Home \ Tributes - Peter Geoffrey Brock



Born February 26, 1945
Died September 08, 2006

Obituary

Ministerial Statement

Mr MORRIS IEMMA (Lakemba—Premier, Minister for State Development, and Minister for Citizenship) [2.23 p.m.]: Peter Brock died as he might have wished, doing what he loved best in a sport he loved and in the company of a mate. His tragic death in a rally in Western Australia at the age of 61 has removed a legendary Australian sportsman and a true Australian icon who was respected and admired by all who knew him. Peter Brock had an international reputation but, like Ben Chifley, another much-loved Australian, his name was synonymous with Bathurst, the scene of his greatest triumphs. The man they called Peter Perfect and the King of the Mountain won Bathurst nine times in the 1970s and 1980s, a feat unsurpassed in motor racing history.

Peter was the Clive Churchill of the racing circuit, the Rod Laver of the steering wheel and the Don Bradman of the V8s. Brockie's biggest Bathurst victory was achieved with a record margin


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Peter Geoffrey Brock

Peter was born and bred in a little Victorian country town called Hurstbridge. His father was a mechanic and taught him all about machinery; the fundamental basics of a car, mechanical sympathy.

His mother was a very competitive person. She was an excellent sportswoman, a Victorian tennis champion. Peter's Mum was one of those people who was brought up in a household where if you didn't succeed in doing something, you weren't exactly flavour of the month with your parents.
Peter said that It gave him that need to strive to achieve those levels in order to gain recognition from his parents.

When Peter was growing up he was a wildly enthusiastic child. He was running the fastest, jumping the highest and if someone gave him a double dare, I'd take it.

Fortunately his parents allowed him to be himself and although they surely despaired sometimes at the risks he took, Peter says "I would have to say I owe them a great deal of debt because they allowed me to explore life without any sense of guilt or recrimination"

When it came to getting behind the wheel of a racing car, he took like a duck to water. The first car he built was in the chookshed and was a little Austin A30, with a Holden engine, and while it certainly wasn't a slick piece of machinery, it got him racing, it got him on the track and it got him noticed by the people that counted." One of those people was Harry Flirth, Holden Team manager, who noticed Peter Brocks talent quickly and got the young talent to drive for none other than Holden in the Bathurst 500 of 1969.

Peter was in his early 20s and when Harry said 'I'd like you to race at Bathurst', It was his big break.

Peter Brock very rapidly climbed up through the ranks of the ATCC, and with each and every win his fame grew higher and higher, both on the circuits and off them. The 1970s and 1980s were a rather heady times for the young Peter Brock and he does admit there were some times when the pressure got the better of him.

Peter won Bathurst an amazing nine times between 70s and 80s.

Peter Brock was tragically killed in a rally crash in Western Australia on the 8th September 2006.

A state Funeral Service was held for Peter at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 commencing at 11.00 am.

A public tribute was also held at Melbourne's Sandown Raceway on Friday, September 22, commencing at 2.00 pm


Timeline

26 February, 1945: Born

Born in Hurstbridge, country Victoria in 1945, Brock grew up in a family passionate about cars


01 December, 1961: Graduated School

In 1960 Peter was school football captain and graduated from Eltham High School the following year


01 January, 1965: National Service

Peter Brock was one of the young men who were selected for the National Service, he began his two year Service in 1965. As soon as he was discharged from the army in 1967, Peter and close friend Ken Mitchell began building a car.


26 November, 1967: Builds A30

The chook-shed became their work-shop for the A30 and although money was tight, Peter and Ken worked hard on weekends putting the car together. 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."


01 September, 1968: Peter's first win

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


01 January, 1969: Peter's Big Break

Harry Flirth offered the 24 -year-old a drive at Bathurst in a Monaro GTS 350 Brock's third place at Bathurst in 1969 was quickly followed by fourth in 1970 and sixth in 1971


01 September, 1972: 1st Bathurst win

Brock achieved his first Bathurst victory. It was a solo drive in a 202 Torana GTR XU1. Peter Brock went on to rack up a record total of nine wins for Holden at Mount Panorama and another nine victories in the Sandown 500 Endurance race


01 January, 1977: Father

In 1977 Peter became an 'instant father' to Bev's 1 year-old son James, and the couple went on to have two other children together. Robert, born in August, 1980 and daughter Alexandra, born in 1983.


01 January, 1980: Started HDT

In 1980 Brock started a company called HDT Special Vehicles Operations. In a 'partnership' of kind with Holden, Brocks' key intention with this business was to sell enough performance road cars to allow him to put those 'road cars' on the race track. The company sold a lot of motor vehicles and became very sought after because people could own and drive the type of car Brock was racing on the track


01 January, 1987: 9 Bathurst wins

Brock wins Bathurst a total of nine times between 1972 and 1987, a feat that has not been equalled. His 1979 win was remarkable in that he claimed the flag by six laps, a record that (due to changes in race regulations introduced in the 1990s) will never be broken, and broke the circuit lap record on his final lap. In 32 starts at Bathurst he claimed pole position a record six times. His record at this race earned him the titles King of the Mountain and the Bradman of Bathurst—after cricketer Don Bradman—although Brock himself cared little for the latter title


01 January, 1997: Brock retires

Peter Brock announced his retirement in 1997


01 January, 1997: Starts foundation

Peter Brock announced to a packed race track he was forming 'The Peter Brock Foundation' A philanthropic organisation funded by corporate sponsors and donations from the public. Aimed at disadvantaged youth and others experiencing difficulties in Australia. As of 2009, the Foundation still continues operating and has financed many activities and people www.peterbrockfoundation.com.au


01 January, 2001: Centenary Medal

Peter Brock receives Centenary Medal for outstanding service to the community through fundraising


01 January, 2002: Brock returns

Peter Brock comes out of retirement and races at Bathurst with Team Brock finishing 23rd.


08 September, 2006: Brock dies in rally car race

At 11.50am (AWST) on 8 September 2006, while driving in the Targa West '06 rally, Brock was 3 kilometres from the finish of the second stage of the race at Gidgegannup, about 40km from Perth, Western Australia [22] when he skidded off a downhill left-hand bend on Clenton Road for over 50 metres in his 2001 Daytona Sportscar and hit a tree. 61-year-old Brock was killed instantly