Motor icon Brock dies
Australian motor racing legend Peter Brock has been killed in a crash in Western Australia.
He died in a Targa race near Perth after hitting a tree - no
other vehicles were involved. Co-driver Mick Hone was taken to
hospital in a stable condition, apparently with broken ribs.
Brock, 61, had won Bathurst nine times and had dominated motorsport for the last three decades - no other driver in Australia's history can challenge his record.
The accident occurred near the small community of Gidgegannup, about 40 kilometres east of Perth.
Known as 'Peter Perfect' and the 'King of the Mountain', Brock retired from full-time racing in 1997 but returned to Bathurst to win the 24-hour race in 2003.
News of the death was greeted with shock throughout Australia and overseas, coming as it did just days after a stingray killed another Australian icon, Steve Irwin.
"It's been a pretty sad week for Australia, and Brocky will be very sadly missed," Prime Minister John Howard said.
Brock's girlfriend Julie Bamford told Fairfax: "It's surreal. He's such a gorgeous guy."
The editor of Wheels magazine, Jed Bulmer, says Peter Brock was the consummate driving professional who won many accolades, but will best be remembered for his mastery of the race circuit at Bathurst.
"You know the great Australian touring car race and a race which is regarded as one of the most difficult touring car races in the world and Peter was the nine-times winner there at what is known these days as the Bathurst 1000," he told ABC radio.
"He had a long and very successful career there, he was the 'King of the Mountain' as he came to be known."
Bathurst 1000: 9 wins (record) (1972, 75, 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 87)
Australian Touring Car Champion: 3 times winner (1974, 78, 80) 5 times runner-up (73, 79, 81, 84, 90)
Sandown 500: 9 wins (73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 84)
Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) wins: 37 from 209 starts (record) (1972-1997)
ATCC Debut: Calder 1972
First ATCC win: Surfers Paradise 1973 (Holden Torana)
Last ATCC win: Wanneroo 1997 (Holden Commodore VS)
V8 Supercars Hall of Fame inductee: 2001