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The Observer

Sir Jack Brabham was the guest of honour at the Autosport Awards last Saturday, and despite the frailty of an 80-year-old body, that unmistakable 'Black Jack' twinkle was still there. Damien Smith reflects on a motor racing hero and his contribution to the sport

He's a member of an exclusive and very special club: like Fangio, Stewart, Lauda, Piquet, Prost, Senna and Schumacher, Jack Brabham won three Formula One World Championships. And yet unlike most of that illustrious company, he is rarely mentioned when it comes to the 'greatest ever' debates that inevitably pop up from time to time.

Why? After all, in each of his three championship years Brabham was a lot more than simply lucky. OK, in 1959 he was aided by the retirements of title rivals Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss to be crowned at the US Grand Prix, but no one would argue that he didn't deserve to be champ.

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