Sam Brabham will enter his second season in Formula Ford GB gunning for the championship title, following a strong maiden campaign in the series.
Third generation racer Brabham – grandson of three-time world champion Jack and son of international racing star David Brabham – will move into his second season of the BTCC-supporting single-seater category, having finished a credible fourth in his rookie year thanks to six podium finishes in 2013.
Sam told thecheckeredflag that he aims to be the man to beat in 2014, saying: “We’re looking to do Formula Ford again this year, but we’re keeping all of our options open. The aim is to come back and win the championship this year inevitably.
“I did better than I ever thought that I would do. I was confident that I could be challenging for podiums towards the end of the year in the last couple of rounds, but to go to Oulton Park and finish second having qualified where I did really showed what I was all about.
“I surprised myself and was disappointed in others ways at certain rounds, but I think I’ve learned a lot from last year so next year can be a better year.”
Speaking of 2013 champion Dan Cammish’s unbeaten record, he added: “We’d all like to break Dan’s record and it’s not impossible. I’m confident that I’m capable of winning the championship; I’ve had a lot of experience and now I’ve got the season under my belt to go out there and do the job.
“David [Brabham]’s been a lot of help. When I do listen it always seems to help!”
Like father, like son
His father David added praise to Sam’s early progress in his motorsport career, telling us: “After the ups and downs of 2013, plus with Sam going off to MRF for 12 races over the winter in a faster car to what he is used to against tougher competition, if he pushes himself hard in 2014 then he has a great chance of winning the championship.
“We are very proud of what Sam has achieved last year, because he had a limited karting career. His karting driving style showed us that he should be more suited to cars, so at the right time he went into it and I think it was much more natural.
“His first race at Donington was a shock to all of us because he had to learn the circuit in qualifying and then he finished fifth and got the second fastest lap in his second ever race, so it demonstrated that he has got the ability even without the experience.”
The former F1 racer and 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winner also recalled his experiences with his own father – former Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham – to explain the understanding between himself and Sam in his still young career.
“You’ve always got that father-son relationship”, he said. “I remember with my dad – he never said a lot, but when he did it went right through me. I knew deep down he was right, even if I didn’t like the fact that he was right.
“Last year I learned to step back rather than get angry at something he shouldn’t be doing. He would know why I was angry because he wouldn’t see me for half an hour or an hour after the session while I’d be walking away trying to calm down and come back with a bit of a clearer head!
“Not just myself but my wife also, we are both competitive people because she used to race, and we want to see Sam do as well as he can.”