10 May, 2018

New Brabham Track Car, the BT62

If you’re familiar with Brabham, then well done! The name was made famous by the legendary racing driver Sir Jack Brabham. His son, David, founded Brabham Automotive who are about to unleash the Brabham BT62. As a challenger to the McLaren Senna, it will mean that this car will need to be fast. Very fast.

How legendary was Sir Jack Brabham?

Sir Jack Brabham

What happens when love and skill come together? It creates a masterpiece. Known as Jack Brabham at the time, his love for racing and his expertise in building cars enabled him to write himself into the history books of Formula 1.

Trivia – He won his third title at the age of 40.

A three-time world champion, his final title was in the car he built himself which is a feat only accomplished by him.

Trivia – The Brabham F1 team won 6 F1 titles (4 drivers and 2 constructors).

Not one for attention, he became known for shying away and for being a man of few words. Although he lacked in these areas, he more than made up for it in his driving style. He was quite fierce as he would leave close pursuers driving through the dirt.

Brabham retired in 1970, a year he won his final race in South Africa at the age of 44. He would focus on developing the racing careers of his sons of which each won a world championship in three different classes in 1989.

Track-focused Hypercars

In our article “McLaren Senna - the new track-focused Hypercar” (read here), we explored the newest addition to their ultimate series, the McLaren Senna which is a track-focused Hypercar.

Now, the McLaren Senna is not a normal car. McLaren sought to extract as much lap time as they could from this vehicle to the extent that everything on it has a purpose – or else it would not be there.

These sorts of cars are not for the average human. Sure, on the Xbox, we have all won multiple driver titles but these track-focused hypercars are for some of the most skilled hands in the world - or people who have diesel for blood.

Why? Track-focused hypercars, like the BT62 and the McLaren Senna, are laden with aerodynamic and advanced mechanics which push the limits of grip, speed and drivability. They offer experiences which are so raw, the idea of leaving it locked away in a garage would be akin to a crime being committed. Not just any crime, we are speaking of high treason.

Trivia – The McLaren Senna is able to generate 800kg of downforce.

The Brabham BT62

The stats are still coming through for the BT62, but they are nonetheless venturing on the insane.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • Development led by 6-time Le Mans winner David Brabham.
  • A dry weight of 972kg.
  • 5.4L V8 Mid-engine car.
  • 700bhp.
  • Generates 1,200kg of downforce.

These stats are very impressive and eclipse some of the McLaren Senna's impressive abilities. As more car makers focus on track-specific cars, there is no doubt that more breakthroughs will be made as they attempt to create more downforce, increase the aerodynamic efficiency and reduce the weight of their challenger.

Have you been hearing the word 'downforce' a lot lately?

What is downforce?

It’s no secret that racing cars and hypercars are able to generate so much power, they should take off like a rocket ship. However, aerodynamic engineering came to the rescue and the solution was creating downforce through the manipulation of air resistance.

Before we begin explaining how it works, we need to explain a few things:

  • Air resistance – A resistive force created by the air when an object is moving through it.
  • Centre of Gravity – How weight is distributed and balances the different areas of an object.

The technical definition will take a few read-throughs but in Lehman terms, downforce is a force (not like in Star Wars) which pushes down on the vehicle to help it to increase its stability.

When a vehicle is hurtling through the air. The air resistance, or friction, generated will combine with the weight of the vehicle and gravity to generate a downward force which presses down against the vehicle, creating downforce.

The downforce helps to keep the car planted on the ground and comes to its aid when the car is travelling through corners. The downforce generated will reach the car's centre of gravity which distributes it to different areas of the car such as the tyres because its the only point of contact the car has with the surface.

There are many things which can be used to improve the aerodynamic design of the car such as rear wings or the diffuser you see attached to the bottom of the car.

Trivia – It’s been reported that an F1 car can develop a force of 3.5g ( Three and a half times its weight ) and theoretically, it can drive upside down at high speeds.

Final Words

The cost of it all? £1m (excluding VAT). What you will get for your money is more than just the car.

Firstly, it’s built by an ex-racing champion of one of the most revered championships in the world – Le Mans. Upon purchasing one of the 70 BT62s available is the chance to be enrolled in their driver program where they teach you how to get the best out of your car.

This car will be a worthy challenger to the McLaren Senna. They say that innovation breeds innovation and we look forward to writing about it.

Review of the Brabham BT62
Review of the Brabham BT62
Review of the Brabham BT62