Jamey Blaikie’s death in a car accident in Fiji has rocked the tight-knit Porsche Motorsport community.
At 52, Blaikie had much more to give the world and motor racing before his life was tragically cut short.
Colleagues, friends and relatives have painted a picture of a person who was extremely skilled and dedicated to his craft and who put people’s best interests ahead of business.
Always quick to greet someone with a ‘hi buddy’, his outgoing persona and infectious smile were trademarks.
As a boy Blaikie cut a mean figure in karting circles in Lismore before linking up with cousin Gavin Manning through speedway and super sedan racing.
Blaikie’s driving exploits eventually moved into truck racing, first in four-cylinder sports utes before graduating to Super Trucks.
“How a guy who raced street stockers, not that there is anything wrong with that, to what he ended up doing and influencing motorsport in Australia was just phenomenal,” Manning told Speedcafe.com
Blaikie’s career in motorsport progressed into team management during the 1990s, moving into Super Touring and later V8 Supercars with Paragon Motorsport.
He ran talented Brisbane steerer Cameron McLean in both categories with Greenfield Mowers backing.
By the end of 2002 Blaikie had sold his stake in Paragon, severing ties as a team owner and clearing the way to set-up and guide Carrera Cup into the first of two eras for the category in Australia.
Blaikie teamed with pet food baron Tony Quinn and then Porsche Cars Australia managing director Michael Winkler as co-directors of Cup Car, bringing the one-make 911 GT3 class to Australian shores for 2003.
Blaikie, who also poured his efforts into building the sister GT3 Cup Experience business, was meticulous, a stickler for detail who espoused the Porsche management virtues to the letter.
New Zealander Craig Baird, who has since won five Carrera Cup Australia titles, is adamant that the category would never have been established in Australia had it not been for Blaikie’s unstinting efforts.
“There is no-one in the country who has done more for Porsche Motorsport and Carrera Cup,” Baird told Speedcafe.com
“He certainly looked after his customers, when I say customers they were also mates. Everyone up and down pitlane was a mate.
“He was always trying to open up doors for not only people like myself but young talent coming through.
“Jamey had a great vision to bring Carrera Cup to Australia along with Tony Quinn.
“I don’t think we would have seen the category in Australia without him.”
Baird, who had learned of tragic news while at a Porsche ride day at Winton, said Blaikie was never one to hold a grudge.
“For reasons left unknown he left the Porsche scene but obviously we still saw a lot of him in Asia,” he said.
“He was running a team in GT Asia which I competed in. I saw him on a regular basis.
“He was one of those guys with whom we had some good times together and some bad times together.
“Jamey never held a grudge. He told it how it was whether you liked it or you didn’t like it.
“That was one of the great things about him you knew where you stood.
“If you were playing the ball well he would tell you. If you were playing the ball badly he would tell you.
“He is a great loss to the motorsport fraternity. “
Jamey is survived by brother Adrian, who lives in Japan.
Details of funeral arrangements are expected to be known in the next few days.
Tributes for Blaikie continue to flood social media channels as news of his death rifles through the motor racing community.
Speedcafe.com has collected a sample of messages below
Porsche Cars Australia’s director of public relations and motorsport Paul Ellis: “From sleeting rain and mud at Mallala with three men and a dog on the spectator hill to glorious sunshine and huge crowds at the Gold Coast … Blaikie was there in his Porsche gear, doing what he loved, with the people he loved and the sport he loved.
David Reynolds, 2007 Australian Porsche Carrera Cup champion: “He was an ace guy and he did a lot for me over the years.”
Steven Richards, who was crowned the 2014 Australian Porsche Carrera Cup champion on the Gold Coast in October: “To a great bloke that gave a lot of himself to Porsche and Motorsport. RIP Jamey Blaikie. Thoughts and prayers to his family.”
Former top touring car driver Charlie O’Brien: “I will miss chatting to you on FB all hours of the night, and hearing of your adventures of the past racing week, I’m sad beyond words to learn about this tragic news.”
Recently appointed Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport manager Kurt Sakzewski: “I am lost for words at the news of Jamey’s passing. Very sad.”
Dr Carl Le: “Ah Jamey, thank you four the beautiful Porsches over the years. Sorry I scratched one of them. Very saddened by your passing.”
Michael Patrizi (Porsche Carrera Cup driver): “Terrible news today about our friend and massive Porsche ambassador Jamey Blaikie. Sad day for all of us. Thoughts are with his family.
“JB the man who convinced me to step into Cup Car and was the man who most supported my move back to V8’s. He was all for Cup Car! #RIPbuddy”
Holden Motorsport: “Holden Motorsport offers its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jamie Blaikie.”
Nick Percat (V8 Supercars and Porsche Carrera Cup driver): “RIP Jamey Blaikie.”
Tim Slade (V8 Supercars driver): “RIP Jamey Blaikie.”
Greg Rust (Motorsports presenter and commentator): “Saddened by Jamey Blaikie’s passing. Met him in Super Touring in the ’90’s with Cam McLean’s team & he was tremendous. RIP mate.”
Paul Weel (Former V8 Supercars driver): “Such a shame that a great bloke that Jamey was is gone way too soon. He will be missed by many and especially my family RIP mate.”
Ryan McLeod, Racer Industries: “Saddened by the news of the passing of Jamey Blaikie. A great guy who was a friend of Racer Industries.
“Jamey had helped so many people with their motorsport endeavours. Always with a smile and a laugh, Jamey was a real conduit of passion for motorsport, coupled with a genuine interest in the well-being of the competitors and associates.”
“A sad, sad day indeed.”
Grove Racing: “RIP Jamey Blaikie. Grove Racing offers its sincerest condolences to Jamey’s family and close friends.
“We thank you for all that you have done for us, you will be sorely missed.”
Richard Craill, Porsche Carrera Cup commentator: “Incredibly sad and shocked to learn former Porsche Australia racing boss Jamey Blaikie was killed yesterday. Thoughts to all.”
Jono Lester, GT driver: “Saddened at news of the passing of Jamey Blaikie. Rest easy mate.”
V8 Supercars: “His incredible dedication to the Porsche Carrera Cup and motorsport spanned his lifetime. He leaves a great legacy for Australian motorsport. V8 Supercars, its teams and drivers offer their condolences to Blaikie’s family and friends at this terrible time.”
Cameron McConville, former Porsche Motorsport Australia manager: “Life is very precious and can be taken too quick! Thinking of JB’s family and close knit friend group at this time.”
Dean Fiore, V8 Supercars driver: “So upset about the news of Jamey Blaikie. Spent a lot of time with him in Carrera Cup, great bloke, great loss. #RIPmate.”
Shae Davies, Porsche Carrera Cup driver: “Lost for words on the passing of Jamey Blaikie. You will be sorely missed mate. Rest In Peace.”