Monday, 3 May 2010

Sir Jack Brabham – World Class

Now that we are well into the 2010 Formula 1 season, it's easy to forget that 50 years ago, Australian Sir Jack Brabham, AO, OBE won his second consecutive F1 World Driver’s Championship, driving a rear-engined Cooper T53 to success in 1960.

Sir Jack Brabham - detail
Pen&ink and Prismacolor pencils on white archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2009
Available as a limited edition

Sir Brabham started racing in 1948, racing open-wheeled midgets on dirt tracks. He competed successfully at various levels and series thoughout Australia, and in 1955, made his move to European racing, basing himself in the United Kingdom.

He quickly hooked up with the Cooper Car Company, working with them as both a mechanic and driver. This successful alliance lead to his first F1 World Driver’s Championship in 1959, and his second in 1960.

1960 Cooper T53
Prismacolor pencils on white archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2009

After driving for Cooper for 1961, Brabham set out on his own, teaming up with New Zealander Ron Tauranac, to build and race his own cars. Their cars had limited success for a few years.
1964 BT11
Prismacolor pencils on gray archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2008

The FIA brought in new rules for 1966, including a change to 3-litre engines. Brabham convinced the Australian engineering company Repco to develop a competition V-8 engine for his BT19 F1 racecar, designed by Tauranac.

Pencils on white archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2006
Available as a limited edition

The results were stunning, with Brabham winning four races, and the F1 World Driver’s Championship for the third time. He also took the F1 Constructors Championship, the only driver to have done it. He was also the first of only three drivers to have won a Championship race in a car of his own construction.
At the end of the season, the Queen appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
The following year, he again took the F1 Constructors Championship, with his driver/teammate Denny Hulme taking the F1 World Driver’s Championship.
He retired from Formula 1 in 1970. His three sons Geoff, Gary and David have all gone into successful professional racing careers.


Leigh O'Gorman said...

Absolutely marvellous. As far as I am concerned, Brabham is surely one of the most under-appreciated and undervalued drivers in Formula 1 history.
Lovely job.

rob ijbema said...

wow,excellent portait of black jack,you cought him well paul