THE death of Sir Jack Brabham has rekindled memories of the legend of motorsport and his association with the sport at Mount Panorama in Bathurst.
Sir Jack AO, OBE, triple Formula 1 World Champion, passed away peacefully at his Gold Coast home on Monday.
A Formula 1 World Champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966 and double Constructors' Champion (1966 and 1967), Sir Jack was considered one of the most accomplished drivers and team owners in the history of the sport.
Sir Jack won the Bathurst 100 mile race back in 1960 in a 2.5 litre Cooper Climax car, including being clocked at 157mph down Conrod Straight. That car is on show at the local National Motor Racing Hall of Fame.
In 1976 the Formula One world champion again made his way to Bathurst with English legend Stirling Moss, whipping the sleepy country town and international press into a frenzy.
The greatest driver never to claim an F1 title, and the first Australian F1 champion put their reputations on the line at Bathurst, only to have them dashed on a very dramatic note when Sir Jack's Torana was stuck on the grid with jammed gears, and was then rammed very hard from behind.
This incident effectively put Brabham and Moss out of the race, but the car reappeared several hours later simply for appearances. Eventually the motor blew while Moss was at the wheel.
The following year Sir Jack was 18th with son Geoff before his final effort in 1978 which netted sixth alongside Brian Muir.
The first driver to be knighted for services to motorsport, 'Black Jack' rose from racing midgets on dirt ovals in Australia to dominate global motorsport.
His first two titles in the Cooper Climax marked the end for front-engined Formula 1 cars. The third made him the only driver in history to win a World Championship in a car of his own manufacture, the Brabham BT19 - a feat unlikely to ever be repeated.
Acclaimed as a brilliant engineer, technological innovations brought about by the Brabham team helped to shape the sport today. Through his partnership with Ron Tauranac, over 500 Brabham racecars were built from the team's British Surrey base in the 1960s alone, while the Brabham name continued in F1 for 30 years.
Although Jack scored his final win in the 1970 South African Grand Prix, the legacy has continued with all three of his sons achieving their own global success, while third generation drivers Matthew and Sam are building their own notable racing careers.
On behalf of the family, Jack's youngest son David said: "It's a very sad day for all of us. My father passed away peacefully at home at the age of 88 this morning. He lived an incredible life, achieving more than anyone would ever dream of and he will continue to live on through the astounding legacy he leaves behind."
Sir Jack is survived by his wife, Lady Margaret, sons Geoff, Gary and David and their families.
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