Father and son Geoff and Matt Brabham are teaming up to race 1971 Brabham BT35 Formula B cars (pictured above) in the upcoming Sportscar Vintage Racing Association meeting at Circuit of The Americas. Car owner Ron Hornig will race alongside them, as he has with Geoff Brabham since 2015. The November 5-8 races are part of SVRA’s U.S. Vintage National Championships, held annually at COTA since 2014.
“Anytime you have an entry list that includes a Le Mans 24 champion like Geoff and his son Matt, one of the most talented young drivers anywhere, you have struck gold,” said Tony Parella, SVRA President and CEO and majority owner of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. “I know those cars will be at the front, and there will be some pretty intense but friendly father and son competition.”
Since 2015 when Hornig and Geoff teamed up, Brabham has been the dominant force among the small-bore open-wheel racers. Hornig says he can account for Geoff winning 26 of 32 races. He expects the talented young Matt Brabham to give his father all he can handle.
“These are fast cars, and it will be full-on racing,” said Matt. “I’m super excited to race Dad, and I know neither one of us want to finish behind the other.”
The field for Formula B at COTA will be stout with 15 or more entries. There will be at least 12 Brabham cars competing.
“Geoff and Matt are pumped-up to race each other. I just hope I get my cars back in one piece,” joked Hornig.
Matt Brabham, who competed in the 2016 Indianapolis 500, dominated the 2013 Pro Mazda Championship with 13 race wins, after beating Spencer Pigot to the U.S. F2000 championship. He has competed in a variety of race series, including Australian Super Cars, GT World Challenge, Formula E and Stadium Super Trucks, where he has won two championships. He also scored a class win in Australia’s 12-hour GT4 race in 2018.
Hornig and the Brabhams agree this is a one-off opportunity for Matt to race against his father and run a serious race in a Brabham car. It is also special to the family for Matt to race one of his legendary grandfather’s cars. Three-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham designed and built the BT35s.
Geoff Brabham was a master of sports car racing and the star driver of the dominant Nissan team that won four successive IMSA GTP championships from 1988 through 1991. During this time, he scored an amazing 27 overall victories. Winner at the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans, Geoff also prevailed in the 1989 and 1991 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1981 Can-Am Series championship. Geoff’s outstanding career earned him six invitations to compete in the elite IROC Series, where he won two races. He was active in the IndyCar Series during the 1980s, recording eight podium finishes and 31 top-10 finishes.
SpeedTour’s diversity of automobile design will be on full display at COTA. In addition to the strong field of Formula B cars, over 340 vintage and Trans Am racers will be on the grounds.