Australian Formula 1 legend Jack Brabham’s racing career is getting the documentary treatment, and the movie premiered this week at the Brisbane International Film Festival.
Brabham studied engineering in his youth and served as an aircraft mechanic in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II. He got his racing start in Australia before moving to Europe and working his way up the ranks to Formula 1.
He was the first Formula 1 champion from Australia and the first driver to be knighted for his performance in the realm of motorsport. In 1962, he co-founded the shop which was named after him, and which over the course of the 1960s sold more racing cars to customers than any other builder. And he remains the only driver to ever have one a F1 driver’s championship (of which he won three) and constructor’s championship in the same season (1966) behind the wheel of a car with his name. He retired after the 1970 F1 season.
Brabham died in his home on the Australian Gold Coast in 2014. He was 88. His sons carried on his motorsport legacy. Like their father, David and Geoff both won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Their brother, Gary, won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1991, before falling into disgrace in later years.
David also went on to found Brabham Automotive, honoring his father’s work as a race car builder. Its first product, the Brabham BT62 race car, will join the FIA World Endurance Championship and be campaigned at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. A follow-up supercar, which is meant to be more attainable and will be produced in greater numbers, is expected to be formally announced soon.
The documentary includes archive footage of Brabham’s racing career and the filmmakers interviewed racing legends spanning the decades from Brabham’s heyday to the present, including Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, John Surtees, and Mark Webber.
“Brabham” will be released in Australia and New Zealand in February. International release details have not yet been provided.