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Peter Brock

Full Name:
Peter Geoffrey Brock
Born:
26th February 1945
Hurstbridge, Victoria
Died:
8th September 2006 (Aged 61)
Gidgegannup, Western Australia, Targa West Rally
Nationality:
Australian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Few individuals truly warrant the description of "legend", but Australia’s Peter Brock certainly does. He ruled Bathurst’s Mount Panorama like no other – winning the country’s premier race on nine occasions to earn national fame that ranked alongside world champions Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.

Family background and early racing career

The lineage of "Peter Perfect" in Australian motorsport can be traced back to 1904 when his great uncle Harry James organised the first car race held in the country. Brock’s own racing career began with an Austin A30 that he had modified to accommodate a Holden engine.

Two years of wild driving and some success attracted the attention of Holden Dealer Team boss Harry Firth who signed Brock for the 1969 Bathurst 500. Third that year, his long and fruitful association with the marque had begun.

Bathurst legend

Brock was central to the Holden versus Ford rivalry that propelled motor racing, and Bathurst especially, into the mainstream consciousness of sport-mad Australia. He won the Australian Touring Car Championship for Holden on three occasions but it was at Bathurst that stardom turned to legend.

His maiden success was in 1972 when Brock drove solo in a New South Wales downpour on the last occasion that the race was a 500km event. That set the tone for a record-breaking career at the circuit. Frustrated by Firth’s dictatorial rule of the Holden team, Brock quit to run a private Torana L34 in 1975 and he won at Bathurst with Brian Sampson.

But life without factory support proved untenable and Brock was back with the works team when he won at Bathurst from 1978 to 1980 with Jim Richards sharing the glory. The domination continued in the 1980s with another three victories in a row when Larry Perkins was his regular co-driver. The 1987 race was a round of the World Touring Car Championship but proved a controversial and unsatisfactory affair. Eggenberger Ford RS500s finished first and second but were disqualified. That handed Brock’s Holden Commodore VL the win – his record ninth victory in the race.

Aside from their racing partnership, Brock and Holden built performance road cars but the arrangement came to an end in disagreement and rancour. He later raced a BMW before defecting to Ford as he raged against Holden and General Motors. They were not successful years and Brock eventually reconciled with Holden. That did not return Brock to winning ways but there was no more popular driver in the championship.

Retirement from touring cars

He retired from mainstream racing in 1997 but continued in selected GT, historic and rally events in Australia. It was during the 2006 Targa West Rally near Perth that he lost his life after crashing his Daytona Cobra Coupé. He hit a tree on the driver’s side of the car and was killed instantly.

Brock was given a state funeral and his passing was felt as keenly in Australia as the loss of Ayrton Senna to Formula 1 or Dale Earnhardt in America.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 58th 140
2002 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 68th 20
1997 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 6th 520
1996 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 4th 286
1995 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 3rd 285
1994 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 3rd 222
1993 Australian V8 Supercar Championship 8th 82
1992 Australian Touring Car Championship 11th 100
1991 Australian Touring Car Championship 6th 38
1990 Australian Touring Car Championship 2nd 85
1989 Australian Touring Car Championship 3rd 80
1988 Australian Touring Car Championship 5th 47
1987 World Touring Car Championship
Holden Dealer Team
4 0 1 1
25% win rate
0
1987 Australian Touring Car Championship 7th 65
1986 Australian Touring Car Championship 4th 117
1985 Australian Touring Car Championship 3rd 153
1984 World Endurance Championship
John Fitzpatrick Racing
2 0 0 0 0
1984 Australian Touring Car Championship 2nd 96
1983 Australian Touring Car Championship 3rd 128
1982 Australian Touring Car Championship 5th 22
1981 Australian Touring Car Championship 2nd 75
1980 Australian Touring Car Championship 1st 79
1979 Australian Touring Car Championship 2nd 62
1978 Australian Touring Car Championship 1st 55
1977 Australian Touring Car Championship 3rd 65
1976 World Championship of Makes 1 0 0 0 0
1976 Australian Touring Car Championship 5th 45
1975 Australian Touring Car Championship 7th 27
1974 Australian Touring Car Championship 1st 80
1973 Australian Touring Car Championship 2nd 57