• Sir Jack Brabham 1926-2014

Sir Jack Brabham dies aged 88

ESPN Staff
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Three-time world champion Sir Jack Brabham "passed away peacefully" at his Gold Coast home in Australia on Monday aged 88, his family has confirmed.

In a career spanning 15 years, Brabham won 14 races and drivers' titles in 1959, 1960 and 1966, with the latter achieved at the age of 40 and in a car of his own manufacture, the Brabham BT19, a remarkable feat not matched before or since in F1. Through the team he created, which he sold in 1970, the Brabham name remained in F1 for 30 years, competing in 402 races and winning further titles through Denny Hulme (1967) and Nelson Piquet (1981, 1983). His youngest son David also competed in the sport in 1990 and 1994.

Brabham, nicknamed "Black Jack", became the first person to be knighted for services to motorsport after rising from racing midgets on dirt ovals in Australia to one of F1's all-time greats. He moved to the UK after serving as a mechanic in the Royal Australian Air Force to pursue a career in F1, making his debut at the 1955 British Grant Prix at Aintree.

His two titles for Cooper marked the end for front-engined cars in F1 and confirmed his status as one of the most gifted drivers of his generation. He secured the 1959 title in memorable style, pushing his car over the line after running out on fuel just two corners from the finish of the season finale at Sebring to become Australia's first F1 champion.

Brabham's mechanical nous led him to set up his own team in 1962, and his title four years later meant at the time he was only the second man to win three world titles after Juan Manuel Fangio. His Brabham team-mate Hulme pipped him to the drivers' title in 1967, a season which saw the team win its second and final constructors' crown. Brabham himself raced for three more years before hanging up his helmet for good at the conclusion of the 1970 season having won the opening round in South Africa, which would prove to be his final race win.

Brabham is survived by his second wife Lady Margaret, and his sons to his first wife Betty - Geoff, Gary and David, who have all enjoyed varying degrees of success in motorsport. Grandsons Matthew and Sam have also started careers in motorsport.

Son David said in a statement: "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."

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said: "Australia has lost a legend. With his pioneering spirit, Sir Jack Brabham personified many great Australian characteristics. He was respected and admired for his spirit, and for his great skill as an engineer."

Sir Jack Brabham behind the wheel of the car bearing his name at the 1966 Dutch GP, which he won by over a lap from his nearest rival © Sutton Images
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