Jack Brabham

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Sir
Jack Brabham
AO, OBE
BrabhamJack1966B.jpg
Jack Brabham in 1966, the year of his final world championship
Born(1926-04-02)2 April 1926
Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia
Died19 May 2014(2014-05-19) (aged 88)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Australian
Active years 19551970
Teams Cooper, Rob Walker Racing Team and Brabham
Entries128 (126 starts)
Championships 3 (1959, 1960, 1966)
Wins 14
Podiums31
Career points253 (261) [note 1]
Pole positions 13
Fastest laps 12
First entry 1955 British Grand Prix
First win 1959 Monaco Grand Prix
Last win 1970 South African Grand Prix
Last entry 1970 Mexican Grand Prix

Sir John Arthur Brabham, AO , OBE (2 April 1926 – 19 May 2014) was an Australian racing driver who was Formula One World Champion in 1959, 1960, and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name. [1]

Contents

Brabham was a Royal Australian Air Force flight mechanic and ran a small engineering workshop before he started racing midget cars in 1948. His successes with midgets in Australian and New Zealand road racing events led to his going to Britain to further his racing career. There he became part of the Cooper Car Company's racing team, building as well as racing cars. He contributed to the design of the mid-engined cars that Cooper introduced to Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and won the Formula One world championship in 1959 and 1960. In 1962 he established his own Brabham marque with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac, which in the 1960s became the largest manufacturer of customer racing cars in the world. In the 1966 Formula One season Brabham became the first – and still, the only – man to win the Formula One world championship driving one of his own cars. He was the last surviving World Champion of the 1950s.

Brabham retired to Australia after the 1970 Formula One season, where he bought a farm and maintained business interests, which included the Engine Developments racing engine manufacturer and several garages. [2]

Early life

John Arthur 'Jack' Brabham was born on 2 April 1926 in Hurstville, New South Wales, then a commuter town outside Sydney. Brabham was involved with cars and mechanics from an early age. At the age of 12, he learned to drive the family car and the trucks of his father's grocery business. Brabham attended technical college, studying metalwork, carpentry, and technical drawing. [3]

Brabham's early career continued the engineering theme. At the age of 15 he left school to work, combining a job at a local garage with an evening course in mechanical engineering. Brabham soon branched out into his own business selling motorbikes, which he bought and repaired for sale, using his parents' back veranda as his workshop. [4]

One month after his 18th birthday on 19 May 1944 Brabham enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Although he was keen on becoming a pilot, there was already a surplus of trained aircrew and the Air Force instead put his mechanical skills to use as a flight mechanic, of which there was a wartime shortage. He was based at RAAF Station Williamtown, where he maintained Bristol Beaufighters at No. 5 Operational Training Unit. On his 20th birthday, 2 April 1946, Brabham was discharged from the RAAF with the rank of leading aircraftman. He then started a small service, repair, and machining business in a workshop built by his uncle on a plot of land behind his grandfather's house. [5]

Racing career

Australia

A midget car similar to those driven by Brabham AJ Foyt dirt car 1961.jpg
A midget car similar to those driven by Brabham

Brabham started racing after an American friend, Johnny Schonberg, persuaded him to watch a midget car race. Midget racing was a category for small open-wheel cars racing on dirt ovals. It was popular in Australia, attracting crowds of up to 40,000. Brabham records that he was not taken with the idea of driving, being convinced that the drivers "were all lunatics" but he agreed to build a car with Schonberg. [5]

At first Schonberg drove the homemade device, powered by a modified JAP motorcycle engine built by Brabham in his workshop. In 1948, Schonberg's wife persuaded him to stop racing and on his suggestion Brabham took over. He almost immediately found that he had a knack for the sport, winning on his third night's racing. From there he was a regular competitor and winner in Midgets (known as Speedcars in Australia) at tracks such Sydney's Cumberland Speedway, the Sydney Showground, and the Sydney Sports Ground, as well as interstate tracks such as Adelaide's Kilburn and Rowley Park speedways and the Ekka in Brisbane. Brabham has since said that it was "terrific driver training. You had to have quick reflexes: in effect you lived—or possibly died—on them." [6] Due to the time required to prepare the car, the sport also became his living. Brabham won the 1948 Australian Speedcar Championship, the 1949 Australian and South Australian Speedcar championships, and the 1950–1951 Australian championship with the car. [7]

After successfully running the midget at some hillclimbing events in 1951, Brabham became interested in road racing. He bought and modified a series of racing cars from the Cooper Car Company, a British constructor, and from 1953 concentrated on this form of racing, in which drivers compete on closed tarmac circuits. He was supported by his father and by the Redex fuel additive company, although his commercially aware approach—including the title RedeX Special painted on the side of his Cooper-Bristol—did not go down well with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), which banned the advertisement. [8] Brabham competed in Australia and New Zealand until early 1955, taking "a long succession of victories", including the 1953 Queensland Road Racing championship. [7] During this time, he picked up the nickname "Black Jack", which has been variously attributed to his dark hair and stubble, to his "ruthless" approach on the track, [9] and to his "propensity for maintaining a shadowy silence". [10] After the 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix, Brabham was persuaded by Dean Delamont, competitions manager of the Royal Automobile Club in the United Kingdom, to try a season of racing in Europe, then the international centre of road racing. [11]

Europe

Cooper

A rear-engined T51 of the type Brabham used to win his first world championship Cooper T51 rear Donington.jpg
A rear-engined T51 of the type Brabham used to win his first world championship

Upon arriving in Europe on his own in early 1955, Brabham based himself in the UK, where he bought another Cooper to race in national events. His crowd-pleasing driving style initially betrayed his dirt track origins: as he put it, he took corners "by using full [steering] lock and lots of throttle". [12] Visits to the Cooper factory for parts led to a friendship with Charlie and John Cooper, who told the story that after many requests for a drive with the factory team, Brabham was given the keys to the transporter taking the cars to a race. [13] Brabham soon "seemed to merge into Cooper Cars": [14] he was not an employee, but he started working at Cooper daily from the midpoint of the 1955 season building a Bobtail mid-engined sports car, intended for Formula One, the top category of single seater racing. [note 2] He made his Grand Prix debut at the age of 29 driving the car at the 1955 British Grand Prix. It had a 2-litre engine, half a litre less than permitted, and ran slowly with a broken clutch before retiring. [14] [15] Later in the year Brabham, again driving the Bobtail, tussled with Stirling Moss for third place in a non-championship Formula One race at Snetterton. Although Moss finished ahead, Brabham saw the race as a turning point, proving that he could compete at this level. He shipped the Bobtail back to Australia, where he used it to win the 1955 Australian Grand Prix before selling it to help fund a permanent move to the UK the following year with his wife Betty and their son Geoff. [16]

Brabham briefly and unsuccessfully campaigned his own second hand Formula One Maserati 250F during 1956, but his season was saved by drives for Cooper in sports cars and Formula Two, the junior category to Formula One. [17] At that time, almost all racing cars had their engines mounted at the front but Coopers were different, having the engine placed behind the driver, which improved their handling. In 1957, Brabham drove another mid-engined Cooper, again only fitted with a 2-litre engine, at the Monaco Grand Prix. He avoided a large crash at the first corner and was running third towards the end of the race when the fuel pump mount failed. After more than three hours of racing, the exhausted Brabham, who "hated to be beaten", [18] pushed the car to the line to finish sixth. [19] The following year, he was Autocar Formula Two champion in a Cooper, while continuing to score minor points-scoring positions with the small-engined Coopers in the World Drivers' Championship and driving for Aston Martin in Sportscars. [7] His schedule necessitated a considerable amount of travel on the roads of Europe. Brabham's driving on public roads was described as "safe as houses", [20] unlike many of his contemporaries—on the way back from the 1957 Pescara Grand Prix, passenger Tony Brooks took over driving after Brabham refused to overtake a long line of lorries. In late 1958, Brabham rekindled his interest in flying and began taking lessons. He bought his own plane and on gaining his licence began to make heavy use of it piloting himself, his family, and members of his team around Europe to races. [21]

In 1959, Cooper obtained 2.5-litre engines for the first time and Brabham put the extra power to good use by winning his first world championship race at the season-opening Monaco Grand Prix after Jean Behra's Ferrari and Stirling Moss's Cooper failed. [22] More podium places were followed by a win in the British Grand Prix at Aintree after Brabham preserved his tyres to the end of the race, enabling him to finish ahead of Moss who had to pit to replace worn tyres. [23] This gave him a 13-point championship lead with four races to go. At the Portuguese Grand Prix at Monsanto Park, Brabham was chasing race leader Moss when a backmarker moved over on him and launched the Cooper into the air. The airborne car hit a telegraph pole, throwing Brabham onto the track, where he narrowly avoided being hit by one of his teammates but escaped with no serious injury. [24] With two wins each, Brabham, Moss, and Ferrari's Tony Brooks were all capable of winning the championship at the final event of the season, the United States Grand Prix at Sebring. Brabham was among those up until 1 am the morning before the race working on the Cooper team cars. The next day, after pacing himself behind Moss, who soon retired with a broken gearbox, he led almost to the end of the race before running out of fuel on the last lap. He again pushed the car to the finish line to place fourth, although in the event this was unnecessary as his other title rival, Brooks, finished only third. [25] His championship-winning margin over Brooks was four points. According to Gerald Donaldson, "some thought [his title] owed more to stealth than skill, an opinion at least partly based on Brabham's low-key presence." [10]

Despite his success with Cooper, Brabham was sure he could do better. He considered buying Cooper in partnership with Roy Salvadori and then in late 1959 he asked his friend Ron Tauranac to come to the UK and work with him, producing upgrade kits for Sunbeam Rapier and Triumph Herald road cars at his car dealership, Jack Brabham Motors, but with the long-term aim of designing racing cars. [26] Brabham continued to drive for Cooper, but on the long flight back from the 1960 season-opening Argentine Grand Prix, he had a heart-to-heart with John Cooper. John's father Charlie and the designer Owen Maddock had been reluctant to update their car, but although a Cooper had won in Argentina, other cars had been faster before they broke down. [27] Brabham helped design the more advanced Cooper T53, including advice from Tauranac. [28] Brabham spun the new car out of the next championship race, the Monaco Grand Prix, but then embarked on a series of five straight victories. He won from the front at the Dutch, French, and Belgian Grands Prix, where title rival Moss was badly injured in a practice accident that put him out for two months. Two other drivers were killed during the race. At the British Grand Prix, Brabham was closing on Graham Hill's BRM before Hill spun off, leaving Brabham the victory. He then came back from eighth place to second at the Portuguese Grand Prix after sliding off on tramlines and won after race leader John Surtees crashed. Brabham's points total was put out of reach when the British teams withdrew from the Italian GP on safety grounds. [29] Mike Lawrence writes that Brabham's expertise in setting up the cars was a significant factor in Cooper's 1960 drivers' and constructors' titles. [30]

Coventry Climax were late in producing the smaller 1.5-litre engine required for the 1961 season and the Cooper-Climaxes were outclassed by new mid-engined cars from Porsche, Lotus, and championship-winners Ferrari. [31] Brabham scored only three points and finished 11th in the championship. He had a little more success in the non-championship Formula One races, where he ran his own private Coopers and took three victories at Snetterton (26 March), Brussels (9 April), and Aintree (22 April).

The same year, Brabham entered the famous Indianapolis 500 oval race for the first time in a modified version of the Formula One Cooper. It had a 2.7-litre Climax engine producing 268 bhp (200 kW; 272 PS) compared to the 4.4-litre, 430 bhp (321 kW; 436 PS) Offenhauser engines used by the front-engined roadsters driven by all the other entrants. Jack qualified a respectable 17th at 145.144 mp/h (pole winner Eddie Sachs qualified at 147.481 mp/h), and while the front-engined roadsters were much faster on the long front and back straights, the rear-engined Cooper's superior handling through the turns and the shorter north and south sections kept the reigning World Champion competitive. Brabham ran as high as third before finishing ninth, completing all 200 laps. Although most of the doubters in the American Indycar scene claimed that rear-engine cars were for drivers who like to be pushed around, as Brabham put it, it "triggered the rear-engined revolution at Indy" and within five years most of the cars that raced at Indianapolis would be rear-engined. [32]

Brabham

Brabham at the 1965 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. BrabhamJack19650801Sudkehre.jpg
Brabham at the 1965 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
Brabham after winning the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Brabham at 1966 Dutch Grand Prix (5).jpg
Brabham after winning the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
Brabham BT18-Honda of the type with which Jack Brabham dominated Formula Two in 1966 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed F2 Brabham BT18 Honda.jpg
Brabham BT18-Honda of the type with which Jack Brabham dominated Formula Two in 1966
Brabham in the car before the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Brabham at 1966 Dutch Grand Prix.jpg
Brabham in the car before the 1966 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
Brabham in his Brabham BT33 at the 1970 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. 1970 Brands Hatch Race of Champions Jack Brabham BT33.jpg
Brabham in his Brabham BT33 at the 1970 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.

Brabham and Tauranac set up a company called Motor Racing Developments (MRD), which produced customer racing cars, while Brabham himself continued to race for Cooper. MRD produced cars for Formula Junior, with the first one appearing in mid-1961. Brabham left Cooper in 1962 to drive for his own team: the Brabham Racing Organisation, using cars built by Motor Racing Developments. [33] [note 3] A newly introduced engine limit in Formula One of 1500 cc did not suit Brabham and he did not win a single race with a 1500 cc car. [34] His team suffered poor reliability during this period and motorsport authors Mike Lawrence and David Hodges have said that Brabham's reluctance to spend money may have cost the team results, a view echoed by Tauranac. [note 4] During the 1965 season, Brabham started to consider retirement to manage his team. Dan Gurney took the lead driver role, and the team's first world championship win, while Brabham gave up his car to several other drivers towards the end of the season. At the end of the season, Gurney announced his intention to leave and set up his own team and Brabham decided to carry on. [35]

In 1966, a new 3-litre formula was created for Formula One. The new engines under development by other suppliers all had at least 12 cylinders and proved difficult to develop, being heavy and unreliable. Brabham took a different approach to the problem of obtaining a suitable engine: he persuaded Australian engineering company Repco to develop a new 3-litre eight-cylinder engine for him. [36] Repco had no experience in designing complete engines. Brabham had identified a supply of suitable engine blocks obtained from Oldsmobile's aluminium alloy 215 engine and persuaded the company that an engine could be designed around the block, largely using existing components. Brabham and Repco were aware that the engine would not compete in terms of outright power, but felt that a lightweight, reliable engine could achieve good championship results while other teams were still making their new designs reliable.

The combination of the Repco engine and the Brabham BT19 chassis designed by Tauranac worked. At the French Grand Prix at Reims-Gueux, Jack Brabham took his first Formula One world championship win since 1960 and became the first man to win such a race in a car of his own construction. Only his two former teammates, Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney, have since matched this achievement. It was the first in a run of four straight wins for the Australian veteran. The 40-year-old Brabham was annoyed by press stories about his age and, in a highly uncharacteristic stunt, at the Dutch Grand Prix he hobbled to his car on the starting grid before the race wearing a long false beard and leaning on a cane before going on to win the race. [37] Brabham confirmed his third championship at the Italian Grand Prix and became the only driver to win the Formula One World Championship in a car that carried his own name.

The season also saw the fruition of Brabham's relationship with Japanese engine manufacturer Honda in Formula Two. After a generally unsuccessful season in 1965, Honda revised their 1-litre engine completely. Brabham won ten of the year's 16 European Formula Two races in his Brabham-Honda. There was no European Formula Two championship that year, but Brabham won the Trophées de France, a championship consisting of six of the French Formula Two races. [38]

In 1967, the Formula One title went to Brabham's teammate Denny Hulme. Hulme had better reliability through the year, possibly due to Brabham's desire to try new parts first. [39]

Despite taking pole position in the first two rounds, mechanical problems halted his chances of victory. He spun numerous times in South Africa, and at Monaco, his engine blew up at the start, and the win went to his teammate Denny Hulme. At the Dutch Grand Prix, he scored his first podium of the season, with second place, behind Scotsman Jim Clark. He retired in the Belgian Grand Prix with another blown engine. He fixed this by winning the French Grand Prix at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. He came fourth at the British Grand Prix, behind Chris Amon, his teammate Hulme, and Clark. At the German Grand Prix, he had a huge battle with Amon, and Brabham eventually finished ahead of the New Zealander, by only half a second. Hulme was the winner. At the first ever Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park, he took a huge win, ahead of Hulme, in cold and rainy conditions. At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Brabham had to finish second, only a few car lengths behind John Surtees, who took his last GP win. Hulme retired from the race, cutting the gap to 3 points between the two, as the circus headed for the United States, at Watkins Glen for the United States Grand Prix. Brabham outqualified his teammate, and finished fifth in the race, and with Hulme on the podium, this meant the championship chances were looking slim for Black Jack, as the circus went to Mexico for the championship deciding and final race of the season. Once again, he outqualified his teammate, and needed to win, with Hulme fifth or lower. But Jim Clark was simply too fast during the whole weekend, and dominated the race from pole to win, with Brabham finishing over 1 minute and 25 seconds behind. Hulme finished third, and so the New Zealander won the championship, while Brabham settled for second place. The team secured the Constructors' Championship, with 67 total points scored, and 23 points ahead of Lotus which scored a total of 44 points.

Brabham raced alongside his teammate Jochen Rindt during the 1968 season. It wasn't a good season for him. He retired from the first seven races, before scoring two points for fifth place at the German Grand Prix. He retired from the remaining four races. At the end of the year, he fulfilled a desire to fly from Britain to Australia in a small twin-engined Beechcraft Queen Air. [21] Partway through the 1969 season, Brabham suffered serious injuries to his foot in a testing accident. He returned to racing before the end of the year, but promised his wife that he would retire after the season finished and sold his share of the team to Tauranac.

"I felt very sad, [...] I didn't feel I was giving up racing because I couldn't do the job. I felt I was just as competitive then as at any other time, and I really should have won the championship in 1970. [...] I'd have been a lot better off if I'd stayed, but sometimes family pressures don't allow you to make the decisions you'd like to."

The World according to Jack, Motor Sport (May 1999) p.36

Finding no top drivers available despite coming close to bringing Rindt back to the team, Brabham decided to race for one more year. He began auspiciously, winning the first race of the season, the South African Grand Prix, and then led the third race, the Monaco Grand Prix until the very last turn of the last lap. Brabham was about to hold off the onrushing Rindt (the eventual 1970 F1 champion) when his front wheels locked in a skid on the sharp right turn only yards from the finish and he ended up second. While leading at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, he ran out of fuel at Clearways and Rindt passed him to take the win while Brabham coasted to the finish in second place. After the 13th and final race of the season, the Mexican Grand Prix, Brabham did retire. He had tied Jackie Stewart for fifth in the points standings in the season he drove at the age of 44. Brabham also drove for the works Matra team during the 1970 World Sportscar Championship season and won the final race of the season and his final top level race at the Paris 1000 km in October that year. [40] He then made a complete break from racing and returned to Australia, to the relief of his wife who had been "scared stiff" each time he drove. [41]

Retirement

Brabham continued his involvement in motorsport after his retirement. Former rivals Brabham and Stirling Moss shake hands at the 2004 Goodwood Revival meeting. Brabham Moss BT19 Goodwood Revival 2004.jpg
Brabham continued his involvement in motorsport after his retirement. Former rivals Brabham and Stirling Moss shake hands at the 2004 Goodwood Revival meeting.

Following his retirement, Brabham and his family moved to a farm between Sydney and Melbourne. Brabham says that he "never really wanted" [42] the move, but his wife hoped their sons could grow up away from motorsport. As well as running the new venture, he continued his interest in businesses in the UK and Australia, including a small aviation company and garages and car dealerships. He also set up Engine Developments Ltd. in 1971 with John Judd, who had worked for Brabham on the Repco engine project in the mid 1960s. The company builds engines for racing applications. [43] Brabham was also a shareholder in Jack Brabham Engines Pty Ltd., an Australian company marketing Jack Brabham memorabilia.

The Brabham team continued in Formula One, winning two further Drivers' Championships in the early 1980s under Bernie Ecclestone's ownership. Although the original organisation went into administration in 1992, the name was attached to a German company selling cars and accessories in 2008, and an unsuccessful attempt to set up a new Formula One team the following year. On both occasions the Brabham family, which was unconnected to the ventures, announced its intention to take legal advice. [44] [45] In September 2014, Brabham's youngest son David announced Project Brabham, a new team planning to use a crowdsourcing business model to enter the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMP2 category. [46]

Despite his three titles, and although John Cooper considered him "the greatest", [note 5] Formula One journalist Adam Cooper wrote in 1999 that Brabham is never listed among the Top 10 of all time, noting that "Stirling Moss and Jim Clark dominated the headlines when Jack was racing, and they still do". [47] Brabham was the first post-war racing driver to be knighted when he received the honour in 1978 for services to motorsport. [48] He has received several other honours and in 2011, the suburb of Brabham in Perth, Western Australia, was named after him. [49] A race circuit and an automotive training school were also named after him in the early 2010s. [50]

Brabham at the Classic Adelaide rally in 2002. Brabham R230 Classic Adelaide 2002.jpeg
Brabham at the Classic Adelaide rally in 2002.

In retirement, Brabham continued to be involved in motorsport events, appearing at contemporary and historic motorsport events around the world where he often drove his former Cooper and Brabham cars until the early 2000s. In 1999, after competing at the Goodwood Revival at the age of 73 he commented that driving stopped him getting old. [47] Despite a large accident at the 2000 Revival, the first racing accident to put him in hospital overnight, he continued to drive until at least 2004. [42] By the late 2000s, ill-health was preventing him from driving in competition. In addition to the deafness caused by years of motor racing without adequate ear protection, his eyesight was reduced due to macular degeneration and he had kidney disease for which by 2009 he was receiving dialysis three times a week. Nonetheless, that year he attended a celebration of the 50th anniversary of his first world championship at the Phillip Island Classic festival of motorsport, [51] and in 2010 flew to Bahrain with most of the other Formula One world Drivers' Champions for a celebration of 60 years of the Formula One world championship. Brabham was the oldest surviving F1 champion. [52]

Brabham and Betty had three sons together: Geoff, Gary, and David. All three became involved in motorsport, with support from Brabham in their early years. Between them, they have won sportscar and single-seater races and championships. Geoff was an Indycar and sportscar racer who won five North American sportscar championships as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, [53] while David competed in Formula One for the Brabham team and has also won the Le Mans race as well as three Japanese and North American sportscar titles. [54] Gary also drove briefly in Formula One, although his F1 career consisted of two DNPQ's for the Life team. [55] Brabham and Betty divorced in 1994 after 43 years. Brabham married his second wife, Margaret in 1995 and they lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland. [42] Brabham's grandson Matthew (son of Geoff) graduated from karts in 2010 and won two ladders of the Mazda Road to Indy, eventually racing in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and winning two Stadium Super Trucks championships. Another grandson, Sam, the son of David and Lisa , whose brother Mike also was an F1 driver, stepped up to car racing from karts in 2013 when he made his debut in the British Formula Ford Championship. [56] The Brabham family have been involved in world-class motorsport for over 60 years. [57]

Death

Brabham made his last public appearance on 18 May 2014, appearing with one of the cars he built. [58] He died at his home on the Gold Coast on 19 May 2014, aged 88, following a lengthy battle with liver [59] disease. He was eating breakfast with his wife, Margaret, when he died. [60] In a statement on the family's website, Brabham's son David confirmed his father's death. [58]

"It's a very sad day for all of us", David Brabham stated. "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." [58]

At the time of his death, Brabham was the last surviving world champion from the 1950s era.

At his request, his ashes were scattered at the Tamborine Mountain Skywalk in Queensland Australia by his wife, Lady Margaret Brabham on 4 September 2014. Brabham was a frequent visitor to the Skywalk.

Honours and awards

Racing record

Career summary

SeasonSeriesTeamRacesWinsPolesF/LapsPodiumsPointsPosition
1955 Formula One Cooper Car Company 100000NC
1956 Formula One Jack Brabham100000NC
1957 Formula One Cooper Car Company 300000NC
Rob Walker Racing Team 20000
World Sportscar Championship Cooper Cars 100000NC
24 Hours of Le Mans Cooper Cars 10000N/A15th
1958 Formula One Cooper Car Company 90000318th
World Sportscar Championship David Brown, Aston Martin Ltd. 200010NC
24 Hours of Le Mans David Brown Racing Dept. 10000N/ADNF
1959 Formula One Cooper Car Company 82115311st
World Sportscar Championship John Coombs Racing Organisation 100000NC
1960 Formula One Cooper Car Company 85335431st
1961 Formula One Cooper Car Company 80110411th
USAC Championship Car Cooper Car Company 1000020020th
1962 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 8000099th
1963 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 100001147th
1964 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 100012118th
Tasman Series Ecurie Vitesse 6300432nd
USAC Championship Car John Zink 100000NC
1965 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 60001910th
Tasman Series Ecurie Vitesse 30003213rd
1966 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 94315421st
Tasman Series Ecurie Vitesse 20001410th
1967 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 112206462nd
Tasman Series Ecurie Vitesse 61002183rd
World Sportscar Championship Sidney Taylor100000NC
1968 Formula One Brabham Racing Organisation 110000223rd
Tasman Series Brabham 200000NC
World Sportscar Championship Alan Mann Racing Limited000000NC
1969 Formula One Motor Racing Developments Ltd 802121410th
Tasman Series Brabham 1000148th
World Sportscar Championship Alan Mann Racing Ltd.000000NC
USAC Championship Car Brabham 100000NC
1970 Formula One Motor Racing Developments Ltd 131144255th
World Sportscar Matra Sports / Equipe Matra-Elf 400000NC
24 Hours of Le Mans Equipe Matra-Simca10000N/ADNF
USAC Championship Car Brabham 100000NC
1976 Bathurst 1000 Esmonds Motors10000N/ADNF
1977 Bathurst 1000 John Goss Racing Pty Limited 10000N/A18th
1978 Bathurst 1000 Jack Brabham Holdings Pty Ltd10000N/A6th
1984 World Sportscar Championship Rothmans Porsche 000000NC

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine12345678910111213WDCPoints
1955 Cooper Car Company Cooper T40 Bristol BS1 2.0 L6 ARG MON 500 BEL NED GBR
Ret
ITA NC0
1956 Jack Brabham Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 ARG MON 500 BEL FRA GBR
Ret
GER ITA NC0
1957 Cooper Car Company Cooper T43 Climax FPF 2.0 L4 ARG MON
6
500 FRA
7 *
PES
7
ITA NC0
Rob Walker Racing Team GBR
Ret
Climax FPF 1.5 L4 GER
Ret †
1958 Cooper Car Company Cooper T45 Climax FPF 2.0 L4 ARG MON
4
NED
8
500 BEL
Ret
FRA
6
GBR
6
POR
7
ITA
Ret
18th3
Climax FPF 1.5 L4 GER
Ret †
MOR
11 †
1959 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 MON
1
500 NED
2
FRA
3
GBR
1
GER
Ret
POR
Ret
ITA
3
USA
4
1st31 (34)
1960 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 ARG
Ret
1st43
Cooper T53 MON
DSQ
500 NED
1
BEL
1
FRA
1
GBR
1
POR
1
ITA USA
4
1961 Cooper Car Company Cooper T55 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 MON
Ret
NED
6
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
4
11th4
Cooper T58 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 GER
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
1962 Brabham Racing Organisation Lotus 24 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 NED
Ret
MON
8
BEL
6
FRA
Ret
GBR
5
9th9
Brabham BT3 GER
Ret
ITA USA
4
RSA
4
1963 Brabham Racing Organisation Lotus 25 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 MON
9
7th14
Brabham BT3 BEL
Ret
ITA
5
Brabham BT7 NED
Ret
FRA
4
GBR
Ret
GER
7
USA
4
MEX
2
RSA
13
1964 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT7 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 MON
Ret
NED
Ret
BEL
3
FRA
3
GBR
4
GER
12
8th11
Brabham BT11 AUT
9
ITA
14
USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
1965 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT11 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 RSA
8
MON
Ret
BEL
4
FRA GBR
DNS
NED GER
5
ITA USA
3
MEX
Ret
10th9
1966 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT19 Repco 620 3.0 V8 MON
Ret
BEL
4
FRA
1
GBR
1
NED
1
GER
1
ITA
Ret
1st42 (45)
Brabham BT20 USA
Ret
MEX
2
1967 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT20 Repco 620 3.0 V8 RSA
6
2nd46 (48)
Brabham BT19 Repco 740 3.0 V8 MON
Ret
NED
2
Brabham BT24 BEL
Ret
FRA
1
GBR
4
GER
2
CAN
1
ITA
2
USA
5
MEX
2
1968 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT24 Repco 740 3.0 V8 RSA
Ret
23rd2
Brabham BT26 Repco 860 3.0 V8 ESP
DNS
MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
5
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
10
1969 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT26A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
Ret
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
NED
6
FRA GBR GER ITA
Ret
CAN
2
USA
4
MEX
3
10th14
1970 Motor Racing Developments Ltd Brabham BT33 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 RSA
1
ESP
Ret
MON
2
BEL
Ret
NED
11
FRA
3
GBR
2
GER
Ret
AUT
13
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
10
MEX
Ret
5th25
* Indicates shared drive with Mike MacDowel
Indicates Formula 2 car

Non-Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrantChassisEngine123456789101112131415161718192021
1955J. A. Brabham Cooper T24 Alta Straight-4 BUE VLN PAU GLV
Ret
BOR INT
7
NAP ALB CUR CRN
Cooper T40 Bristol Straight-6 RDX
4
TLG OUL AVO SYR
Cooper Car Company LON
DNS
REC
4
1956J. A. Brabham Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 BUE GLV
DNA
SYR AIN
3
INT
DSQ
NAP 100
DNA
VNW
3
CAE SUS BRH
1957 Rob Walker Racing Team Cooper T41 (F2) Climax Straight-4 BUE SYR
NC
PAU
Cooper T43 MOR
DSQ
Cooper Car Company GLV
4
NAP RMS
NC
CAE
Ret
INT
Ret
MOD
1958 Cooper Car Company Cooper T45 Climax Straight-4 BUE GLV
2
SYR AIN
2
INT
5
CAE
1959 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax Straight-4 BUE GLV
2
AIN
Ret
INT
1
OUL
2
SIL
2
1960 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax Straight-4 BUE
Ret
GLV
Cooper T53 INT
2
SIL
1
LOM OUL
2
1961 Cooper Car Company Cooper T53 Climax Straight-4 LOM
1
GLV PAU
Ret
BRX
1
VIE SIL
Ret
SOL
5
KAN
Ret
DAN
Ret
MOD
5
FLG
2
Cooper T55 AIN
1
SYR
4
NAP LON OUL
2
LEW VAL RAN NAT RSA
1962 Brabham Racing Organisation Lotus 21 Climax V8 CAP BRX LOM
DNA
LAV GLV PAU
Ret
AIN
Ret
Lotus 24 INT
6
NAP MAL
2
CLP RMS
4
SOL KAN MED DAN
1
Brabham BT3 OUL
3
MEX
2
RAN NAT
1963 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT3 Climax V8 LOM GLV
6
PAU IMO SYR AIN
DNS
INT
7
ROM SOL
1
AUT
1
Brabham BT7 KAN
3
MED
12
OUL
4
RAN
1964 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT7 Climax V8 DMT
Ret
NWT
Ret
SYR AIN
1
INT
1
SOL
Ret
MED RAN
1965 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT11 Climax V8 ROC
Ret
SYR SMT
3
INT
Ret
MED
6
Scuderia Scribante RAN
1
1966 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT19 Repco V8 RSA
Ret
SYR
Ret
INT
1
OUL
1
1967 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT20 Repco V8 ROC
7
SPC
1
INT
2
SYR
Brabham BT24 OUL
1
Brabham BT19 ESP
3
1968 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT26 Repco V8 ROC INT OUL
Ret
1969 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT26A Cosworth V8 ROC
Ret
INT
1
MAD OUL
1970 Brabham Racing Organisation Brabham BT33 Cosworth V8 ROC
4
INT
Ret
OUL

Complete Tasman Series results

YearCar12345678RankPoints
1964 Brabham BT7A LEV PUK
Ret
WIG
2
TER SAN
1
WAR
1
LAK
1
LON
Ret
2nd33
1965 Brabham BT11A PUK LEV WIG TER WAR
2
SAN
1
LON
2
3rd21
1966 Brabham BT19 PUK LEV WIG TER WAR LAK SAN
Ret
LON
3
10th4
1967 Brabham BT23A PUK
Ret
WIG
13
LAK
2
WAR
4
SAN
NC
LON
1
3rd18
1968 Brabham BT21E PUK LEV WIG TER SUR
7
WAR
Ret
SAN LONNC0
1969 Brabham BT31B PUK LEV WIG TER LAK WAR SAN
3
8th4

Complete World Sportscar Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearTeamCar1234567891011121314DCPoints
1957 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Cooper Cars Cooper T39 BUE SEB TAR NUR LMS
15
SWE VEN NC0
1958 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg David Brown, Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin DBR1/300 BUE SEB TAR NUR LMS
Ret
RAC
2
NC0
1959 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg John Coombs Racing Organisation Cooper-Climax Monaco T49 SEB TAR NUR LMS RAC
Ret
NC0
1967 Flag of Ireland.svg Sidney Taylor Lola T70 Chevrolet DAY SEB MNZ SPA TAR NUR LMS HOC MUG BRA
Ret
PER ZEL VIL NUR NC0
1968 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Alan Mann Racing Limited Ford F3L DAY SEB BRA
DNS
MNZ TAR NUR SPA WAT ZEL LMS NC0
1969 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Alan Mann Racing Ltd. Ford F3L DAY SEB BRA
DNS
MNZ TAR SPA NUR LMS WAT ZEL NC0
1970 Flag of France.svg Matra Sports / Equipe Matra-Elf Matra MS650 DAY
10
SEB
DND
BRA
12
MNZ
5
TAR SPA NUR LMS
Ret
WAT ZEL NC0
1984 Flag of Germany.svg Rothmans Porsche
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg GTi Engineering
Porsche 956B MNZ SIL LMS NUR BRA MOS SPA IMO FJI KYL SAN
NC
NC0

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

YearTeamCo-DriversCarClassLapsPos.Class
Pos.
1957 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Cooper Cars Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Ian Raby Cooper T39 S
1.1
25415th3rd
1958 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg David Brown Racing Dept. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Stirling Moss Aston Martin DBR1/300S3.030DNF
(Con rod)
1970 Flag of France.svg Equipe Matra-Simca Flag of France.svg François Cevert Matra-Simca MS650P
3.0
76DNF

Indy 500 results

YearCarStartQualRankFinishLapsLedRetired
1961 1713145.1441792000Running
1964 5225152.5041520770Fuel Tank
1969 9529163.8752924580Ignition
1970 3226166.39722131751Piston
Totals5101
Starts4
Poles0
Front Row0
Wins0
Top 50
Top 101
Retired3

Complete Bathurst 1000 results

YearTeamCo-DriversCarClassLapsPos.Class
Pos.
1976 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Esmonds Motors Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Stirling Moss Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 3001cc – 6000cc37DNF
1977 Flag of Australia (converted).svg John Goss Racing Pty Limited Flag of Australia (converted).svg Geoff Brabham Ford XC Falcon GS500 Hardtop3001cc – 6000cc14118th9th
1978 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jack Brabham Holdings Pty Ltd Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brian Muir Holden LX Torana SS A9X 4 Door A1536th6th

Notes

  1. Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  2. Formula One rules did not at that time prevent the use of cars with enclosed wheels.
  3. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp. 14, 145–9 Brabham's and Tauranac's (Lawrence 1999 p. 32) accounts differ on whether the BRO was formed for the purpose of F1, or was already in existence.
  4. Tauranac says (Lawrence (1999) p.48) that he feels a third mechanic would have reduced the reliability problems. Lawrence himself notes (Lawrence (1999) p.71) that 'If only Jack had been prepared to spend a little more money, the results could have been so much better'. Hodges (1990, p.32) notes, 'Economy was a watchword. ...It was this attitude, perhaps, which cost [Brabham] some races'.
  5. Drackett (1985) p.17 "Of course, he turned out one of the best. In my book, taking everything into consideration, the greatest. He was a damn good driver because he used his nut. Later when Bruce McLaren joined the team, what Bruce didn't know, Jack taught him. They were both good engineers. They could set up the cars and they didn't mind getting their hands dirty and working on them."

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Cooper Car Company Auto racing team

The Cooper Car Company is a British car manufacturer founded in December 1947 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together with John's boyhood friend, Eric Brandon, they began by building racing cars in Charles's small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England, in 1946. Through the 1950s and early 1960s they reached motor racing's highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars competed in both Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and their Mini Cooper dominated rally racing. The Cooper name lives on in the Cooper versions of the Mini production cars that are built in England, but is now owned and marketed by BMW.

1966 United States Grand Prix

The 1966 United States Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on October 2, 1966, at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course in Watkins Glen, New York. It was race 8 of 9 in both the 1966 World Championship of Drivers and the 1966 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The race was the ninth United States Grand Prix. It was the sixth to be held at Watkins Glen. The race was held over 108 laps of the 3.78-kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 408 kilometres.

1966 Mexican Grand Prix

The 1966 Mexican Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Ciudad Deportiva Magdalena Mixhuca on 23 October 1966. It was race 9 of 9 in both the 1966 World Championship of Drivers and the 1966 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The race was the fifth Mexican Grand Prix and the first to be run under the new three-litre Formula. It was held over 65 laps of the 5 km (3.1 mi) circuit for a race distance of 325 km (202 mi).

1967 Monaco Grand Prix

The 1967 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monaco on May 7, 1967. It was race 2 of 11 in both the 1967 World Championship of Drivers and the 1967 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers, albeit four months after Pedro Rodríguez's unexpected victory at Kyalami. The 100-lap race was won by Brabham driver Denny Hulme after he started from fourth position. Graham Hill finished second for the Lotus team and Ferrari driver Chris Amon came in third.

1968 Belgian Grand Prix

The 1968 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit on 9 June 1968. It was race 4 of 12 in both the 1968 World Championship of Drivers and the 1968 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The 28-lap race was won by McLaren driver Bruce McLaren after he started from sixth position. Pedro Rodríguez finished second for the BRM team and Ferrari driver Jacky Ickx came in third.

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The 1959 Formula One season was the 13th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1959 World Championship of Drivers and the 1959 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, contested concurrently over a nine race series which commenced on 10 May and ended on 12 December. The season also included a number of non-championship Formula One races.

Repco

Repco is an Australian automotive engineering/retailer company. Its name is an abbreviation of Replacement Parts Company and it is best known for spare parts and motor accessories.

Formula 5000

Formula 5000 was an open wheel, single seater auto-racing formula that ran in different series in various regions around the world from 1968 to 1982. It was originally intended as a low-cost series aimed at open-wheel racing cars that no longer fit into any particular formula. The '5000' denomination comes from the maximum 5.0 litre engine capacity allowed in the cars, although many cars ran with smaller engines. Manufacturers included McLaren, Eagle, March, Lola, Lotus, Elfin, Matich and Chevron.

Ralt

Ralt was a manufacturer of single-seater racing cars, founded by ex-Jack Brabham associate Ron Tauranac after he sold out his interest in Brabham to Bernie Ecclestone. Ron and his brother had built some specials in Australia in the 1950s under the Ralt name. Tauranac won the 1954 NSW Hillclimb Championship in the Ralt 500.

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The Brabham BT19 is a Formula One racing car designed by Ron Tauranac for the British Brabham team. The BT19 competed in the 1966 and 1967 Formula One World Championships and was used by Australian driver Jack Brabham to win his third World Championship in 1966. The BT19, which Brabham referred to as his "Old Nail", was the first car bearing its driver's name to win a World Championship race.

Brabham BT24

The Repco Brabham BT24 was a Formula One racing car design. It was one of three cars used by the Brabham racing team during their championship-winning 1967 Formula One season. Only three BT24 chassis were ever raced.

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Brabham BT3

The Brabham BT3 is a Formula One racing car. It was the first Formula One design to be produced by Motor Racing Developments for the Brabham Racing Organisation, and debuted at the 1962 German Grand Prix. The Brabham BT3 was the vehicle with which team owner – then two-time World Champion – Jack Brabham, became the first driver ever to score World Championship points in a car bearing his own name, at the 1962 United States Grand Prix. The following year Brabham also became the first driver ever to win a Formula One race at the wheel of an eponymous car, again driving the BT3, at the 1963 Solitude Grand Prix. The BT3 design was modified only slightly to form the Tasman Series-specification Brabham BT4 cars.

Owen Maddock British engineer and racing car designer

Owen Richard Maddock was a British engineer and racing car designer, who was chief designer for the Cooper Car Company between 1950 and 1963. During this time Maddock designed a string of successful racing cars, including the Formula One World Championship-winning Cooper T51 and T53 models.

References

Citations

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  2. "Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Ferrari's first F1 winner, dies aged 90". Autosport . 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  3. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.20–21
  4. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.21–22
  5. 1 2 Brabham, Nye (2004) p.26
  6. Brabham, Nye (2004) p.33
  7. 1 2 3 Unique (pp.30–31) "Jack Brabham potential world champion..." Article reproduced from a 1958 edition of Australian Motor Sport.
  8. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.35–37
  9. Drackett (1986) pp.13–15
  10. 1 2 Donaldson, Gerald. "Jack Brabham". Formula One Administration Ltd. Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  11. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.44–45
  12. Unique p.58 "Jack Brabham" 1959
  13. Dracket (1985) p.16
  14. 1 2 Lawrence (1989) p.80
  15. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.54–56
  16. Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.56–57
  17. Brabham, Nye (2004) p.59
  18. Brabham, Nye (2004) p.61
  19. Unique Jack Brabham – Star from Down Under p.27 reproduced from Sports Car Illustrated 1959
  20. Unique p.111, a reproduction of the profile 'Deeds, not words' by Alan Brinton (1966)
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  22. Rendall (2007) pp.215–216
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  27. Brabham, Nye (2005) pp.112–113
  28. Lawrence (1999) pp.11–12
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  30. Lawrence (1998) p.86
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  32. Brabham, Nye (2004)pp.133–136
  33. Lawrence (1999) p. 31
  34. Cooper, Adam (May 1999) "The world according to Jack" Motorsport p. 36 The article quotes Jack as saying "There's no way you could call those 1500-cc machines Formula One."
  35. Lawrence (1999) pp.70–71
  36. Henry (1985) p. 53
  37. Henry (1985) pp.61–62
  38. Lawrence (1999) p.221
  39. Lawrence (1999) p.92 Hulme, Tauranac, and Frank Hallam, Repco-Brabham's chief engineer, all shared this view.
  40. Brabham, Nye (2004) p.237
  41. Drackett (1985) p.50
  42. 1 2 3 Brabham, Nye (2004) pp.250– 253
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