Difference between revisions of "Peter Brock"
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Peter Geoffrey Brock (February 26, 1945 - September 8, 2006) was an Australian racecar driver.
Brock was born in the Victorian country town of Hurstbridge, Victoria. His father was a mechanic, and instilled in him his love of cars.
Brock rose to public attention in touring car racing, winning the Bathurst 1000, Australia's most prominent domestic motorsport event, a total of nine times through the 1970s and '80s. As the lead driver for the pseudo-factory Holden Dealer Team, in a succession of Holden Toranas and later Commodores the smooth-talking, clean-cut Brock became a household name well beyond motor racing fans, and was probably the best known modern Australian racing driver (Sir Jack Brabham being the most well known "classic" driver).
Brock and the Holden Dealer Team became involved, with full factory approval and assistance, in producing a number of high-performance modifications to the Commodores from 1980 to 1988. It was around this time that Brock began his run of six Bathurst 1000 wins in seven years, including his victory in the 1979 event, which he won by a record six laps. He has won a total of 9 Bathurst 1000 events and 1 Bathurst 24h event.
HDT, under Brock's direction and with Holden factory approval, produced a number of modified high-performance roadgoing Commodores through the early and mid 1980s. Some were "homologation specials" produced to meet the Group A racing regulations.
Brock also worked with the Victorian authorities on promoting the campaign against drink driving. The most obvious sign of this association was the racecar number "05" which related to the 0.05% blood alcohol limit in Victoria. Most cars he raced in, regardless of the motor racing division, bore this number, including the one in which he died.
Brock developed an interest in New Age-style spirituality through practitioner Eric Dowker. Brock began publicly supporting, and eventually began to fit to HDT specials, a device called the "Energy Polarizer", containing strong permanent magnets, which claimed to improve the performance and handling of vehicles through "aligning the molecules". The overwhelming majority of the Australian motoring community regarded the device as pseudoscience. Brock also recommended tyre pressures of 22psi(150kPa) for his polariser-equipped vehicles, a level which many regarded as near-dangerously low. Holden, fearing the consequences of being associated with the device, cut ties with Brock and set up an alternative racing/modification operation, Holden Special Vehicles.
Brock continued to race in privately-supported teams for some years afterwards, but returned to the factory Holden Racing Team in 1994. Brock retired from full-time driving in 1997.
After his 'retirement' he made two returns to Bathurst (2002 and 2004) and competed in the Nations Cup for highly modified and exotic cars in 2004. In 2002, he returned to top-level touring car racing as a team owner with the entry of "Team Brock" into the V8 Supercar category. However, he sold his share in the team to Kees Weelat the end of 2003.
Peter Brock died at the age of 61 in a racing accident. The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and Western Australian Police confirmed that he lost control of his vehicle on a bend and collided with a tree while driving in the Targa West '06 rally at 11.50am on September 8, 2006, near the township of Gidgegannup, Western Australia, 40km north-east of Perth. Brock and co-driver Mick Hone were in a 2001 Daytona Coupe. Hone was taken to hospital in a stable condition.