AUSTRALIAN motor racing legend Sir Arthur "Jack" Brabham AO OBE has been honoured by the Royal Australian Mint with the Formula One racing champion depicted on a new 50 cent piece unveiled this week.
Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, who is responsible for the Royal Australian Mint, said the new coin honours Sir Jack's lifetime of motorsport achievement across Australia and the world.
"Sir Jack Brabham's is an amazing Australian motorsport story. A Formula One racing champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966, he was the first driver who won in a car he built himself," Mr McCormack said.
"All Australians can be proud of his outstanding career, which started with Sir Jack serving in the Royal Australian Air Force as a pilot, mechanic and leading aircraftman, before starting his own small business as a repairer and machinist behind his grandfather's house.
"Sir Jack won the hearts of Australians in Grand Prix around the world and it is fitting his memory will be forever honoured with this coin."
Synonymous with Australian motor racing for decades, Sir Jack first started racing at Gnoo Blas circuit, now Sir Jack Brabham Park, in Orange in 1953. He also won the Bathurst 100-Mile race in 1960 in a 2.5 litre Cooper Climax car, reaching speeds of almost 157 mph on Conrod Straight.
Local Federal MP Andrew Gee, whose electorate includes Sir Jack Brabham Park and Australian motorsport's spiritual home, Mt Panorama in Bathurst, said the coin will be of special significance to communities in the Central West.
"Sir Jack Brabham is an integral part of Australian motor racing history, and the Calare electorate is particularly proud of his achievements," Mr Gee said.
"I'm delighted that the Royal Australian Mint has chosen to recognise Sir Jack in this way. It certainly is a fitting tribute."