Let's his driving do the talking. Always ready with a big smile. Which member of the racing Brabham family are we referring to? All of them.

19-year-old Matthew Brabham, son of Can-Am, Indy car and IMSA legend Geoff Brabham, nephew of ALMS champion and two-time Le Mans winner David Brabham and grandson of three-time Formula 1 world champion Jack Brabham, carries a surname that has been at the forefront of motorsports for more than 50 years, but it's the commonalities – the traits he shares with those family members – that make him unique.

The Florida-born, Australia-bred driver took four wins last year in the USF2000 championship, claiming the championship in his first season of competition in America with a wise-beyond-his-years approach. His closest rival, Spencer Pigot, had twice the number of wins – eight victories in the 14-round season – but with Brabham banking five second-place finishes and one third, his consistency as a rookie was too much to overcome.

With circuit familiarity on his side, Brabham entered the Pro Mazda series this year and has simply demolished the opposition. 11 wins from 14 rounds handed Brabham the title with two races left two run, and the experience of dominating his rivals – including Pigot who also graduated to Pro Mazda – has the third-generation driver standing out as one of the promising talents on the Mazda Road to Indy.

Like the elders in the Brabham family, Matthew has demonstrated both ends of the spectrum with his driving by demoralizing the opposition whenever possible and making sure he has a place on the podium when victory is out of reach. Those are attributes normally found within those who've graduated from the open-wheel ladder – something shared by IndyCar champions Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon – which makes a teenager like Brabham stand out even more.

 

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