American Le Mans Series Champion David Brabham was honoured for his outstanding performance in 2009
Le Mans 24 Hours victor and American Le Mans Series Champion David Brabham was honoured for his outstanding performance in 2009 with the Fairfield Trophy at the annual British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Awards in London today.
Brabham is currently enjoying a rare trip back to Australia to compete in the final round of the MINI Challenge at Homebush yesterday, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for his father, Sir Jack’s first of three Formula One titles in 1959.
Although unable to attend the event in person, the British race elite and BRDC Members at the ceremony, held at the InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane, London, were treated to a special video message from David and Jack in Australia.
“It is a great honour to receive the BRDC Fairfield Trophy for outstanding achievement,” said Brabham. “It’s been an unbelievable season where I was privileged to race with two fantastic teams. Winning Le Mans with Peugeot and taking the ALMS title with Patrón Highcroft Racing achieved two of my career-long goals in what was a very special year for all of the family.
“Half a century ago, my father won his first F1 crown and it’s fantastic to be here in Australia celebrating his remarkable achievements with the rest of the family. I am sorry I can’t be there to collect the award but the Fairfield Trophy really is a fitting end to a memorable year. It means a lot to receive this commendation from my peers.”
A stellar 2009 season saw Brabham justifiably rewarded for years at the pinnacle of sportscar racing. At his 16th attempt, the 44 year-old won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Team Peugeot Total, ending Audi’s reign of domination and sealing a consecutive hat-trick of class titles in the process.
The back-to-back GT1 class wins with Aston Martin and team mate Darren Turner resulted in the pair jointly receiving the BRDC Woolf Barnato Trophy for the past two years, as the highest-placed British or Commonwealth drivers in a British car at Le Mans.
Outright victory with Peugeot Sport in 2009 was followed by Brabham taking the ALMS spoils in his 11th year racing in the Series and third season with the Patrón Highcroft team. Three pole positions, a trio of race wins and five second-place finishes secured the title by 17 points, achieving the first overall ALMS win, the first LMP1 victory and the first LMP1 championship title for Patrón Highcroft Racing and Acura.
The BRDC Fairfield Trophy is awarded for an outstanding performance by a BRDC Member in honour of Pat Fairfield, a highly-regarded driver of the pre-war era who scored many victories at home and abroad — notably in an ERA. Fairfield lost his life in an accident during the 1937 Le Mans 24-Hour race.