Peter Brock


 

Peter Brock
Facts in Brief

Peter Geoffrey Brock was born on 26 February, 1945.
His parents, Ruth and Geoffrey lived on a property at Hurstbridge, about 40 kilometres north east of Melbourne.
He was the great-great-nephew of Henry James, a founder of the RACV and an organizer of Australia's first motor sport event, the 1905 Sydney to Melbourne reliability trial.
Brock's father was a mechanic who ran a local Holden sub-dealership.
Peter, the second of four boys, grew up in a family that was passionate about cars and engines.


Guess who?

Sport was an important part of Peter Brock's childhood. It was also a great outlet for much of his competitive spirit.
His mother had been a very good tennis player and his grandfather had considerable success at cricket.
As a child he enjoyed Aussie Rules football and developed a keen interest in Collingwood in the AFL.
Peter's driving career started at a very early age. By the time he was seven, he was driving the "old Fergie", a grey Massey Ferguson tractor, and a 1941 Chevrolet truck on the family farm.
At fifteen, he was already "thrashing a bare-framed paddock bomb" around the family farm.


Peter in 1947

His first car had no brakes and indeed, no body, just a chassis. The body was removed with his parent's axe. This car became his "paddock bomb".
Brock's driving skill improved greatly at this point of his life because the car didn't have brakes. He ended up trying to stop the car by sliding and anticipating the line.
Although the family was not very wealthy, Geoff and Ruth were one of the first in the district to own a Holden.
Occasionally, his father would take him to a motor race meeting and the young Brock would watch in wonderment at the skills of drivers like Jack Brabham, Len Lukey and Norm Beechey.
One of his favourite race circuits was at Altona. The track was just over two miles long and was laid out around a swamp. Although it only lasted a few years, it held many wonderful memories for Peter.


Peter: 1960

In his late teens, Peter liked to visit race meetings at Tarrawingee, Winton, Hume Weir, Calder and Sandown. They all helped build up a desire in Peter to drive fast cars.
As a 20 year old, Peter Brock was called up for two years National Service in 1965.
Peter Brock visited the Bathurst circuit  while on leave from the army.  He came away determined to become a racing driver.
As soon as he was discharged from the army in 1967, Peter and close friend Ken Mitchell began building a car. The chook-shed became their work-shop and although money was tight, the two young men worked hard on weekends putting the car together.
They purchased an old Austin A30 body from  Wagga and a Holden 179 engine from a wreck. Anything that could be begged or borrowed was added to this rather unusual combination. Occasionally, Peter's dad would offer comment and provide moral support along the way.


Brock's first racer.
An Austin A30 with a
Holden 179 grunt

Brock first entered his Austin A30 for a race meeting at Calder Raceway, but throttle problems prevented the car from racing.
Brock married Heather Russell in 1967. The marriage ended in divorce two years later.
In the early years of Brock's career, he used his Dad's old EJ Panel van to tow his beloved A30 from place to place.
Brock won his first race in the A30, at Winton in 1968.
After his initial success, Brock attracted some minor sponsors. They included Diamond Valley Speed Shop, Lance J Ruting and Castrol. All of this money and any prize-money went back into the car or to help pay the support costs.


Austin on a hill climb

Brock finished 1st in his class at the 1968 Australian Hill-climb Championship at Templestowe.
Brock's first major win came in the Australian sports sedan trophy at Hume Weir, in 1969.
Brock's big chance in motor sport came in 1969, when the founder and manager of the newly formed Holden Dealer Team, Harry Firth, offered the 24 -year-old a drive at Bathurst in a Monaro GTS 350.
When Harry rang Peter to make the offer, it took Harry a little time to convince him that he wasn't one of Brock's mates trying to pull a swift prank!
Harry Firth recalled that when Brock first saw the Monaro, "he wouldn't leave the car until he saw his name being painted on the side".


Harry Firth founder of the HDT with Peter

Brock and his co-driver Des West finished the 1969 Bathurst race in third position, behind winners Colin Bond and Tony Roberts in another Monaro.
Brock tried all sorts of racing in the early-1970s, from dirt-tarmac rally-cross in an evil, supercharged Torana dubbed "The Beast' to several wins in a Birrana Formula 2 single-seater. His main day job though was touring cars and highly modified sports-sedans.
In 1970, Brock won the Australian Rally Cross Championship.
By the early 1970s, Brock's rivalry with Allan Moffat was in full swing, with epic tussles in touring cars and sports sedans. Moffat claimed four Bathurst victories during the 1970s, his last in 1977 with a staged, photo finish.
His clashes with Ford adversary, Allan Moffat are now legendary and did much to lift the profile and popularity of touring car racing in Australia.


Peter: Early 1970s
Something that escaped from the 1960s!

Brocky sold his Austin A30 in 1970 after 65 meetings and 102 wins.
He recorded his first win for HDT at Lakeside in a Torana XU1 during 1970.
Brock made his Australian Touring Car Championship debut in Round 2 at Calder Park in 1972.
In 1972, driving solo in a Torana XU1, Brock won his first Bathurst title.
Brock took his first ATCC pole position in Round 1 at Symmonds Plains in 1973 while driving a Holden Torana GTR XU1.


Peter in 1973

Brock won the first of his nine Sandown Endurance Classics in 1973.
He achieved his first ATCC pole position in a Torana XU1 at Symmonds Plains in 1973.
In 1973 he also achieved his first ATCC win at Surfers Paradise in a Torana XU1.
Brock married Miss Australia pageant winner and Channel Seven weather presenter, Michelle Downes in April 1974. However, this marriage was to be even shorter than Brock's first, ending after only one year.
Brock won the first of his three Australian Touring Car championships in 1974.


Early 1970s

Brock had left the Holden Dealer Team in 1975, but still managed to win at Bathurst that year in a privateer Torana L34.
It was from 1975, that Brock maintained 05 as his car number, even when as Australian Touring Car Champion, he was entitled to use the number one. 
Brock first attempted the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1976 in a BMW 3.0CSL. With sponsorship from Melbourne's Bill Paterson, Team Brock was halted at the 19-hour mark with a broken gearbox.
Brock's next relationship was with Bev McIntosh, the wife of one of his motor racing team. After his two failed marriages, Brock was hesitant to marry McIntosh. Despite the couple never marrying, she took on his surname and they stayed together for 28 years.
A 1977 sojourn to the Spa 24-Hour in Belgium was quite successful.  Brock helped to bag second in class for the General Motors UK Vauxhall team.


Peter 1974

Brock was back with the HDT for 1978 and, partnered by Larry Perkins, set off on an unprecedented hat-trick of Bathurst victories.
Brock won his second Australian Touring Car Championships in 1978.
In 1978, Brock became the first driver to win the trifecta of Bathurst, Sandown and the Australian Touring Car title in the same year.
Arguably Brock's greatest Bathurst triumph was alongside co-driver Jim Richards in 1979. The duo crushed their rivals in a Torana A9-X in a victory that earned Brock the nickname 'Peter Perfect.'   Brock took pole position by close to two seconds, flew the grid and was never headed, winning by six laps and cutting an incredible five minutes off his own race record.
In that race, Brock led by over six laps when he crossed the finishing line with one lap to go. Most expected Brock to take no chances and thought he would just cruise around that final lap. Not Peter Brock!  Incredibly, he set a new lap record on that last lap!


1975

In 1979, Brock won the Repco Round Australia Trial. This event was staged along similar lines to the original Redex Reliability Trials held around Australia between 1953 and 1955. Some thought Brock's victory was very predictable given his HDT backing and support crew, but it was still an outstanding driving achievement.
Brock himself has rated his success in the Repco race as one of his career achievements. "There's no doubt in my mind it was the greatest thing I've ever done in a car, and I'll never forget that event as long as I live," Brock said.
By the beginning of the 1980s, Dick Johnson was the new Ford figurehead. He and Brock would stage many epic battles during the 1980s.
The early 1980s have been described as the "Brock golden era."
Brock won his third and final Australian Touring Car Championships in 1980.


1979

In 1980, he repeated the trifecta of winning Bathurst, Sandown and the Australian Touring Car title in the same year.
In 1980, Brock became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of service to the sport of motor racing.
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.
Dick Johnson, the laid-back Queenslander interrupted Brock's Bathurst reign in the crash-shortened 1981 race.
During 1981, Brock posted his 9th victory in the Sandown 500. Another incredible feat!


Dick Johnson
Brock's great rival
during the 1980s

Brock, with Larry Perkins, reeled off a second hat-trick of Bathurst wins from 1982-84.
For the second time in his career, Brock entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1984 in a Bob Jane Porsche 956.
In 1984, Brock also established his record of nine victories in the Sandown 500.
Early in 1984, Brock endured his one major racing crash. He was driving a Chevrolet Monza sports-sedan at the Adelaide International Raceway when a driveshaft breakage steered the car into the wall. While he was not injured, Brock was badly shaken by the impact.
Brock, who lived hard in his early years, changed his lifestyle considerably after the failed 1984 Le Mans attempt left him physically and emotionally drained.


Brock
Charm + Charisma

Brock began to consult health practitioner Eric Dowker. He gave up alcohol and cigarettes, and became a vegan.
There were a few down-sides in Brock's stellar career. His bitter split with Holden in 1986 would rank very high on the list. Brock publicly supported a device called an energy polarizer that used magnets to improve the handling and performance of a car. There was no scientific evidence to support Brock's claim and the device was generally panned by Holden and a very sceptical press.
In 1986, Peter Brock was crowned, King of Moomba.
Brock competed in three rounds of the 1986 European Touring Car Championship; at Monza (DNF),  Donington (5th) and Hockenhiem (5th).
After his 1987 Holden split, he drove a BMW M3 in 1988.

Part 1

Australia has had a long love affair with touring cars or V8 Supercars as they are known today. This class of motor sport has always captured the imagination of the Australian people. For over three decades, Peter Brock not only dominated the sport in this country, but he was also a central figure in one of the fiercest rivalries in Australian sport ..... Holden vs Ford.  For the best part of his career, Brock was at the forefront of the Holden team in its never ending quest to dominate rivals, particularly Ford.

From the time he emerged from obscure and humble beginnings way back in the late 1960s until his untimely death in September 2006, Brock was one of the country's best known and most respected sporting personalities. By the end of his career, Peter Brock had became a legend of motor sport in Australia.

The faces of Peter Brock

Sports Card World is very proud to present this tribute to one of the true legends of Australian sport. A driver who rose from humble rural origins to be dubbed one of the most popular sporting personalities in Australian history.  An Aussie icon who went about his job without too much fuss, a driver who was skilled, calculating, tough but also one who was recognized for his good sportsmanship and unrelenting professionalism. This is the story of a driver who became known as "Peter Perfect."

He was also known as the "King of the Mountain."  But to most Aussies, he was simply known as, "Brocky."

When news of the death of Peter Brock broke on September 8th 2006, an entire nation was shattered. Already mourning the loss of television personality, Steve Irwin  who was killed in a stingray attack four days earlier, the country was in a state of total denial, disbelief and shock at the sudden loss of a second Australian icon.


The Daytona Coupe photographed just three kilometres from the accident

Brock lost his life while driving in the Targa West Rally at Gidgegannup, about 40 kilometres east of Perth, Western Australia. The accident occurred about three kilometres from the finish of the first stage on Day Two of the rally. Brock lost control of his Daytona Coupe on a tight downhill left-hand bend. There had been light rain falling in the area and the road was very slippery. Eye witnesses reported that the car left the road and slammed into a tree with the driver's door taking the brunt of the impact. Although spectators were at the scene within minutes, there was little anyone could do for Brock. In all probability, he either died instantly or within a few minutes of the collision. His co-driver, Mick Hone survived the crash, sustaining a fractured pelvis and broken ribs.


The crash scene near Gidgegannup

Brock's body was eventually flown back to his home state of Victoria accompanied by partner, Julie and two of his children. During his life, Brock had once been quoted as saying that "he would rather throw up than drive a Ford in reverse down a driveway." So it was just a little ironic that his casket was driven from the Melbourne airport in a Ford hearse!

Brock was finally farewelled at a state funeral at Melbourne's St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, on 19 September 2006. Although Brock's three children had accepted the Victorian government's offer of a state funeral, the public service was followed by a private cremation. During the service, Brock's coffin was draped in the Australian flag and decorated with Australian native flowers. Fittingly this time, the hearse was a new Holden VZ Statesman with the letters BROCKY adorning the number plates.

Sporting luminaries, politicians and motor sport personalities joined Brock's partner Julie Bamford, former partner Bev Brock and other family members inside the cathedral for the 11am service, which was shown live on television.  A huge number of fans poured into nearby Federation Square for a live broadcast of the service.


Julie, Bev and family

Fans in Federation Square

In the months following the tragic event, there has been much speculation about the cause(s) of the accident. Whatever the findings of the investigative team, Brock's death has been a stark reminder of the dangers of motor sport.

From this tragic accident, motor sport in Australia has lost its finest and most influential ambassador, and the country has lost a national hero. Although his sudden and unexpected death will be mourned, his life and accomplishments will be talked about and celebrated for many years to come. And that is what Brocky would have wanted!

Peter Geoffrey Brock was born on 26th February 1945.  His parents, Ruth and Geoffrey lived on a property at Hurstbridge, a small rural community about 40 kilometres north east of Melbourne. Peter, the second of four boys, grew up in a family that was passionate about cars and engines. His great, great uncle, Henry James, was a founder of the RACV, and an organizer of Australia's first motor-sport event, the 1905 Sydney to Melbourne reliability trial.

In addition, Brock's father was a mechanic who ran a Hurstbridge garage and a local Holden sub-dealership from 1948-51. Geoff not only taught his sons about machines and the basic fundamentals of a car, but he also encouraged and instilled a mechanical sympathy in the boys. This, in particular, would serve Peter well in his chosen profession in later life.

Like most country kids, Peter's driving career started at a very early age. By the time he was seven, he was driving the "old Fergie", a grey Massey Ferguson tractor, and a 1941 Chevrolet truck on the family farm. Peter  described himself as a wildly enthusiastic child. When talking about his childhood Peter once said, "I was into running the fastest, jumping the highest and if someone gave me a double dare, I'd take it. Fortunately my parents allowed me to be me, and although they surely despaired sometimes at the risks I took, I would have to say I owe them a great debt because they allowed me to explore life without any sense of guilt or recrimination."


Peter's father Geoff: A great bush mechanic

Another great interest in Peter's youth was sport. His mother had been a very good tennis player and his grandfather had considerable success at cricket. At Hurstbridge Primary and then Eltham High School, Peter excelled in sport and enjoyed playing football (Aussie rules) in particular. He was naturally a very competitive person, and sport offered an outlet for some of his competitive energy.

Although the family was not very wealthy, Geoff and Ruth were one of the first in the district to own a Holden. Occasionally, Geoff would take Peter to a motor race meeting and the young Brock would watch in wonderment at the skills of drivers like Jack Brabham, Len Lukey and Norm Beechey. These early race meetings had a profound impact on Peter and helped to nurture an already strong affection for fast cars. A young boy had begun to dream!

As a teenager, Peter began to develop and fine tune his driving skills. At fifteen, he was already "thrashing a bare-framed paddock bomb" around the family farm. For the brash young tear-away, becoming a skilled driver had become an all consuming passion. Later, he began earning a little money selling car parts but generally his life rolled along without a great deal of direction until 1965.


No body work and no brakes: Peter's first car was a real 'paddock bomb.'

In November 1964, the Australian government re-introduced a system of National Service. Although registration was compulsory for 20-year-old males, a process of selection by ballot determined who would be called up. Peter Brock was one of those young men who was selected, and he began his two year National Service in 1965.

While he was on leave from the army in 1966, he visited the Mt. Panorama circuit at Bathurst. He came away from that meeting inspired. From that moment, the dreams of a young boy began to transform into the realistic ambitions of a young man. He came away absolutely determined that he would get behind the wheel of a racing car. His remaining time in the army was spent thinking and planning about how this dream could be fulfilled.

As soon as he was discharged from the army in 1967, Peter and close friend Ken Mitchell began building a car. The chook-shed became their work-shop and although money was tight, the two young men worked hard on weekends putting the car together. They purchased an old Austin A30 body from  Wagga and a Holden 179 engine from a wreck. Anything that could be begged or borrowed was added to this rather unusual combination. Occasionally, Peter's dad would offer comment and provide moral support along the way.


The original A30

The restored A30

Finally, On November 26th 1967, "the little beast" was entered for a race meeting at Calder Raceway, but throttle problems prevented the car from racing. At his second attempt in late December, similar problems forced the car to retire before the finish of a race at Hume Weir. Fortunately Geoff Brock diagnosed the problem. The Austin fuel lines weren't actually designed to satisfy a thirsty Holden engine with triple SUs. Once this problem was rectified, the 22 year old Brock began to demonstrate some of his huge potential. At last, Peter Brock was behind the wheel of a competitive car and he had taken to racing "like a duck to water."

During 1968, Brock clearly demonstrated his ability to drive and compete against far more sophisticated machinery. In January of that year, he finished second at Calder, and finally on September 1st 1968, Brock recorded his first win at Hume Weir. From that point on, Brock became a consistent winner and the crazy little Austin A30 with plenty of Holden grunt, began to attract modest sponsorship. This helped ease the pressure on managing the cost of racing expenses. All of the prize money and sponsorship went back into the car which began to evolve with different extras such as wild spoilers, flares and air cooling ducts.

Everywhere he raced, Brock and his ultra weird A30 were great favourites with the fans. Other influential people in the racing industry were also starting to take notice of the brash young driver. The direction of Peter Brock's life and career was soon to take a dramatic turn.


Brock's big chance came in 1969 when Harry Firth offered him his first drive at Bathurst in a Monaro HT 350. Brock finished third behind winners, Colin Bond and Tony Roberts.

Brock's exploits and racing potential in his Holden powered Austin had not gone unnoticed. The founder and manager of the fledgling Holden Dealer Team, Harry Firth had been watching the young driver from Hurstbridge.

Brock's big break came in 1969, when Harry offered the 24 -year-old a drive at Bathurst in a Monaro GTS 350. When the "Grey Fox" first rang, it took Harry a little time to convince Brock that he wasn't one of his mates trying to pull a prank. Once Brock joined the HDT, one of the great partnerships of Australian motor racing was born, and the landscape of touring car racing in this country was changed forever.

Brock was a good listener and a quicker learner, and soon the combination of Firth, Brock and the HDT quickly established itself. At his first drive at Bathurst, Brock almost instinctively developed an affinity with the famous track lay-out, finishing third behind eventual winners, Colin Bond and Tony Roberts. In the space of three short years, Brock had gone from thrashing an "old bomb with no brakes and no body-work" around a paddock to a Bathurst podium. Peter Brock had truly arrived on the scene!


Peter Brock's fist win at Bathurst was in 1972 in a 202 Torana GTR XU1

Not only did Harry Firth give Brock his big opportunity as a driver, but he was also responsible for referring the young Brock to Holden's advertising agency, George Patterson. This provided Brock with important skills in public relations, communication and interaction with the corporate world. Brock was taught dress codes, decorum and even the importance of dignity and humility. All vital essentials in assisting Peter develop his clean cut image. When you add Peter's natural charm, sincerity, good looks and charisma, a very marketable image began to emerge.

Brock's third place at Bathurst in 1969 was quickly followed by fourth in 1970 and sixth in 1971. Then on a wet Bathurst track in 1972, Brock achieved his first Bathurst victory. It was a solo drive in a 202 Torana GTR XU1. In one of the great Bathurst epics, Brock and Allan Moffat went at each other, bumper to bumper, for most of the race. It was a true David and Goliath contest with Brock's Torana up against the 351 V8 Ford GTHO of Moffat. For many laps, Brock would pass Moffat on the up-hill climb only to see Moffat overtake him and go away down Conrod straight. This sequence continued until Moffat aqua-planed off the track. Although Moffat rejoined the race, Brock had opened up a handy lead, and went on to record his first Bathurst win. Peter Brock was now "King of the Mountain."

Brock tried various types of racing in the early 1970s. One of his early successes was to become the 1970 Australian Rallycross champion. He also had two wins in Formula 2 driving a Birrana single-seater.  (See photo at right)

The 1970s were a particularly successful period for Brock. His clashes with Ford adversary, Allan Moffat are now legendary and did much to lift the profile and popularity of touring car racing in Australia.

These two drivers, in particular, were catapulted to superstar status during that time. Brock won Bathurst in 1972 and 1975 before winning three in a row in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Moffat took Bathurst honours four times, in 1970, 1971, 1973 and 1977. Brock also won his first Australian Touring Car Championship in 1974 followed by a second title in 1978.

Two of the great highlights in Brock's career came in 1979. The first was his victory at Bathurst. Brock won the race by a mere SIX LAPS! Because of later changes to race regulations, this is a record that will probably never be matched. During the race, Brock was truly "Peter Perfect." His mastery of the challenging Bathurst course was exceptional and just to rub salt into his rival's wounds, Brock set a new lap record on the final lap. Incredible!

The other major victory of 1979 was in the Repco Round Australia Trial. This event was staged along similar lines to the original Redex Reliability Trials held around Australia between 1953 and 1955. Some thought Brock's victory was very predictable given his HDT backing and support crew, but it was still an outstanding driving achievement. In fact, Brock himself has rated his success in the Repco race as one of his career achievements. "There's no doubt in my mind it was the greatest thing I've ever done in a car, and I'll never forget that event as long as I live," Brock said.

Two of the great highlights in Brock's career came in 1979

1979: This is the best view any of Brock's rivals had of his Torana A9X at Bathurst. Brock and Jim Richards won by a record margin of over six laps!

1979: Brock believed his win in the Repco Round Australia Trial was one of the greatest things he'd ever done in a car.

These victories heralded the "Brock golden era" of the early 1980s. Brock won his third Touring Car title in 1980. By the turn of the new decade, there was also a new kid on the block. Ford had a new figurehead!  This time it was a laid-back Queenslander by the name of Dick Johnson. The Brock-Johnson rivalry of the 1980s became the centre-piece of touring car racing.

Although Johnson halted Brock's run of Bathurst victories in the rain shortened 1981 classic, Brock came back with another hat-tricks of wins from 1982-1984. During 1981, Brock also posted his 9th victory in the Sandown 500. Another incredible feat!

Brock's run of success in the early 1980s was soured by his first serious crash in a race. It happened while he was driving a Chevrolet Monza sports sedan at the Adelaide International Raceway. A driveshaft breakage caused his car to steer into the wall. Although Brock escaped without serious injury, he was certainly shaken up by the incident.

The remainder of the 1980s provided a mixed bag for Brock. During this time he parted company with Holden, turned up at Bathurst in a BMW (1988) and even drove a Ford Sierra in 1989-90. But there were good times as well. In 1987, Brock won a controversial Bathurst for an amazing ninth time. After his own car broke down, he commandeered the team's other car driven by David Parsons and Peter McLeod, and drove the car into third place behind two Swiss entered Ford Sierras. When the two Sierras were disqualified some two months later, Brock was credited with his historic ninth win.

Two more victories at Bathurst

1975: Torana L34

1978: Torana A9X

For the most part of his career, Brock spear-headed the Holden Racing Team in the Australian Touring Car Championship series. There were however times when Brock left the dealer team. The first split was in 1975, and there was also the very acrimonious split from Holden in 1986 over the energy polarizer. However, each time he left the dealer team, he would always return to the fold as if drawn back by the magnets from his polarizer device.

Although the opportunity to race overseas presented itself on several occasion, Brock was always happy to remain in Australia and contest the ATCC series. The one race that drew Brock away was the Le Mans 24 Hour race. Brock competed in this race in a BMW in 1976, and again in 1984, when he drove with Larry Perkins in a Bob Jane sponsored Porsche 956. During the 1984 race, Brock and Perkins were placed as high as fifth. Unfortunately their bid ended abruptly when Perkins crashed out about mid-way through the race.

The early 1990s was something of a sea-change for Brock. He handed over control of both his racing and professional interests to an agency. He then devoted a large part of his time to his 80 hectare property, not far from the original family farm. When he rejoined the Holden Dealer Team in 1994 as a full factory driver in the now fully established V8 Supercar Series, he also mentored a whole new generation of young Holden drivers. Although there was the occasional flash of brilliance, Brock was a lot more laid back in his approach to racing.

Finally, in 1997 Peter Brock announced his retirement, and the remaining V8 Supercar Series became a Peter Brock national farewell tour. As he raced at each venue for the final time, the reaction from the fans was unbelievable. Brock was very moved by the reaction from the fans and said, "The crowds were extraordinary. The outpouring of emotion was very hard to describe."

The warmth and affection of the Australian people at that time was overwhelming and helped provide the spark for Brock to launch the Peter Brock Foundation in 1997. The Organization adopted the motto, "The Energy for Caring" and set out to raise funds to assist individuals, families, community groups and organizations in need of assistance.

Right: Sandown International Motor Raceway Promoter, Jon Davison farewells Peter with an emotional speech in 1997.

Although the Foundation, promotional work, advertising and the property provided Brock with plenty to keep him busy, racing was still in his blood. After his 'retirement', Brock made several returns to racing. He raced again at Bathurst in 2002 and 2004 and even won a 10th Bathurst title of sorts. This came in 2003, when he drove with Greg Murphy, Jason Bright, and Todd Kelly to win the 24-Hour Endurance Race at Mount Panorama.

Brock also competed in enthusiast-level motor-sport events such as the Targa Tasmania event. The week before his death, Brock also took part in the Goodwood Revival races in West Sussex.

There were so many highlights in the career of Peter Brock. Firstly, Mount Panorama at Bathurst was the setting for so many wonderful memories. Brock won the Bathurst 500/1000 on nine occasions, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987. Among his greatest Bathurst victories were the following:-

1979: Brock & Richards in a Torana beat Janson & Perkins by 6 laps + 1m 36.5s
1975: Brock & Sampson in a Torana beat Morris & Gardner by 2 laps + 1m 11s
1984: Brock & Perkins in a Commodore beat Harvey & Parsons by 2 laps + 0.6s
1978: Brock & Richards in a Torana beat Grice & Leffler by 1 lap + 2m 3.4s
 
In addition to his nine Bathurst wins he was also placed:-
 
  • 2nd = Once: 1973
  • 4th =  Three times: 1977, 1990
  • 3rd = Twice: 1969, 1976
  • 5th =  Once: 1986
The following table reveals Brock's complete Bathurst history:-
 

Peter Brock's Bathurst History

Year
Team
Car
Co Driver
Finished
69
HDT
Monaro GTS 350
Des West
3rd
70
HDT
Torana XU-1
Bob Morris
37th
71
HDT
Torana XU-1
None
8th
72
Holden HDT
Torana XU-1
None
1st
73
HDT
Torana XU-1
Doug Chivas
2nd
74
HDT
Torana L34
Brian Sampson
engine, L118
75
Gown & Hindhaugh
Torana L34
Brian Sampson
1st
76
Bill Patterson Holden
Torana L34
Phil Brock
3rd
77
Bill Patterson Holden
Torana A9X
Phil Brock
4th
78
Marlboro HDT
Torana A9X
Jim Richards
1st
79
Marlboro HDT
Torana A9X
Jim Richards
1st
80
Marlboro HDT
Commodore VC
Jim Richards
1st
81
Marlboro HDT
Commodore VC
Jim Richards
21st
82
Marlboro HDT
Commodore VH
Larry Perkins
1st
83
Marlboro HDT
Commodore VH
Larry Perkins/John Harvey
1st
84
Marlboro HDT
Commodore VK
Larry Perkins
1st
85
Mobil HDT
Commodore VK
David Oxton
engine, L160
86
Mobil HDT
Commodore VK
Allan Moffat
5th
87
Mobil
Commodore VL
David Parsons/Peter McLeod
1st
88
Mobil
BMW M3
Neil Crompton
engine, L89
89
Mobil
Ford Sierra RS500
Andy Rouse
wheel hub, L89
90
Mobil
Ford Sierra RS500
Andy Rouse
4th
91
Mobil
Commodore VN
Andrew Miedecke
7th
92
Mobil
Commodore VP
Manuel Reuter
27th
93
Mobil
Commodore VP
John Cleland
17th
94
Mobil HRT
Commodore VP
Tomas Mezera
accident, L138
95
Mobil HRT
Commodore VR
Tomas Mezera
engine, L32
96
Mobil HRT
Commodore VR
Tomas Mezera
5th

97

Mobil HRT Commodore VR Mark Skaife engine, L52
02 Team Brock Commodore VX Craig Baird 23rd
04 HRT Commodore VY Jason Plato DNF, L27

 

Changing faces of an Aussie Superstar

1982

1996

 

In addition to his nine Bathurst victories, there were many other great highlights. Some of them included:-

  • Seven Bathurst 500/1000 Pole Positions: 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1989, 1997
  • Nine Sandown Enduro Wins: 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984
  • Sandown Pole Positions: 1974, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1994
  • Surfers Paradise Wins: 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980 and 1986
  • Symmonds Plains Wins: 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1984
  • Nissan Mobil 500 (New Zealand) Wins: 1986, 1987 and 1990
  • Bathurst 24 Hour Winner: 2003
  • Three Australian Touring Car Championships (ATCC): 1974, 1978, 1980
  • Five time Runner-up (ATCC: 1973, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1990)
  • Most ATCC Pole Positions: 57 times
  • Most ATCC Wins: 37 (2nd - 46, 3rd - 27)
  • Poles in succession: 13 (Round 4, 1979 - Round 8 1980, ATCC record)
  • Australian Hill Climb Champion: 1968
  • Australian Rally Cross Champion: 1970
  • Repco Round Australia Trial Winner: 1979
  • In 1978, he became the first driver to win the trifecta of Bathurst, Sandown and the Australian Touring Car title in the same year. He repeated the feat in 1980.
  • Peter Brock scored over 100 podium finishes in ATCC events. This gives him a staggering record of one podium finish for every two race starts over 25 years. His podium finish rate is also an ATCC record.


Peter thanks the crowd and his co-drivers after winning the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour Race.

 

His overall performance in the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC),  Australian Super Touring Car Championship (ASTCC), Australian Nations Cup Championship (ANCC) and V8 Supercar Championship Series (V8SCS) is unmatched by any other driver. The following table lists Brock's career results in each of these competitions.
 

Peter Brock's Championship History
Yr Series Pos Car Team
1973 ATCC 2nd Holden Torana LJ XU1 Holden Dealer Team
1974 ATCC 1st Holden Torana LJ XU1 Holden Dealer Team
1975 ATCC 7th Holden Torana LH L34 Bruce Hindhaugh
1976 ATCC 6th Holden Torana LH L34 Bill Patterson Holden
1977 ATCC 3rd Holden Torana LH L34 Holden Dealer Team
1978 ATCC 1st Holden Torana LX A9X Holden Dealer Team
1979 ATCC 2nd Holden Torana LX A9X Holden Dealer Team
1980 ATCC 1st Holden Commodore VB Holden Dealer Team
1981 ATCC 2nd Holden Commodore VC Holden Dealer Team
1982 ATCC 5th Holden Commodore VC Holden Dealer Team
1983 ATCC 3rd Holden Commodore VH Holden Dealer Team
1984 ATCC 2nd Holden Commodore VH Holden Dealer Team
1985 ATCC 3rd Holden Commodore VK Holden Dealer Team
1986 ATCC 5th Holden Commodore VK Holden Dealer Team
1987 ATCC 7th Holden Commodore VK Holden Dealer Team
1988 ATCC 5th BMW M3 BMW Australia
1989 ATCC 3rd Ford Sierra RS500 Advantage Racing
1990 ATCC 2nd Ford Sierra RS500 Advantage Racing
1991 ATCC 6th Holden Commodore VN Advantage Racing
1992 ATCC 11th Holden Commodore VN Advantage Racing
1993 ATCC 8th Holden Commodore VP Advantage Racing
1994 ATCC 3rd Holden Commodore VP Holden Racing Team
1995 ATCC 3rd Holden Commodore VR Holden Racing Team
1996 ATCC 4th Holden Commodore VR Holden Racing Team
1996 ASTCC 6th Volvo 850 Volvo Dealer Racing
1997 ATCC 6th Holden Commodore VS Holden Racing Team
2002 ASTCC 68th Holden Commodore VY Team Brock
2003 ANCC 4th Holden Monaro 427C Ross Palmer M/Sport
2004 ANCC 6th Holden Monaro 427C Ross Palmer M/Sport
2004 V8SCS 58th Holden Commodore VY Holden Racing Team
 
Other honours:-
  • Order of Australia Medal in 1980 for his services to the cause of Road Safety
  • Centenary Medal (1st January 2001): For outstanding service to the community through fundraising
  • Australian Sports Medal (24 October 2000)
  • King of Moomba: 1986
  • 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 Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Juan Fangio and Tazio Nuvolari.

 


Peter always found time for the fans

Peter in his office: His happiest time