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The Greatest Australian Racing Drivers of All Time

This article is posted in collaboration with an outside sponsorship client. The opinions and information contained within do not necessarily represent Frontstretch and its staff.

Australia boasts a long-standing and illustrious history with motorsports. From the high-speed thrills of MotoGP to the prestigious circuits of Formula 1, Australian racers have significantly impacted the global racing scene.

This rich legacy is poised to continue, especially with the rise of talents like Oscar Piastri, the legend of the Melbourne Grand Prix 2023, who follows in the footsteps of some of Australia’s legendary drivers. In this article, we will look at the greatest Australian racing drivers of all time, inspiring the next generation of racers.

Sir Jack Brabham

Few motorsport heroes in Australia are as celebrated as the legendary Sir Jack Brabham. This Australian icon clinched the F1 Drivers’ Championship three times during his illustrious career and left an enduring legacy by establishing the Brabham Racing Team, shaping the future of the sport.

His life story is truly captivating, with a remarkable journey that included serving in the Royal Australian Air Force before embarking on his thrilling motorsports career.

Despite winning back-to-back F1 titles in 1959 and 1960, his defining moment would come in the 1966 season, as he would become the first and only driver to win the Drivers’ Championship while driving one of his cars that he had developed. He retired from the sport in 1970 and lived on a farm in his native Australia. 

Alan Jones

Alan Jones was a hugely successful driver throughout his career, making history in 1980 when becoming the first driver to win the Drivers’ Championship with Williams.

That success also saw Jones become the second Australian to win the F1 Drivers’ Championship, following the success enjoyed by Brabham in the 1950s and 60s. The Australian would compete in 117 Grand Prix, winning on 12 occasions and achieving podium finishes in 24 races. 

Jones would also achieve further success away from the world of F1 after landing victory in the Can-Am Championship when driving a Lola in 1978.

The driver remains a prominent figure in Australian motorsport history, as he is the most recent native to have won the Australian Grand Prix. That success in 1980 was achieved at Calder Park Raceway.

Peter Brock

Peter Brock ranks among the most successful Australian motorsport stars in history, having won some of the most prestigious events on the calendar. Brocky was most fondly remembered for his time with Holden after spending 40 years with the team.

However, he did race in several other vehicles during his career, including Porsche, Ford, and BMW.

Brock achieved several major victories throughout his career, including the Bathurst 1000 endurance race on nine occasions. He would also win the Sandown 500 on the same number of occasions and the Australian Touring Car Championship in three separate editions.

His achievements on the track were acknowledged in 2001 when he was included in the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame. However, he sadly passed away shortly afterward in September 2006, aged 61.

Mark Webber

Mark Webber remains one of the most popular Australian motorsport figures. Webber has achieved huge success throughout his career in a wide range of disciplines.

He began his career at age 12, winning regional championships, before stepping into Formula 1 for the first time in 2002. His first race was a success at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing fifth.

Webber would later drive for Jaguar and Williams Racing before moving to Red Bull for the remainder of his career. He claimed victories in nine Grand Prix and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship on three occasions.

Webber would then begin his career in the World Endurance Drivers’ Championship, winning eight races from 25 starts. He also enjoyed an excellent performance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing second in the 2015 edition.

Mick Doohan

Few more influential figures have been in the growing popularity of motorcycle racing in Australia than Mick Doohan. The Aussie won five straight 500 cc World Championships between 1994 and 1998 and recorded 54 victories from 137 starts in the competition.

Doohan only raced in the Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Championships for ten years, which makes his achievement of winning five titles across that period even more staggering. There could be further motorsport success from the family, as Jack Doohan is currently the reserve driver for the Alpine team in F1.

Conclusion   

Australia has a rich history in motorsports, boasting numerous stars who have made a name for themselves at the highest level of competition on the track. This legacy of success appears poised to continue at the upcoming Australian Grand Prix 2024, which will take place at the iconic Albert Park Circuit.

The spotlight is on Oscar Piastri, who is bidding to become the first Australian to secure victory in the Australian Grand Prix since 1980.

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