Matthew Brabham, grandchild of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack, completed a lap of the Surfers Paradise street circuit today in a Cooper T51 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s first world title.
Matthew drove one lap of the circuit in the same model Cooper car that Brabham secured the first of his world titles in before pulling up near the finishing line and ‘pushing’ the Cooper across the line.
This significant moment re-enacted the way that Jack wrapped up the 1959 title at Sebring, Florida. Brabham’s car ran out of fuel with the finish in sight and he had to get out and heroically push his car across the line in fourth place, before collapsing on the floor from exhaustion.
“What a absolutely wonderful moment, today’s tribute was such an honour and to have Matthew involved as a part of it was something very very special and something I am sure he will never forget,” said Sir Jack.
“The smile on his face was fantastic – and to have the crowd cheering as Matthew pushed the car to the line was terrific – the whole show was a fitting way for myself, Geoff and Matthew to end our year as the number one, two and three ticketholders for the event. ”
The 1959 season was ‘Black Jack’s’ breakout season. Running with the works Cooper team, Brabham surpassed all previous personal bests, claiming his first Grand Prix podium and victory. He racked up a championship-winning total of 31 points from eight starts to see off competition from Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss.
The lap was held at 2.25pm today, Queensland time. Matthew Brabham, son of 1993 Le Mans 24 hour winner Geoff, is an up and coming race driver in his own right, winning many karting titles in Australia and will progress to the Australian Formula Ford Championship next year. Brabham has been selected as part of the CAMS Rising Star program for next season.