A thorough gentleman: Your memories of Sir Jack Brabham

Sir Jack Brabham retires from the Indy 500 Image copyright William Duperouzel
Image caption Sir Jack began the 1970 Indy 500 in 26th position but reached 13th before retiring due to a piston problem.

Racing driver and engineer Sir Jack Brabham has died aged 88.

Friends of Sir Jack and fans of motor racing have contacted the BBC news website with their memories of the man crowned Formula 1 champion three times over.

William Duperouzel, Bedfordshire, UK

As a 24-year-old from Western Australia, it was a great thrill to see Sir Jack Brabham race in the Indy 500 in May 1970.

I was lucky enough to see Jack at close quarters in the pit lane when sadly he was forced to retire from the race. He was the only "overseas" driver, all the other 32 drivers were American. The race was won by Al Unser, who led for most of it.

Image copyright William Duperouzel
Image caption William had tickets for the infield of the Indy 500, May 1970, and had arrived at 07:00.

For me it was a great thrill to get so close to Sir Jack. I just happened to be close to the pit lane when Sir Jack arrived, having "retired" with a piston problem. You can see from the photo I sent that I must have been within 20ft [6m]. Nowadays, it mayn't be possible to get so close.

As a fellow Aussie I followed his career with interest. He was not only a great driver and designer but he always conducted himself with dignity.

Gill Oliver, Gosport, Hampshire, UK

I worked for Brabham Racing in the late 60s. I worked for Motor Racing Developments; the Formula 1 team was in the same place.

What a very quiet and unassuming man Jack was, but very quietly determined as well!

He was there all the time.

I always remember him dressing up as "the old man" of motor racing complete with walking stick, then going on to win a race at Brands Hatch! He really was one of the "old school" gentleman racers.

Image copyright Max Stahl
Image caption Sir Jack and John last had lunch together on 20 March 2014, Gold Coast, Australia

John Crawford, Gold Coast, Australia

I met Jack in 1966 to interview him about his Brabham-Honda F2 cars. We became friends.

I invited him to join a racing team in Australia in 1980, racing Triumph TR7s in a promotional race series. His famous driving style got him in trouble with the other drivers!

In 1998 I was asked by Honda, to reprise the 1966 interview for the Honda magazine, commemorating Honda's 50 years in motor sport.

We last lunched together in March this year.

George Dingle, Gauteng, South Africa

I've always been very interested in Formula 1, especially the Jack Brabham, Jim Clarke, Graham Hill, John Surtees era.

I saw Sir Jack Brabham race a number of times at Kyalami and was always impressed by his professionalism, friendliness and being an exceptionally nice, normal guy. My condolences to his family and friends.

I actually met him once. One year, we were walking through the pits during a practice session ahead of the Grand Prix. Jack Brabham walked out.

I said: "Good afternoon."

He said: "It's a wonderful afternoon!"

He was just so normal and lovely, and took the time to talk to me!

When I read the news today, I thought: "We've lost a thorough gentleman."

Interviewed and written by Richard Irvine-Brown

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