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 How come Geoff Brabham didn't win an Indycar race?
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journeyman racer
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Posted - 22 Sep 2017 :  01:10:04  Show Profile Send journeyman racer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
12 podiums, 0 wins. 2 of the teams he drive for won races/championships with Michael Andretti and Al Unser jr.

This was before my interest in motor racing began. What's the go?

No1 fan of James Courtney's ex-wife!

Fast by Ferracci
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Posted - 22 Sep 2017 :  17:39:13  Show Profile Send Fast by Ferracci a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
A bit of wrong place/wrong time, but also he probably wasn't as good as the likes of Mears, Al Unser Sr or Mario Andretti who were doing the winning at the time.

He replaced Mike Mosley at Kraco Racing in late-83 and a full season in 1984 and did better than Mosely managed, and Geoff compared pretty well with teammate Michael Andretti in 1984, even though it was Mikey's first full season. I think Kraco wanted to keep Brabham for 1985 but he went to Galles and Kraco brought in Kevin Cogan, who didn't get near Andretti and didn't do anywhere near as well as Brabham did (Cogan was still trying to get over Indy 1982 I think). I think Kraco were learning how to be a front-running team, and kind of grew with Michael who hit his straps in 1986 as well and they team became front-runners from there until it was absorbed into Galles Racing after 1989.

When Brabham replaced Al Jnr at Galles in 1985/1986/1987, he didn't have a great 1985, and then his 86 & 87 seasons were ruined because he was effectively developing the Honda engine on his own. For 1988 Galles dropped the Honda program, cut back to 1 car and re-hired Al Jnr with a competitive Chevy engine.

Brabham was supposed to return to CART in 1994 with the factory Nissan entry, but during 1993 Nissan canned the program, and Brabham just did Indy 500 one-offs after 1987.

He probably deserved better results than he got, but by the same token he had four full seasons to make an impact.

Edited by - Fast by Ferracci on 22 Sep 2017 17:42:43
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journeyman racer
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Posted - 24 Sep 2017 :  23:48:35  Show Profile Send journeyman racer a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Well, looking at some of the 1-3 time winners in Indycar. If I were him, I'd feel disappointed that I couldn't Jag a win. Even with the 4th at Indy. That was early in his career. He surely would've made sure he had a few serious chances at winning that? If Arie Luyendyk can win it, he could've?

As I type and look into his wiki page. I'm reminded that he's a LM24H winner. Which validates his career anyway.


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Fast by Ferracci
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Posted - 25 Sep 2017 :  22:21:14  Show Profile Send Fast by Ferracci a Private Message  Reply with Quote Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
He got close a few times with 2nd places, but he never had a proper front running cars and wasn't able to jag a lucky win that the likes of Jacques Villeneuve (Snr) and Kevin Cogan did in 1985 and 1986 CART races. I agree he had the talent to win races, as his dominance in IMSA GT-P showed, but he couldn't crack it for an established ride. Kraco and Galles only got top level equipment after he left.

His 4th at Indy was pretty impressive, he didn't have a ride at the start of the month, but John Paul Jnr broke his leg in a practice crash so Brabham replaced him in the year old VDS Racing Penske. Brabham was doing pretty well in the race, bute stalled at his last pitstop. I'm not sure he could have won the race, but a third at least was achievable

I've read that Brabham was offered the Truesports drive for 1989 that Bobby Rahal vacated to move to Kraco, but sponsor Budweiser demanded an American, so the seat went to Scott Pruett.

I can't argue with your comparison with Luyendyk. He was quick but a journeyman and had been around a number of different CART teams in the 1984-1990 period, and lucked into a good seat in 1990 to win the Indy 500. The Dominoes Pizza team he drove for that year had managed to get one of the only nine (or around that number) latest-spec Chevrolet engine leases, and had the latest Lola that was designed around that engine...... as an aside that 1990 Indy 500, where so few entries were able to get a package capable of winning when Chevrolet cherry picked who would get their new spec engines, planted the early seed that eventually led to the IRL being formed a few years later.
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