Sir Jack Brabham Formula One great dies

01:39, May 19 2014
Sir Jack Brabham
RACING GREAT: Sir Jack Brabham exits a corner in a Repco Brabham 1966 at Albert Park in 1994.

Three-time formula one world champion Sir Jack Brabham has died, aged 88 at his home on the Gold Coast.

One of Australia's most revered sportsmen, Brabham had been undergoing kidney dialysis three times a week in recent years.

His wife, Lady Margaret, said her husband had seemed fine after waking early and having breakfast.

"He had just finished his breakfast and then he was gone," Lady Margaret told Speedcafe.com

"He was fine yesterday so it has been a bit of a shock even though he had been sick for some time."

Brabham, a former Royal Australian Air Force mechanic, began his motorsport career on Australian speedway dirt tracks in the late 1940s.

He headed to Britain and joined the Cooper Racing Team, with which he won the 1959 and 1960 formula one championships.

But it was his own Brabham racing cars - designed and engineered with friend and fellow Australian Ron Tauranac - that led to him winning the 1966 championship.

Brabham is the only person to have won the formula one world championship in his own car.

He was born John Arthur Brabham on April 2, 1926, but was known as Jack and later picked up the nickname Black Jack.

Brabham is survived by his second wife, Lady Margaret, and sons to his first wife Betty - Geoff, Gary and David, each of whom has enjoyed success in motorsport.

"I have spoken to all three boys and we are in the process of organising funeral arrangements," Lady Margaret said.

Two of Brabham's grandsons are also forging careers in motorsport.

Geoff's son Matthew is competing in the Indy Lights race in the United States and won his first race this month.

David's son Sam is competing in the Formula Ford championship in Britain.

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Sydney Morning Herald