Thunder down under, courtesy of a magical Australian nameplate

One motorsports event that I’d really, really like to see is the Bathurst 1000, a wild melee on one of the world’s great racing circuits that heavily incorporates public roads, like Le Mans. Hands down, it’s the most prestigious homegrown competition of any kind in Australia, which on its home continent is simply called “the great race.” It’s mainly contested by touring-type cars, including Australia’s famous V8 Supercar class, a wild category of production-based racing saloons that I hope NASCAR examined closely when crafting the specs for its next-generation car that’s coming next year. The Bathurst 1000 has been held since 1960 on the historic, 3.86-mile Mount Panorama Circuit, which is open to a variety of cars on non-race weekends, including those who are exclusively competing against the clock. One such adventure took place on the same weekend as last year’s Bathurst 1000, and involves a screamer you can buy now, named for one of Australia’s greatest racing heroes of all time.

Track cars don’t get much more focused, or linked to fame, as the BT62 hypercar from Brabham Automotive. We need to make clear right here that there’s no way the BT62 can be made legal for road use, at least in the United States, although the company does offer a road-conversion option kit that allows it to comply with vehicle laws in the United Kingdom, at least. During a monitored test at last year’s Bathurst weekend, a BT62 shattered the absolute track record by nailing a lap at 1.58.679, bettering the Australian V8 Supercar mark at Mount Panorama by nearly four full seconds. The BT62 is based around a Brabham-branded 5.4-liter quad-cam V-8 borrowed from an unidentified manufacturer, rated at 700 naturally aspirated horsepower, and linked to a six-speed Holinger sequential-shift transaxle. How strong is this car? Onboard telemetry showed that the BT62 pulled 2.98 lateral gs in the corners during its record run, along with an eyeball-dislodging 3.51g when its carbon-to-carbon brakes were fully applied. Brabham Automotive, founded in 2018, is based in Winchester, Hampshire, England. Its founder is Formula 1 veteran and 2009 Le Mans co-winner David Brabham, the youngest son of the late Sir Jack Brabham, a three-time F1 world champion and the only driver to win an F1 race in a car of his own design and construction. Sir Jack, who passed away in 2014, is the most iconic individual in the history of Australian motorsports.

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