Former world champion Brabham dead at 88

SYDNEY Sun May 18, 2014 7:25pm EDT

Former Formula One driver Jack Brabham of Australia is seen behind the pits before the qualifying session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 26, 2011.  REUTERS/Scott Wensley

Former Formula One driver Jack Brabham of Australia is seen behind the pits before the qualifying session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Scott Wensley

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian three times Formula One champion Jack Brabham has died, his family said on Monday.

Brabham, who won the Formula One titles in 1959, 1960 and 1966, died at his home on Australia's Gold Coast aged 88, the family's official website (www.brabham.co.uk) said.

"It's a very sad day for all of us," his youngest son David said on the website.

"My father passed away peacefully at home at the age of 88 this morning. 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."

A former Royal Australian Air Force mechanic, Brabham began racing midget cars in 1948 before he moved to Britain and won the Formula One titles with the Cooper Racing team in 1959 and 1960.

Brabham and friend and fellow Australian Ron Tauranac then set up a company to design and build their own cars, one of which he drove to the Formula One title in 1966.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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