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The underdog Panoz pair that punched above their weight

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From a profession spanning 4 a long time, together with Le Mans 24 Hours success with Peugeot in 2009 and two stints in System 1, David Brabham says that it’s from his time racing alongside Jan Magnussen that he has the fondest recollections.

Whereas Brabham was racing in F1 for Simtek throughout 1994, Magnussen was dominating British System 3, taking 14 wins from 18 begins. After his personal spell in F1 with McLaren and Stewart Grand Prix, the fast Dane has since loved a embellished sportscar profession, which began with a profitable stint alongside Brabham on the unfancied Panoz squad within the American Le Mans Sequence.

“If I used to be to say the team-mate I had essentially the most enjoyable with, essentially the most competitors with, it was Jan Magnussen,” says Brabham. “When he got here to Panoz, he’d simply come out of F1. I might be the one organising the automotive and getting every little thing sorted for the race.

“I’d come into the pits and he’d be sitting there like [puffing a cigarette], ‘Is the automotive prepared, Brabs?’ Places the fag out, jumps in and off he goes and he’d be like a tenth faster, so then I’d must beat him. Each time we obtained to the tip of the weekend, whoever was faster obtained a greenback!”

After taking their first win forward of BMW and Audi in treacherous circumstances on the 2000 Nurburgring 1000Km, the pair upstaged the in any other case dominant Audi R8s to attain one other 4 outright ALMS triumphs over the 2 subsequent seasons, together with an exciting victory by 0.4 seconds at Portland in 2002.

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Brabham says he and Magnussen have been totally different personalities, however the pair complemented one another nicely

Picture by: James Bearne

That big-killing type by no means translated to Le Mans nevertheless. Partnering up with Mario Andretti in 2000, their LMP-1 Roadster-S completed 53 laps down in fifteenth general, the Magnussen-Brabham pairing’s solely end at Le Mans in three makes an attempt.

The duo continued to race collectively in 2003, scoring two GTS class wins of their Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello, earlier than in 2004 Magnussen launched into an extended profession with Corvette that steadily pitched him into battles in opposition to Brabham in Prodrive-run Aston Martins.  

“We actually pushed one another and that’s what helped us beat Audi, BMW, Porsche and so forth”
David Brabham

“He was so totally different to me,” explains Brabham, who picked Bathurst as his favourite circuit in 2023. “Totally different in character, life-style, driving approach, however we complemented each other as nicely. It was simply good enjoyable to be round him as a result of everybody used to take a look at his life, the mad world that he was in at that time, and we’d all have a chuckle.

Extra favorite team-mate tales:

“You could possibly see along with his junior class tempo he was rattling quick and he was clearly quite a bit youthful than I used to be. We actually pushed one another and that’s what helped us beat Audi, BMW, Porsche and so forth. We had these little alternatives and due to that relationship we punched nicely above our weight.”

A much-delayed run in 2000 marked the only time Brabham and Magnussen saw the finish at Le Mans when paired together

A much-delayed run in 2000 marked the one time Brabham and Magnussen noticed the end at Le Mans when paired collectively

Picture by: Motorsport Images



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