THERE were claps and a few tears as the motorsport fraternity witnessed a lap of honour for Sir Jack Brabham at Winton Motor Raceway yesterday.
The tribute for the three-time Formula 1 world champion formed part of the weekend’s 38th Historic Winton event, a celebration of car racing’s past.
Brabham — also a car builder whose cars have appeared at Winton — died on the Gold Coast last week, aged 88.
Organiser Noel Wilcox said the motorsport fraternity were keen to see how Brabham would be remembered.
“I had about 70 people wanting to know what we were doing for Jack,” he said.
“He was a well-known motorsport figure and it was only fitting to remember him with a lap of honour.”
Five Brabham vehicles led the lap and were followed by 200 historic cars and motorcycles from the 1920s to the 1980s.
There was also an on-course announcement heralding Brabham’s achievements that included him becoming the first motorsport identity to be knighted in 1978.
An old friend, Don Kinsey, said Brabham would have been proud of the turn-out.
“He was a gentleman who was hard on the racetrack, but a kind and friendly man off the racetrack,” he said.
“Jack was a very smart man and he built, designed and engineered his own car and won the world championship.”
“This had not been done before and they don’t think it will happen again.”
The Winton event, conducted by the Austin 7 Club with help from the Historic Motorcycle Racing Association Victoria, attracted its largest crowd.
Organisers had expected a 10,000 crowd. They were impressed it reached 15,000.
More than 400 historic racing cars and motorbikes featured on and off the track.
The oldest vehicle to take to the track in fine old style was a 1919 Dodge.