Australia may be without a local auto industry, but locals have a lot to take pride in with the Australian-made Brabham BT62. With local endurance racer Luke Youlden at the wheel, the track-only supercar put up an impressive sub-2-minute time around the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.
Brabham published video of the lap to YouTube on Friday, claiming it's a new unofficial track record. The official lap record is held by Christopher Mies in an Audi R8 Ultra. It's official because it was posted during a race. While the 1:58.69 lap time may beat Mies' run, Jensen Button recorded a quicker unofficial record in 2011 with a 1:48.88 run in his McLaren MP3-23 Formula One car. Still, the sights and sounds of Brabham's beastly machine are mesmerizing, especially on the final straight of Mount Panorama before the finish line.
The Brabham name is rooted in motorsport. Founder Jack Brabham and his racing team earned two constructors championships and four driver's championships in F1 during the mid-20th century. Today, the company operates as Brabham Racing with Jack's son, David, at the helm.
The mid-mounted 5.4-liter V-8 in teh BT62 is an in-house design that creates 700 horsepower and 492 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to a 6-speed sequential transmission and out to the rear wheels. About the transmission: it automatically downshifts and the driver doesn't need to lift when pressing the paddle to upshift.
Yet, we can see around the 0:33 mark that Youlden has some issues with the transmission as the car appears to cut power momentarily. We'd wager the BT62 is even quicker than the 1:58.69 lap without the transmission hiccup.
Brabham responded to owners last January who yearn to drive their cars home after a day at the track by introducing a road-car conversion kit. The kit adds $160,000 to the already staggering price of $1.3 million.
This isn't the last we'll see of the BT62. Brabham plans to race the car in various events that allow non-homologated cars to compete. Eventually, the team plans to return to the World Endurance Championship, potentially for the 2021/2022 season.