1945 - 2006
10th September, 2006
Australian motor sport legend Peter Brock, 61, died around midday (local time) on Friday 8th September, 2006, in a car crash in Gidgegannup, Western Australia.
Brock was competing in "Targa West", a road rallying event, when his Daytona crashed in a single car collision with a tree on Glenton Road Gidgegannup. His navigator/co-driver, Mick Hone, was injured in the collision and was transferred to hospital for treatment.
Gidgegannup is located in the hills, approximately 40-odd kilometres east of Perth, WA.
Early in his career, Brock became affectionately known as "Peter Perfect" because of his driving skills and his ability to use tactics to his advantage whilst racing.
Another 'tag' worn by Brock was "King of the Mountain". With nine wins in the legendary annual race at Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW) this tag will, no doubt, remain with Brock for a long time to come.
Having conquered the mountain and having won so many events in Australia, in 1977, Brock led a team of Mobil VK Commodores to the Spa 24-hour race in Belgium.
Success seemed easy to Peter Brock. He was a 'natural' behind the wheel. But he inspired so many, too. And what I remember about Peter Brock was his 'play by the rules' philosophy. I don't recall any occasion where Brock spat the dummy (so to speak). Whilst numerous competitors in those Brock years of Australian Touring Car Championship races would, so unsportingly, whine about their fellow competitors Brock just got on with the job. Little wonder he would attract a huge following at each event he attended.
But not everything was perfect for Peter. He fell out with Holden in the latter '80s over the 'polariser' issue and turned to 'enhancing' VL Commodores with his own branding. However, the Brock Group Three Signature Series of 1988 was not a commercial success. Later, Brock had to resort to offering body kits for the little Lada Samara from Russia. This venture didn't last long. Eventually, the damage with Holden was rectified and Brock was, once again, on-board with Holden. But the good old days were fading into history. To this observer, the win-win situation for Holden and Brock was finished. It seemed to me that neither Holden nor Brock could turn the new era into a win-win. Sure Brock met with some success, but racing was changing and the years were beginning to show.
Holden benefited immeasurably from the Brock connection, but the good old days were gone. Brock went onto being Brock and Holden went onto being Holden and they co-operated with each other, but with Brock's career as a racing car driving over he was more of an advertising advantage to Holden than a company car driver on the racetrack.
There was more to Peter Brock than the race track though. His signature, "05", indicated his support of the .05 blood alcohol level limit. He was particularly interested in road safety, which seems somewhat ironic given the circumstance of his death.
Many will remember his efforts in support of numerous charities, including the Peter Brock Foundation.
Motor sport was good for Peter Brock. And, it is equally as clear, that Peter Brock was good for motor sport!
Peter Brock is one great Australian who will be fondly remembered.