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Matthew Brabham, F1 great’s grandson, to race Super Truck in Australia

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While still pursuing his goal of driving in next year’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, Matthew Brabham has found a way to keep himself busy in the meantime.

The grandson of three-time Formula 1 champion Sir Jack Brabham, and the son of IndyCar and sports car great Geoff Brabham, the younger Brabham is taking – shall we say – a different kind of road this weekend.

He’ll compete at Surfers Paradise in his native Australia, racing in veteran American race car driver Robby Gordon’s Stadium SuperTruck Series.

It’s the same racetrack that Gordon finished third behind Nigel Mansell and Emerson Fittipaldi in the CART race there in 1993.

“The track has changed a little bit since my IndyCar days (having been shortened from 4.5 kilometers for Indy cars to 2.96 kilometers to better accommodate V8 Supercars),” Gordon told Speedcafe.com.

As for Brabham, he’ll drive the No. 83 in the 11-truc field with primary sponsorship from legendary rock band Def Leppard.

This will be Brabham’s second start in a Truck for Gordon, having done so earlier this year at Toronto.

“He raced in Toronto and did a good job there without any preparation beforehand,” Gordon said.

That’s almost the same situation Brabham faces this weekend, having arrived back in his native land on Thursday after being overseas in the U.S.

While looking for a full-time ride, Brabham has kept himself busy in 2015, competing in a number of events across a variety of race series including Indy Lights, Formula E, Stadium Super Trucks, a NASCAR late model event and two IndyCar tests for Andretti Autosport.

“I guess I’m at that point in my career where I’ve got to accept anything I can get. There’s a lot of late call-ups,” Brabham told Speedcafe.com. “Coming back to the Gold Coast to see all my friends and my family and race at the same time is just awesome.

“I’m just going to have some fun in practice tomorrow and just get my bearings really.

“I’ve driven on this track in Formula Ford so I know where the track goes and I’ve been watching IndyCar races here my whole life.”

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Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.