Brabham BT62’s Phillip Island secrets revealed

Clues hidden inside a video of the reborn Brabham racer hint at how much record-breaking potential it has

Brabham Bt 62 Pit Lane Jpg

BRABHAM has released vision of the Aussie-made BT62 lapping Phillip Island Circuit that confirms two things: first, it’s seriously, seriously quick; and second, its mid-mounted V8 sounds epic at full noise.

Brabham Bt 62 On Track Jpg

The BT62 is so quick around the 4.5km island track that it has unofficially smashed the outright lap record set by an open-wheeler – a 1.24.2215 set in 2000 by Simon Wills behind the wheel of a Formula Holden-spec, 3.8-litre V6-powered Reynard 94D.

The Brabham – powered by a 522kW/667Nm 5.4-litre free-breathing V8 wrapped in a package that weighs just 972kg dry and capable of producing 1200kg of downforce – is believed to have pared that back to a 1.22.

The video shows highlights of testing at the MotoGP circuit, with Brabham Automotive managing director David Brabham behind the wheel.

The UK-based company, which will build the BT62 in Adelaide, confirmed it had crushed the record, but had not yet attempted to add it to the history books.

“To give you an idea of just how fast it is, we eclipsed the official outright lap record at Phillip Island during testing – a record formerly held by an open-wheeled car,” Brabham Automotive technology and engineering director Paul Birch said.

Brabham Pit Straight Jpg

“We didn’t go out to set a time, and it wasn’t officially recorded, but it demonstrates the car’s potential.”

However, questions remain over who was at the wheel of the track-only special for the record lap, with Brabham saying a “team of test drivers” was involved in its extensive pre-launch testing program.

The video shows the heavily camouflaged and bug-spattered BT62 sitting in the pits before opening with a scene showing the left-hand-drive development car at full noise down Gardner Straight, the gear-shift indicator lighting up as the mid-mounted V8 revs out to 8000rpm in third gear. Later vision shows the speedo hitting 237.7km/h as it rounds out of turn 12 and heads for the start-finish line, hinting at a 300km/h-plus Vmax.

A bit further on, approaching Honda, the speedo hits 185.1km/h, before cutting away ahead of the braking zone. Through the tight, technical turn 10, the speedo flashes up 73.4km/h, while at the entry to turn 12 it nudges 127.8km/h, a distinctive Formula 5000-like snarl resonating from the exhaust.

Few details are known about the powerplant hidden beneath the cowl behind the cockpit, though it is believed the 5387cc block will be sourced from Ford.

Brabham Inside Jpg

Brabham has revealed it sourced the engine from an as yet unnamed manufacturer before “we heavily customised it to suit the attributes and the DNA of a Brabham vehicle”.

It said because the engine was so significantly different to the block on which it was based, it could stamp the engine as its own.


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