Saturday, September 09, 2006

First The Croc Hunter, Then Brocky - Who's Next?

Steve Irwin died on the 4th of September. Yesterday I heard Peter Brock giving an interview on the radio a couple of hours before he headed off to compete in the Targa West Rally. Not too much later Brocky was dead.

I didn't find out until I was driving home. "Bullshit" was my first thought. They say that famous people die in threes so it begs the question, "Who's next?"

Peter Brock was the quintessential racing driver in this country. He won Bathurst an incredible, an unprecedented and unparallelable nine (or 10, depending on who you listen to - there seems to be a little bit of confusion in the media) times. He was a racing driver that I admired but loved to hate as he drove Holdens. His nickname of "Peter Perfect" was well deserved as he won nearly everything. The man was close to unbeatable at times. It was reported that he was the Australian Touring Car Champion a record three times but Dick Johnson and Mark Skaife have won it five times each. Perhaps he was so good at winning it is difficult to keep tabs on his tally.

There are a great many questions to be answered. Was a proper safety check of his car done? Had he had enough sleep after flying to Perth the previous day? Was the car setup in a mechanically sound manner? Was there a mechanical failure? Did he just make a mistake on a tight bend? I'm sure a coroner's report will answer many of these questions but many Australians will still be in a state of disbelief.

I'm sure that Bathurst this year will be a colourful and sentimental farewell and tribute to the "King of the Mountain". Farewell Peter Brock. You will live in the Nation's memory.

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