Historic British motorsport marque Brabham has announced its intention to return to the track in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2015 through an innovative crowd-funding project which aims to revolutionise the team ownership model.
Brabham notably won four drivers’ and two constructors’ world championships during its 30-year Formula One campaign, but hasn’t been a part of motorsport for over two decades. However, it is seeking to return in the WEC motor-racing series next season with a three-year LMP2 programme. In year four, the marque aims to return as a constructor in the elite LMP1 classification, adding it has goals of expanding into other championships such as Formula E, and ultimately Formula One.
The bid will be underpinned by Project Brabham, an open source racing model to build and fund a sustainable team. Launched yesterday with an initial funding target by November 1 of £250,000 (€318,000/$408,000), by this morning the project had already received 266 pledges totalling nearly £33,000.
The project revolves around the Brabham-Digital platform – an online portal through which the team aims to share knowledge and behind-the-scenes action with funders. A Project Brabham statement read: “It’s a content hub, knowledge sharing platform, forum for the community, race-day ‘second screen’ to provide an additional perspective on the race, e-learning platform and voting mechanism all rolled into one. The money from the first phase of crowdfunding will be used to build a more simplified version of the final portal, bringing together the elements that are required for you to follow and contribute towards our early progress. From then on it turns into a much more engaging and powerful engine, divided into three different parts depending on your interest.”
These three parts will be targeted specifically at fans, drivers and engineers. “We have endured a long and testing journey to protect and bring the Brabham name back under the family's control, and then decide the next step in the journey of this iconic brand,” team principal David Brabham (pictured) added. “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 (Sir Jack Brabham) laid down when he first started the team in the Sixties.
“Looking at the normal racing model was not exciting or sustainable enough for me to rebuild the team from scratch. For me to bring Brabham back we have to do things differently. 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.
“Project Brabham gives people the chance to be part of the team from the start. Once we have built a large community we will start to see the power of a collective force that will attract the funds and partners to make this journey a success.”