Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK - Saturday 7 March, 2015

Black Jack Takes Final Grand Prix Glory At Kyalami

Forty-five years ago today, March 7 1970, three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham scored the 14th and final grand prix victory of his remarkable career.

Black Jack’s success aboard the BT33, the Brabham team’s first monocoque chassis, in the South African GP 1970 season opener proved that the competitive fire still burned. The then 43-year old, who won titles for Cooper in 1959 and ’60 and in his self-built Brabham in 1966, converting his third place qualifying position into an eight-second win at Kyalami.

Brabham’s first victory since the Canadian GP in the summer of 1967, marked a competitive start to what would be his 16th and final season at the top level.

Pole position next time out in Spain kept up the momentum, although an engine failure while running second meant he went unrewarded at Jarama.

Three podium finishes in the next five races – second at Monaco after a galling last-corner slip let Jochen Rindt through to win, third in France and second again in the British GP after a pitstop error denied him victory – proved the BT33 was up to the job and ensured Brabham lay second in the drivers’ points standings at the half-way mark.

The second half of the season was less successful, with two mechanical failures, an accident and two finishes outside the points, but Brabham was still fighting for fourth in the drivers’ world championship.

A failure of the three-litre Cosworth DFV engine in the back of the BT33 while he was running in third place in the Mexican GP finale meant his 126th and final grand prix went unrewarded, although it proved that the trademark never-give-up, attacking Brabham style was in evidence until the end.

Image © LAT Photographic