Australia's most popular racing driver for the last 30 years, he won at Bathurst 10 times. He also held more pole positions and won more races than any other driver since the inception of the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960. He was killed competing in the Targa West Rally in Western Australia.
Peter Brock was Australia's most popular racing driver for the last 30 years.
While Brock's phenomenal tally of ten victories at Bathurst has been well chronicled, he has also held more pole positions and won more races than any other driver since the inception of the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960.
Peter Brock was born with motor racing in his blood. His great-great-uncle, Henry James, was a founder of the RACV and organised Australia's first motor sport event - the 1905 Sydney to Melbourne reliability trial. Peter made his race track debut in a home made sports sedan, built in a Wattle Glen henhouse during 1967. This unruly beast, a two door Austin A30 with a large Holden engine put Brock on the map with more than 100 victories including the Australian Sports Sedan Championship.
In 1969, the manager of the newly formed Holden Dealer Team, Harry Firth, gave Brock his break with an offer to drive at Bathurst in a Monaro GTS 350. At his first effort he was placed third outright. In 1972, driving solo in a Torana XU1, Brock went on to win his first Bathurst title. His record ten victories have seen 'Peter Perfect' become better known as the 'King of the Mountain'.
In 1980, in response to market demands from Holden Dealers throughout Australasia, Brock established the Special Vehicles unit to modify a base model Holden. This was the start of a very successful partnership with GMH, where in excess of 4000 'Brock Special' vehicles were built, highly valued and prized to this day.
In 1997, Brock retired from full-time V8 Supercar racing after an outstanding career where he was applauded as one of Australia's sporting greats, and an internationally recognized motor racing hero. The UK 'Motor Sport' magazine rated Peter Brock in the top twenty most exciting drivers of all time, a list which included the likes of Senna, Schumacher, Fangio and Nuvolari. A huge accolade. In another recent authoritative UK publication, he was voted the second greatest touring car driver of all time.
Peter continued to pursue his interest in one-off events of a charitable nature and some historic and targa-style tarmac racing, and to be constructive in spreading the road safety message.
In 1998 Peter accepted an invitation to join the Board of the Australian Grand Prix which is responsible for both the Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Moto GP.
He was killed in a rallying accident in Western Australia. Brock was driving a 1964 AC Cobra Daytona Coupe on the Targa West in Western Australia. The car went off at Gidgegannup, about 25 miles to the north-east of Perth during a tarmac special stage, and went into a tree on the driver's side.
Mick Hone was his friend and co-driver was injured. He was taken to Swan Districts Hospital where he was reported to be in a stable condition.
Hone said Brock was turning two consecutive sharp left corners and on the second one the car “just started to slide. Pete tried to correct it but we just slid off the side of the road and basically collected the biggest gum tree there.”
Hone, received two broken ribs and a fractured pelvis in the accident, said there was an “almighty bang” and the windscreen shattered and showered glass over them. He believed Brock did nothing wrong.