Aussie rookie impresses in IndyCar debut

Australian rookie Matt Brabham has impressed in qualifying for this weekend’s IndyCar race at Indianapolis.

Brabham, the grandson of three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham, will start in 16th position for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

The 82-lap road course event is the precursor to the iconic Indianapolis 500, which Brabham is set to contest as the driver behind the Australian-backed Team Murray outfit.

Saturday’s race (Sunday AM AEST) will be both Brabham’s first IndyCar start as well as the first appearance for Team Murray in the United States open-wheel championship.

“It’s incredible. It’s one of those special feelings,” Brabham said.

“It’s almost as though the stars have aligned – it’s the 100th running (of the Indianapolis 500), it’s Indy, and I’m obviously going to be a third generation driver.

“I’m pretty happy to be a part of all of that, and pretty honoured.”

Brabham will be one of five rookies in this weekend’s race.

Former IndyCar champion Will Power qualified in 12th position as he tries to defend his event title.

Power brushed a wall in qualifying and will have to settle for a mid-pack start.

“I was on time, good enough to get there,” the Australian said.

“I just locked up, went in the grass, got out of the way and was all over the marbles.

“Every week, I screw the Fast Six. Every week, without fail. I was quick in practice.”

Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud won pole position for the race.

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