At a moving memorial service at Silverstone long-time rival and close friend Sir Stirling Moss spoke of the great sporting acumen and kindness displayed by the late Sir Jack Brabham.
Moss, credited as the best driver never to win a World Championship, also acknowledged that triple F1 champion Brabham was his fiercest competitor.
The service was organised by the British Racing Drivers’ Club and attended by a host of motor racing luminaries as well as Sir Jack’s widow Lady Margaret, sons David and Geoff and grandsons Sam, Finn and Matthew with the service held in aid of Kidney Research UK.
Sir Jack died at his home on the Gold Coast on May 19 with Queensland offering a state funeral for the grand prix great in June.
“Jack certainly knew how to drive a car. When I think back about him, I think what an amazing man he was,” Moss recalled.
“ He was fast, he knew what he was doing, he was mechanically savvy with the car, I’d say he was my toughest competitor of all.
“Every week we were racing against each other in different countries, and it’s difficult to think of anyone who gave me more trouble to be honest.
“He was a very complete racing driver, I tell you that.
“Racing in those days was a sport, I mean Jack lent me a back axle once in Australia, knowing that I might beat him, that was the kind of man he was. It’s a very special occasion to be here today, but then he was a very special man. I must say I’ve had some of my best ever races against him and I remember him with great joy.”
Among the 400 people who paid respect to one of Australia’s greatest sporting figures was Sir Jackie Stewart, Tony Brooks, John Surtees and Michael Madowel as well as John Watson and Jackie Oliver.
The Brabham BT11/19 and BT20 provided compelling props at the service as legendary designer Gordon Murray, Doug Nye, John Judd and Nick Goozee also recounted the grand prix era when Brabham was an enduring giant of the sport.
Messages were relayed at the service from Australia’s freshest grand prix star Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber while David and Geoff Brabham read out tributes from Ron Dennis and Jean Todt respectively.
Inside the main hall eight cars driven or manufactured by the Brabham team added to the rich history at the touching service.
The machines included a Cooper-Climax T53 (a sister car to Sir Jack’s 1960 F1 title winner, 1962 BT3 (first Brabham F1 car), BT24 and BT33 in which Sir Jack scored his final GP win in South Africa in his retirement year in 1970.
There were also a 1963 Brabham BT6 Formula Junior Car and a 1964 BT8 sports car.
David Brabham said: “It was a special day for the Brabham family to have over 400 people turn up for the event, and to have some of the racing greats take time out to tell their stories about Jack was extremely touching.
“We had a fantastic response from those wishing to attend and the media interest was staggering.
Those wishing to donate to Kidney Research UK can do so via www.justgiving.com/SirJackBrabham
Sir Jack Brabham Memorial Gallery – Images provided by Simon Hildrew