LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One could see the return of a Brabham team if enough fans and investors buy into a project presented by the son of late triple world champion Jack Brabham on Wednesday.
David Brabham said he planned to use “crowdfunding” to build a team to compete in next year’s world endurance championship and enter the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race as a full constructor in 2018.
The cash-burning world of Formula One, where even the smallest teams require annual budgets of at least $60 million, may be a step too far but it remained a distant aspiration.
“I have long dreamt of seeing the Brabham team back out on the track, winning at the highest level and continuing the legacy my father laid down when he first started the team in the Sixties,” the Australian said in a statement.
“To bring Brabham back we have to do things differently,” the 2009 Le Mans winner added.
“After careful consideration and research we have created a new model of open source racing, which will bring fans closer to the action, inspire drivers and engineers around the world and offer the rare opportunity to be a part of this new but historical race team.”
Brabham, whose father won the Formula One championship as a driver and constructor, invited fans to get involved for as little as a 1 pound ($1.6).
“I am a big believer in the power of collective thinking and see many advantages in this model that will help Brabham become a winning team once again, but in a new and inspiring way,” said Brabham, who won Le Mans with Peugeot.
“Who knows where that could lead? Back to Formula One, I hope.”
The Brabham team, which won back-to-back constructors’ and drivers’ titles in 1966 and 1967 with Jack Brabham and New Zealander Denny Hulme, folded in 1992 after Britain’s future champion Damon Hill had made his debut with them.
David Brabham had a brief Formula One career with Brabham, in 1990, and then the ill-fated Simtek team in 1994.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond