News / Asia

    Three-time Formula One World Champion Brabham Dead at 88

    FILE - Australian racing driver Jack Brabham competes at Oulton Park, in Cheshire, England, April 3, 1965.
    FILE - Australian racing driver Jack Brabham competes at Oulton Park, in Cheshire, England, April 3, 1965.
    Reuters
    Australian Jack Brabham, who won three Formula One world titles and is the only man to have won the championship driving a car bearing his name, died at the age of 88 on Monday.
     
    A fierce competitor, brilliant engineer and astute businessman, Brabham claimed the Formula One titles in 1959 and 1960 for Cooper Racing before going on to win a third in 1966.
     
    He died at his home on Australia's Gold Coast.
     
    “It's a very sad day for all of us,” his youngest son David, who also raced in Formula One, said in a statement. “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.”
     
    Described by 1980 world champion Alan Jones as “inspirational” to the Australian drivers that followed the trail he blazed, Brabham was also the subject of a tribute from his country's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
     
    “Australia has lost a legend,” Abbott said in statement. “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.”
     
    A former Royal Australian Air Force mechanic, Brabham began racing midget cars on cinder tracks in Australia in 1948 before moving to Britain to pursue his career in Formula One in the mid-1950s.
     
    Brabham became the first Australian to win the Formula One title in 1959, famously pushing his car uphill to the finishing line to seal the triumph after running out of fuel on the final lap at the U.S. Grand Prix at Sebring.
     
    After his second triumph for Cooper, Brabham set up a company with friend and fellow Australian Ron Tauranac to design and build their own cars, one of which he drove to the Formula One title in 1966 at the age of 40.
     
    ‘Natural sportsmanship’
     
    “On track he was always the toughest of tough competitors, tough sometimes to the point at which I'd wonder how could such a nice bloke out of a car grow such horns and a tail inside one,” his British rival Stirling Moss recalled in the foreword to the The Jack Brabham Story in 2004. “You'd always know when Jack was on a charge because he'd crouch down and almost disappear within the cockpit. Tail-out, broadsiding, showering me with gravel and tuffets from the verge.”
     
    “Dear me, you could take the Aussie out of the dirt tracks but you couldn't take the dirt tracks out of the Aussie. But the greater side of Jack's character was always his natural sportsmanship,” said Moss.
     
    Nicknamed “Black Jack” for his mop of dark hair and taciturn nature, Brabham would become “Geriatric Jack” as he raced on into his 40s, his last victory coming at the 1970 South African Grand Prix in his final season when he was 43.
     
    In total, Brabham raced in 126 grand prix, taking pole position 13 times and winning 14 races.
     
    After retirement, Brabham sold his team to Bernie Ecclestone, the Briton who would go on to run the sport, and returned to Australia. He was knighted for services to motor sport in 1979.
     
    His sons Geoff, Gary, and David later forged their own careers in motorsport, while the Brabham team name remained in Formula One until the early 1990s.
     
    “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,” McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, who worked on the Cooper and Brabham teams in the 1960s, said in a tribute.
     
    “A three-time Formula One world champion, he remains the only driver to win a Formula One world championship driving a car bearing his own name - a unique achievement that will surely never be matched,” said Dennis.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora