UPDATED: Matthew Brabham completes first KV test in preparation for Indy 500


Typically, when a rookie has his first IndyCar test, it’s usually only big news to him, his team and his family.

But when your grandfather was a two-time Formula One champion and your father was a noted racer himself, it’s not surprising that Matthew Brabham’s first IndyCar test with his new team Tuesday drew great attention and interest.

Driving one of Sebastien Bourdais’ chassis, Brabham was at Sebring International Raceway Tuesday to test with PIRTEK Team Murray, which has a technical alliance with KVSH Racing, Bourdais’ full-time team.

Brabham’s car wears the No. 61, which isaan homage to the year (1961) his grandfather began the shift to rear-engine power at Indianapolis. The younger Brabham completed 134 laps around the 1.67-mile road course

“What an awesome day,” Brabham said in a media release. “To arrive at the track at 7 am this morning and see the car in PIRTEK Team Murray branding really brought home that this whole program is real.

“These cars are obviously a lot more physical to drive than open wheels cars I have been used to in the past and it was a typical hot Florida day, but apart from being a little stiff in the neck, which is to be expected, I feel great.”

Brown and Brabham. Photo: PIRTEK Team Murray
Brown and Brabham. Photo: PIRTEK Team Murray

Engineer Andy Brown praised Brabham’s skills in Tuesday’s test.

“You would not have believed he has driven these cars as little as he has,” Brown said. “His feedback has been detailed and very clear and precise, which is only going to serve us well and place us in good stead as we move forward into the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 500.

“He has hardly put a foot wrong all day and we have made some really good progress, so I am looking forward to the next couple of events. Inexperience can catch you out on days like today, but he seems to have an old head on young shoulders.

“I think he is one of those exceptional talents whose inexperience may not work against him – and may actually help him because he has that youthful enthusiasm. He just wants to get after it and go faster. We certainly have no trouble getting him in the car or keeping him in the car. He wants to be out there.”

Not only was Tuesday’s test special for Brabham, it also was for Brown, a Indy 500 veteran.

“Adding the Brabham name to my CV (resume) is very much a privilege and honor and then there is the 100th Indy 500 itself,” Brown said. “The race has been a big part of my life since I went there for the first time and won it in 1992.

“I have been back virtually every year since and to be there this year with a Brabham really is the icing on the cake.”

Brabham made a seat fit on Monday, and has previously tested with Andretti Autosport, both at Sonoma and Iowa last year.

“Matt did an exceptionally professional job and the support from the KVSH Racing guys was first class,” PIRTEK Team Murray owner Brett “Crusher” Murray. “I was delighted with how quickly Matt and Andy Brown became a cohesive unit. It was like they have been working together for years.

“To get 134 laps of running, produce some good speed and come away without a scratch on the car really is close to a perfect result. It was great to have Matt’s dad Geoff looking on from the pit lane and I am sure Sir Jack (Brabham) had a smile on his face somewhere.”

The younger Brabham’s test was in preparation for his IndyCar debut – at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, arguably the toughest place on earth to start the next chapter of your racing career – his first career IndyCar start in next month’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in a couple of weeks, followed two weeks later with his hope of qualifying for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Brabham finished fourth as a rookie in the Indy Lights Series in 2014, after winning the Pro Mazda (2013) and USF2000 (2012) titles the two years previous. He had high hopes for 2015, but funding kept him to just three starts in IndyCar’s junior circuit.

Now he’s ready for the biggest race of his career to date.

Matthew’s grandfather, Sir Jack Brabham, made four starts in the Indianapolis 500, with a best finish of ninth in his rookie start there in 1961.

Matthew’s father, Geoff Brabham, made 10 starts in the Indy 500, with his two best finishes being a fifth place showing in his rookie race there in 1981, and a career-best fourth in 1983.

Matthew is hoping to become only the third third-generation driver to race at Indianapolis, with the Brabham family joining the Andretti and Vukovich name as a third-generation driver competing there.

Tuesday’s test also had some strong sentiment to it. Sebring is where Matthew won his first race in North America in 2012 in USF2000 competition.

It’s also the same track where his grandfather pushed his car over the finish line to win the 1959 Formula One World Championship — the first of what would be three for the late Sir Jack — as well as where father Geoff and uncle David enjoyed sports car racing success in their respective careers, as well.

“I have always liked Sebring and obviously my family has some great history here, so to come through the day without any issues and 134 laps under my belt ticks a big box for us.

“I wish I was doing it every day, but I have to wait a couple of weeks before I am back in the car and I am already counting down the days.”

Check out some posts from social media on Brabham’s big day on Tuesday:

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Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”