The late Jason Richards has been awarded the inaugural Peter Brock Medal, recognising his outstanding achievement and positive endorsement of motor sport.
Jason’s wife Charlotte was presented with the award at a CAMS gala dinner this evening.
Richards, who passed away from cancer last December, was judged to have best exemplified the characteristics that the great Peter Brock stood for during his racing career.
The selection committee specifically noted Richards’ warm enthusiasm for the sport, despite facing a difficult personal battle over the past 12 months.
The medal also recognises the New Zealand-born driver’s record of strong results in Australian motor sport – a V8 Supercar race-winner, Richards also appeared on the Bathurst podium three times.
Richards was advised of his success in winning the inaugural Peter Brock Medal shortly before his death.
CAMS president Andrew Papadopoulos said that Richards was one of the most popular figures in Australian motor sport.
“Jason was judged by the selection committee to have best demonstrated all of the key attributes of this award to a high degree,” said Papadopoulos.
“Outstanding driver ability, a fair and sportsmanlike attitude, support, encouragement and motivation of and for the driver’s peers.
“A key element is a willingness and capacity to promote the sport in the wider community – something which Peter Brock was renowned for.
“Last year Jason was going through one of the toughest things that anyone could possibly go through – yet he kept turning up to race tracks and getting into race cars.
“That is about as positive an endorsement for motor sport as any individual could make.
“His interaction with the fans, and his enthusiasm are examples of what this award is about – I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Peter Brock Medal.”
In other awards presented this evening, Tony Gaze, Australia’s first Formula One driver, and a World War II Spitfire pilot, won the 2012 Sir Jack Brabham Award for his achievements in international motor sport.
Gaze was a pioneer for Australian motor sport in the truest sense of the word.
In 1948, it was Tony Gaze who convinced the Earl of Richmond that Goodwood was an ideal venue for a racing circuit to replace the obsolete Brooklands track.
In 1952 he became Australia’s first Formula One driver when he competed in the Belgian, British and German Grands Prix at Spa, Silverstone and the Nurburgring respectively behind the wheel of a HWM Alta.
His distinguished career saw him compete in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in open wheelers and sports cars.
Later, in 1955, Tony Gaze was part of an Australian team, (the ‘Kangaroo Stable’) that raced sports cars in Europe, and gave Sir Jack Brabham his first taste of international motor sport.
He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the sport of motor racing.
In addition to his distinguished motor sport career, Squadron Leader Gaze was a highly decorated fighter pilot, and is the only Australian to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross three times.
He took part in 485 sorties across Europe and was the first to fly a jet aircraft in combat.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s previous Where are they now? feature article on Tony Gaze
Also, CAMS Official Dr Michelle Gatton was awarded the 2011 FIA Outstanding Senior Official of the Season.
Another Australian, Peter Nelson, was nominated for this top award, and was presented with a certificate to recognise his achievements.