Frank Matich was an outstanding test, development and racing driver.
His race record in Australia in the 1960s and ‘70s in demonically fast sports and racing cars was brilliant.
He won five Tasman Series international races, two Australian Grands Prix and the Australian Drivers’ Champion in 1972.
To take pole position in the Tasman International Series race at Warwick Farm in 1964 against drivers of the calibre of Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Graham Hill was, literally, sensational.
The next year he had a fierce but fair 50 lap battle with the great Jim Clark at Lakeside.
So impressed was Clark that when Matich pitted with a problem, Clark waited for him to rejoin so they could continue their battle.
Few have ever been so flattered.
Matich’s performances in Australia resulted in an offer from the Lotus chief himself, Colin Chapman, to drive in F1.
It may have been the making of Matich, but Frank declined the offer, preferring to stay here with family and business.
Frank Matich was a truly great driver as well as designer, test and development engineer and a worthy member of the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame.