Jack started his career as a mechanic for the Royal Australian Air Force and got his start in racing driving speedcars on quarter-mile dirt circuits. He was notoriously competitive, and ruthless in pursuit of the chequered flag.
He went to England in the 1950s, got into Formula One, winning in Cooper-Climax mid-engined cars, before going on to design his own Brabham race cars with fellow Aussie Ron Tauranac.
Unfortunately, despite the world championship, and being knighted by the Queen, it took a long time for Australians to publicly recognise him for his great achievements in motor sport. However, he dies, recognised as a great Australian, who was gracious, and loyal to his friends.
I first met Jack in the year he won his world championship in a Brabham car, interviewing him at the inaugural meeting at the Surfers Paradise International Raceway.
|Jack and I in 1966 discussing the Brabham-Honda F2 cars|
|Interviewing Jack about the Brabham-Honda victories, Sydney 1998|
The last time we met, for lunch, on March 20 he was in good form, talking about his grandson Matthew's progress in Indy Lights.
|Grahame Ward, Sir Jack and Yours Truly on March 20 (Photo: Max Stahl)|
Although deaf as a post for many years, and in later years enduring dialysis three times a week he was always happy and friendly with me and I both loved and respected him for his achievements. As Stirling Moss said: "He was a racer!"
|Lunch, November 2012, arranged by Jack's good friend Grahame Ward, with myself, Matthew and Sir Jack, discussing Matt's upcoming year in Indy Lights in the USA. Photo: Max Stahl|