In just his second major outing in an Indy Lights car, Brabham was solid, posting the third-fastest time across all sessions – only beaten by Andretti Autosport teammate Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves.
Getting used to new equipment has been an interesting exercise for Brabham, who comes to Lights after storming to the Pro Mazda title in 2013 on the strength of 13 wins. But he believes he is making progress there.
“It’s definitely a step up compared to Pro Mazda,” he said recently. “So far it’s been challenging to get used to more power and more grip, but fun to drive. I’m slowly getting there, and it should be a good year for us.”
Brabham was a relatively early addition to the 2014 Lights grid, when he was announced to join Andretti Autosport’s Lights team during the 2013 IndyCar season finale weekend in October.
To him, that’s made things a little bit easier as he focuses in on conquering yet another stop on the Mazda Road to Indy (he also won the USF2000 championship in 2012).
“It gives us a jump up on everybody, and that definitely helps,” he said. “That’s what we did last year [in Pro Mazda]. We got ahead and managed to sort things out before everybody else did.
“It’s great to get out early and nice to have everything signed so I can just focus on testing and getting comfortable before we go out and start getting ready for the racing season.”
As the son of former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Geoff Brabham and grandson of three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jack Brabham, the third-generation racer has a lot to live up to.
But from what we’ve seen out of him so far, Matthew looks like he’s capable of making his own mark in the years ahead.