F1 great Sir Jack Brabham dead at 88

Sydney: Australian Formula One great Sir Jack Brabham has died after a long illness, his family and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation said Monday.

"It`s a very sad day for all of us. My father passed away peacefully at home at the age of 88 this morning," son David Brabham said in a statement.

"He lived an incredible life, achieving more than anyone would ever dream of and he will continue to live on through the astounding legacy he leaves behind."

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation said Brabham died after a long illness.

"He had a long battle with liver disease," an AGPC official said.

Brabham was a major influence in the world of Formula One, winning three world drivers` championships, in 1959 and 1960 with the Cooper Racing Team and again in 1966 in his own Brabham car.

In 1959 he famously ran out of fuel in the last race and pushed his car to the finish to claim his first world championship.

In 1966 he became the first driver to win the championship in a car he had built himself -- the BT19. He also won the constructors` championship that year, and again in 1967.

Acclaimed as a brilliant engineer, technological innovations brought about by the Brabham team helped to shape the sport.

Through his partnership with Ron Tauranac, more than 500 Brabham racecars were built from the team`s British Surrey base in the 1960s alone, while the Brabham name continued in Formula One for 30 years.

After retiring in 1970, Brabham became the first motorsport identity to be knighted.

In his final years, he battled failing eyesight, problems with his kidneys and liver disease.

Brabham is survived by his wife, Margaret, and sons Geoff, Gary and David and their families.

David Brabham tweeted: "Thanks for all the kind messages about my fathers peaceful passing, it is appreciated by the whole family."

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