As the week ends and social calendars begin to check in for the weekend, and just as fresh wounds from the news of Steve Irwin’s death 5 days earlier began to heal, Australia mourns the loss of another legend and one of it’s most loved sons – Peter Brock!
The 61 year old Brock, named `King of the Mountain’ for his still un-defeated record of 9 times winner at Bathurst, crashed his home built Cobra Daytona Coupe whilst racing in Gidgegennup just outside Perth, WA.
The fatal crash occurred at a known black spot on a hairpin bend of Forest Road when Brock’s coupe slid out and hit a tree!
The driver’s door took the full impact of the crash. According to Sydney Morning Herald’s Janet Fife-Yeomans, witnesses said Brock was dead before the ambulance arrived just minutes later.
Brock’s co-driver was also his closest friend, Mick Hone who survived the crash with serious injuries including broken ribs.
A witness commented that they could hear Hone call out “Peter, are
you there? Peter, are you there ?”
Les Andrews, a spectator who was first on the scene, said “his
navigator asked me how Peter was; I told him Peter was gone and placed his hand in Peter’s hand and told him to hang on and squeeze it.”
And that was to be how Hone would say goodbye to his friend of over 25 years.
The irony is that after all that Brock has endured in various rallies
around the world and in the Bathurst Enduro itself, to be killed in an
event that is effectively a novelty, is certainly surreal!
“Brock was Peter Perfect”, said fellow Motorsport champion Mark Skaife on Sydney radio, “Growing up, we all wanted to be Peter Brock! He had it all, he was stylish, flamboyant, creative, ultra-competitive and very professional!”
Although mechanical failure has not been ruled out and investigations continue, it is understood that Brock was one of the competitors that had not familiarized himself with the track.
Brock had arrived late to the event after driving one of his favorite cars, an FX Holden to 5th place in the Goodwood Revival race in England.
On previous interviews Brock had commented on the Porsche like speed of his Daytona coupe and that he had some concerns about the handling at high speeds – a definite factor in the fatal crash.
His ex-wife for 28 years, Bev Brock told the press that she was
She went on to say that Peter was very intuitive and probably knew or had an idea that his time was close.
Peter’s home state of Victoria has offered a state funeral which the Brock family recently cordially accepted.
The three major manufacturing teams, Subaru, Mitsubishi Ralliart and Mini, have withdrawn from the event as a sign of respect.
Undeniably all Holden fans would have revered their hero, but even for those of us that may be Ford die-hards, Peter Brock represented a true professional driver with enough integrity to speak his mind (sometimes to the dismay of Holden), to love his fans and to always stand for what he believes in!
As a channel paying tribute to the art of motorsport, we hold Peter at the highest regard for shaping the future of Australian motorsport when there was nothing and no one before him!
Together with other driving greats that included Allan Moffat, Leo Geogeghen, Bob Jane and Dick Johnson, a legendary, world class motoring event was formed around Bathurst that would see the evolution of the sport rival any around the world and expand to New Zealand and China!
We offer this humble tribute to a great Australian in the hope that he may rest in peace!
Brock’s racing record is incredible:
9 wins, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987Australian Touring Car Champion:
3 times, 1974, 1978, 1980
Runner-up, 5 times, 1973, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1990.
9 wins, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984
Repco Round Australia Trial:
The five biggest wins at Bathurst:
Brock/Richards Torana beat Janson/Perkins by 6 laps + 1m 36.5s
1975- Brock/Sampson Torana beat Morris/Gardner by 2 laps + 1m 11s
1984- Brock/Perkins Commodore beat Harvey/Parsons by 2 laps + 0.6s
1978- Brock/Richards Torana beat Grice/Leffler by 1 lap = 2m3.4s
More info here SHM.com
Winning formula in Bathurst, 1974