Three-time Formula One champion driver Sir Jack Brabham has died aged 88.
The motorsport legend passed away peacefully this morning at his Gold Coast home.
Brabham is the only person to have won the F1 world championship in his own car.
A former Royal Australian Air Force mechanic, Brabham’s motorsport career started on Australian speedway dirt tracks in the late 1940s before he headed to the United Kingdom and joined the Cooper Racing Team, with which he won the 1959 and 1960 Formula One championships.
His sons continue the family’s involvement in motorsports – with one son Sam competing in the Formula Ford championship in Britain.
His youngest son David issued a statement on behalf of his family, saying: “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.”
After serving in the RAAF during World War II, Brabham started his own engineering firm buying and selling second-hand cars.
He began racing a short time later, racing midget cars on dirt tracks from 1948. He told Australian Story in 2009: “I managed to win the third race I started in, and never looked back from there.”
Brabham travelled to Europe in 1955 and before long he was building his own cars – revolutionising the sport by shifting the engine from the front of the vehicle to the back.