Tributes for Brock at Bathurst memorial
Phil Brock has shared memories of growing up alongside his late brother Peter during a 10th anniversary memorial of the legend’s death.
Motorsport identities and fans gathered this morning at Bathurst’s National Motor Racing Museum to pay tribute to the Australian icon.
Broadcaster Greg Rust, Supercars chaplain Garry Coleman, Bathurst deputy mayor Ian North and Phil Brock addressed a modest crowd gathered around the statue of Brock at the entrance of the museum.
Others present included Brock’s partner at the time of his death, Julie Bamford and Supercars’ COO Shane Howard.
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A video message from Craig Lowndes was also played while the modern day Supercars star concentrated on testing duties at Queensland Raceway.
While Bathurst played host to Brock’s greatest on track achievements, Phil Brock entertained those assembled with tales from the pair’s early days.
“Today was a personal commemoration of Peter’s life,” Phil Brock told Speedcafe.com.
“What I wanted to share was what it was like to grow up as his brother and how our parents influenced the person he became.
“People don’t realise that a lot of the competitive instinct we got came from mum and her background in tennis.
“She was a very quiet achiever on the court, which really showed through with Peter.
“They weren’t demonstrative people on the tennis court or the race track, they were competitive but quiet and collected and always played by the book.
“That was balanced by dad who was going to go and drop (Allan) Moffat one day at a Rallycross event.
“He didn’t like the way he’d raced Peter and grabbed hold of the front of him and said he’d ram a sponge down his throat if he ever did that again!
“Dad was a smart old operator but he was the one that really showed his passion.”
While Peter Brock would go on to become a great ambassador for road safety, the young Brocks were not discouraged from racing due to any fear of injury.
“Mum and dad never, ever once mentioned the word safety,” recalled Phil.
“Safety to us was a by-product of doing something properly. If you do something properly it’ll be safe.
“For us it was ‘is it going to make the car faster? Is it going to make it better?’ If so, you do it.
“I think that was the inherent background behind the way he did things.”
Phil’s racing exploits took place in the shadow of his brother – famously denied a drive in the winning car at Bathurst in 1983 after Peter and co-driver Larry Perkins took the reigns.
After a decade on the sidelines, Phil Brock has returned to racing in the last 12 months as both a competitor and an ambassador.
Brock says his desire to promote the virtues of Peter through various channels has given a new appreciation for what the nine-time Bathurst winner dealt with off-track.
Peter Brock’s death was followed by a lengthy legal wrangle over his estate, while the Brock name and trademarks he made famous continue to be used by various parties.
“I’ve actually learnt more this year about Peter and what he went through than I’d ever known before,” said Phil.
“Being a bit more in the limelight, what that does is creates the tall poppy syndrome. Because you’re a Brock and you’ve got things happening, people don’t like that for various reasons.
“Things we’ve done this year have had areas around them where they’ve been very negative and have had people obviously trying to knock it down to a degree.
“All I want is to get Peter’s heritage out to his fans, where it should be.
“But one of the things I learnt from Peter is ‘don’t get bogged down by the negative stuff. Just be positive and do the best you can at whatever you do’.
“And I’ve only scratched the service. I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to work out how to play some of these things and figure out the right way to head.”
Tributes to Peter Brock will continue at the retro themed Sandown 500 later this month, where Phil will be behind the wheel of a Mobil VN Holden Commodore once raced by his late brother.