Matt Brabham, the grandson of triple Formula 1 world champion Jack, will make his PIRTEK Enduro Cup debut later this season, driving for Preston Hire Racing.
Brabham, 23, has a single Virgin Australia Supercars Championship start to his name, having filled in at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport at Barbagallo Raceway last year.
He teams with Lee Holdsworth for the Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast classics, replacing Karl Reindler in the Charlie Schwerkolt-owned team’s line-up.
Brabham’s first Bathurst 1000 will follow his Mount Panorama debut earlier this month, winning Class C in the Bathurst 12 Hour aboard a BMW GT4.
The son of 1997 Great Race winner Geoff, Matt Brabham has spent recent years in the United States, highlighted by contesting the 2016 Indianapolis 500.
Without a full-time open-wheel drive over the last three seasons, he has remained based in the US racing Stadium Super Trucks, which he’ll continue to do in 2018.
Brabham will have his first drive of the Preston Hire Racing ZB Commodore at Sydney Motorsport Park’s pre-season Supercars test this Friday.
“I have been fortunate to have some terrific days in my motorsport career and this is certainly right up there,” said Brabham.
“Supercars is obviously one of the world’s leading categories and I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity that Charlie and Markus [Preston] have provided me.
“The one-off ride last year [in Perth] gave me a small taste of what Supercars is about and I can’t wait to get out there.
“I had my first experience at Mt Panorama last weekend in the 12 Hour and to know that the next time I will be heading back there will be in a Supercar is pretty cool.
“Lee is a first-class operator and has always been good to me and I am sure we will complement each other.
“The current landscape means that it is difficult to secure a solid drive without taking a cheque with you.
“So to be provided an opportunity like this and to be paid as a professional driver is a position that I obviously appreciate and will be protecting by doing the best job I can possibly do in and out of the car.”
Schwerkolt said he’s excited to see the Brabham name part of his team, entering its third season as a standalone squad.
“Matt is a terrific young driver and young man and we believe he will be a valuable asset for our race team as we all progress to the next level," he said.
“Matt is a racer. It goes without saying that it is in his blood and we believe that he will perfectly complement our full-time driver Lee Holdsworth.
“We are proud of the fact that we are giving a young Australian a shot and we also look forward to following his progress in the Stadium Super Trucks through the year.”
Holdsworth says he already has a strong relationship with Brabham, having been one of several Supercars drivers who attended the 2016 Indy 500.
“The PIRTEK Enduo Cup has become a real focus for the teams later in the season and it is great that we have our team set at this time of the year and can build a real strategy to give ourselves the best possible chance of a strong result," he said
“I was there for the Indy 500 in 2016 and enjoyed every minute of it and spending some time with Matt on the ground.
“Now I will get to show him around a Supercar at three of our biggest events of the year.”