The Brabham family has a won a three-year legal battle to protect their name from use by third parties without proper authorisation.
The court battle started in 2009 when Franz Hilmer lodged an entry for the 2010 F1 season using the name ‘Brabham Grand Prix’ without any involvement with the Brabham family.
Although the application was knocked back, the experience prepared Sir Jack’s youngest son David – himself a former F1 racer and Le Mans-winning sports car driver – for the next legal tussle with German tuner Michael Trick who had been marketing specially prepared BMWs under the Brabham Racing name.
The official ruling from the German High Court in Koblenz ensures the rights to Brabham name for marketing purposes revert back to the Brabham family.
David Brabham was clearly relieved that the legal proceedings were finally over.
“I’m delighted that this situation has finally come to an end”, Brabham said. “It’s been a long and tiring battle, but this was something I felt we needed to do to protect the Brabham name.
“The global brand stands for success and innovation bolstered from 60 years of racing heritage, and deserves to be protected.
“That respected reputation is built on four F1 drivers’ and two constructors’ titles, while the legacy has continued with myself, Geoff and Gary, adding two Le Mans victories, two American Le Mans Series titles, four IMSA GTP Championships, F3 and F3000 crowns, plus various national and international across the echelons of the sport.”
Don’t expect the Brabham name to return to the F1 paddock anytime soon, but with son Sam having competed in the Formula Kart Stars and his nephew Matthew winning the USF2000 championship in 2012, future appearances can’t be ruled out.