Last night the world of motorsport lost one of its brightest stars, Sir Jack Brabham. A triple world champion and the only driver to win a Formula 1 world championship driving a car bearing his own name, Sir Jack was 88 and died of natural causes at his home on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Brabham won the world title in 1959 and 1960 driving for Cooper Car Company, and also 1966 driving for his own team. Sir Jack was knighted in 1979 for his services to motorsports. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and three sons, Geoff, David and Gary, all of them racing drivers.
Sir Jack Brabham’s Racing Record (via Jackbrabham.com):
- Formula One World Drivers Champion 1959, 1960 and 1966
- Formula One World Constructors Champion 1966 and 1967
- Fourteen Grand Prix wins
- Thirteen Formula One Pole Positions
- Ten second and seven third place finishes
- Australian of the Year 1966
- Awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1967
- Knighted for his services to motor sport in 1979
- Only driver in Formula One history to win the championship in a car of his own construction
- Contested 126 Grand Prix from 1955 to 1970
- British Saloon Car Championship in 1965
- Won both the Australian and New Zealand Grand Prix three times
- Four-time winner of the European Formula Two Championship
McLaren CEO Ron Dennis, who started out in Formula 1 working as a mechanic for Brabham, released a statement paying tribute to his mentor:
“The word ‘legend’ is often used to describe successful sportsmen, but often it exaggerates their status. In the case of Sir Jack Brabham, however, it’s entirely justified.
“When I started out in Formula 1 in the late 1960s, I worked first for Cooper and then for Brabham. Even as a callow youth, I could recognise greatness when I saw it, and I’ll always regard it as an honour and a privilege to have worked for Sir Jack. I learned a lot from him too.
“So, on behalf of all at McLaren, I’d like to pay tribute to one of the most illustrious names in motor racing history, and above all to extend heartfelt condolences to Sir Jack’s widow Margaret and his three sons Geoff, David and Gary.”