HOUSTON -- Matthew Brabham locked up the Pro Mazda Championship Powered by Cooper Tires title a few weeks ago, but the Andretti Autosport driver sought to add to his records.
Brabham earned his 12th and 13th victories of the season in the No. 83 MAZDASPEED/AFS Racing/Team Andretti Autosport car in the Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Houston.
“I think the person that had the least pressure on him this weekend is my dad," he said. "Last year, when it came to the wire between Spencer (Pigot) and myself for the championship, he was wearing the bottom of his shoes off. I just went with the flow this weekend."
In Race 1, Pigot, of Team Pelfrey, passed Brabham’s teammate and front-row starter Shelby Blackstock on Lap 2 to finish second and claim his fifth podium of the season. Nicolas Costa, who last competed at Mid-Ohio in August, claimed third place.
Jay Horak of M1 Racing picked up his first Expert Class win to take the championship lead heading into finale.
In Race 2 on Oct. 6, Brabham started from the pole and went on to a comfortable victory. Costa finished second and Juan Piedrahita of JDC MotorSports rounded out the podium – his fifth of the year – after starting fifth. With his second victory of the weekend, Horak secured the Expert Class championship title.
Brabham set series records for most wins (13), most podiums (15) and most fastest laps (13) in a single season. He was presented the Mazda Road to Indy champion’s prize package of a scholarship from Mazda worth more than $636,000 to advance to Indy Lights competition next year.
"My season with Andretti has been incredible," he said. "We got along really well instantly at the start of the season. I can’t describe the job they have done this year. Every single session, we have been 100 percent on top of our game and it translated into results. I can’t thank them enough. It was such a fun year."
Brabham is the first driver to advance in succession on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder from the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda to Pro Mazda and Indy Lights.
Diego Ferreira finished second in the standings and Shelby Blackstock placed third.