Above, Stadium SUPER Trucks in action at Barbagallo Raceway. Image: GRANT LAUTERBACH
US-based Australian Matt Brabham added to his diverse list of championship victories when he clinched his maiden Stadium SUPER Trucks title at the weekend’s Race of Champions in Mexico City.
After dominating the season, where he finished every event on the podium, Brabham closed out the extended 2018 season by taking overall honors in the Mexican capital. It was a great reward for Brabham, who went down by a single point in last year’s championship to fellow Australian Paul Morris.
“Finally, we got it done and I could not be happier,” said a breaming Brabham, who celebrated in true Mexican style by bashing a piñata on the podium. “It has been a tough year on so many fronts, but it’s great to finally get this title in the bag. It is a nice reward for DeVilbiss as the truck sponsor and all my personal supporters including The Boat Works, Gale Pacific, Coolaroo, PIRTEK and The Preston Group who all stuck by me through a pretty long and tough year. It was also great to continue my ambassadorship with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and I was proud to carry the CKF branding all season.”
The 24-year-old has held a strong points lead in the series for the majority of the year and has been focussed on putting away the championship in the last few months. Brabham learned his racecraft in go-karts and Formula Ford in Australia before heading to the US where he won the USF2000 championship in record-breaking style in 2012 and then the Pro Mazda title the following year. He then went to win Indy Lights races and drove the PIRTEK Team Murray entry in the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016.
Brabham is hoping another title on his CV will help him in his quest to secure a full-time road racing drive to dovetail with the his SST commitments in 2019. The third generation racer ended the weekend on top, winning the final round of the elimination style races today after scoring second yesterday.
In a fairytale ending, Brabham went head-to-head into in the championship-sealing heat with his only title rival Gavin Harlien. After an exceptionally close heat, Brabham managed to squeeze through to the third round, where he was put up against series creator, Robby Gordon.
It was a replay of the finals race from the day before where Gordon was able to pip Brabham for the win. Brabham put his head down and studied Gordon’s technique overnight to make sure if they came up against each other he could come out ahead. The homework was worth it, when Brabham finished ahead of Gordon, with a penalty applied to Gordon’s time after he clipped a safety cone.
Brabham then progressed through to the final against Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman was also handed a post race penalty, which handed the final win to Brabham. It was a fitting way for Brabham to close out the season after a stellar year in Stadium SUPER Trucks which included 13 podiums, including six wins and five fast qualifier awards.
Matt’s 2018 campaigns are supported by Gale Pacific, Coolaroo,The Boat Works, DeVilbiss, the Preston Group, PIRTEK and the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, of which he is a proud ambassador.
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