Something revolutionary is being developed. For the first time the fans will be truly involved in a motorsport project. The legendary Brabham family plans a return to the race track by building a LMP2 prototype and their aim is to race in the all-electric Formula E (Matthew Brabham is already test driver for Andretti) or Formula 1 in the near future. Nothing revolutionary here, but their plans to use the crowd influencing their decision making and to build a platform to show what’s going on behind the scenes, to inspire and to educate the crowd has not been done like this before.
Most top level racing series find it difficult to present themselves online. They’re only pushing content and don’t bother to answer questions. Formula E goes one step further by initiating ‘FanBoost’, where the top three drivers with the most online votes can use a ‘power boost’ during the race. They bravely entered a new path and were instantly labelled as ‘social’ , but almost no online interaction is taking place. It is up to the racing teams and drivers to make a difference: to share what they are doing behind the scenes, to share their comments and multimedia and to answer questions. That’s the least what needs to be done. A few are doing a very good job like some of the Formula 1 teams.
But Brabham is re-inventing the digital platform for racing enthusiasts. They are planning to take the fan experience to a whole new level. They will appeal three groups of people: racing fans, drivers and engineers. “Brabham-Digital is the online portal through which we will share knowledge and behind-the-scenes action with you. 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,” it reads.
Fans: We will share everything from our search for an investor, driver selection and building our premises, right up to the first car build, test and race. On race weekends Brabham-Fan will become the gateway for live telemetry, behind-the-scenes footage, radio communications and even critical race strategy.
Driver: This is for those who desire to know what it takes, technically and professionally, to become the ultimate racing driver. This online training course will include modules such as: understanding the car and advice around set-up, post-race and testing debriefs, media training and advice from nutritional experts and sports psychologists.
Engineers: It contains online training on what it takes to reach the pinnacle of motorsport engineering. Project challenges will cover all aspects of aerodynamics, CFD, suspension geometry and gearboxes, where members can get involved in the development of specific parts or even a future Brabham prototype, with certification of their achievements.
Interesting and appealing, isn’t it?!
Brabham wants to crowdfund the LMP2 programme and digital platform to raise initially £250,000. Exceeding this target would allow the team to start building the online platform as soon as possible. To have a car racing in the FIA WEC, including Le Mans 24 Hours, they have budgeted close to £8 million.
Why are they initiating this? Brabham believes it makes a long-term investment more likely and more sustainable, makes sponsorship more attractive to brands as it will have a loyal fan base and it involves fans more than ever.
“We have endured a long and testing journey to protect and bring the Brabham name back under the family’s control, then decide the next step in the journey of this iconic brand. I have long dreamt of seeing the Brabham Racing team back out on the track, winning at the highest level and continuing the legacy my father laid down when he first started the team in the Sixties,” David Braham knows.
He continues: “Crowdfunding 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. Come and join us and create another piece of history.”
Want to be part of it? Check their project on Indiegogo.
In 1966, Sir Jack Brabham became the first – and only – driver in history to win a Formula 1 World Championship in a car of his own name and manufacture, eventually winning three F1 crowns. Denny Hulme continued the team’s success in the following year and Nelson Piquet claimed two further driver titles in ’81 and ’83.
There hasn’t been a Brabham team for over twenty years, but now the famous name is ready to embark on its next journey.