V8 Supercars chairman James Strong died in Melbourne on Sunday at the age of 68.
Strong had only taken over the running of the series in November 2012, when he replaced former chief Tony Cochrane.
An 18-year stint running the Qantas airline was the central part of Strong's career, which also featured managing roles in the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports.
V8 Supercars CEO David Malone paid tribute to Strong, saying: "It is with immense sadness I mark the passing of our Non-Executive Chairman James Strong.
"He was an astute businessman with an extensive motorsport passion and knowledge [who] offered so much to the sport of V8 Supercars.
"Sadly James was unable to make the contribution he had wanted and was so enthusiastic about.
"James leaves an indelible mark on the business world in his lifetime of work across corporate Australia as a humble and esteemed business man.
"We offer James' wife Jeanne-Claude and family our heartfelt condolences."
Australia's leading F1 driver Mark Webber was among those quick to pay their respects to Strong.
"Sorry to hear the news that James Strong has passed away," Webber wrote on his Twitter account.
"He was very special towards my junior racing career.
"Great guy. Will be missed."