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Paddock Postcard from Melbourne 02 Apr 2006

Sir Jack Brabham (AUS).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 30 March 2006 (L to R): Anthony Rowlinson (GBR) Journalist with his doppelganger Leo Sayer (GBR) Singer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 1 April 2006 The Dodo girls.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 31 March 2006 McLaren meets Australian Rules Football players (L to R): Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren; Nathan Buckley (AUS) Collingwood FC; Alan Didak (AUS) Collingwood FC; Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 1 April 2006 (L to R): Julian Jakobi and Bruno Senna (BRA).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 1 April 2006

It’s happy birthday for Sir Jack Brabham! The legendary thrice world champion Aussie turned 80 today, and to celebrate drove one of his 1966 Brabham BT19s in an historic display this morning. Forty years ago he won the Dutch Grand Prix in a similar car, after a mighty scrap with Jim Clark and having hobbled, at the age of 40, on to the grid sporting a walking stick and a false beard.

Another famous name raced with distinction in Albert Park this weekend, taking three F3 triumphs. Bruno Senna is the nephew of the late Ayrton, who when Bruno was only nine years old told friends: “If you think I’m good, wait until Bruno arrives!” A personable young man, Senna was the class of the field, drawing on his UK experience in Formula BMW and Formula Three with Kimi Raikkonen’s Double R team.

Melbourne puts on a fantastic show for the Grand Prix, and despite traces of the hangover the city has after the Commonwealth Games, there has been plenty for race fans to enjoy. Crime fiction author Tara Moss was a case in point in a BMW Celebrity Challenge clash which also featured Young Australian of the Year Trisha Broadbridge, Fox TV football presenter Tiffany Cherry and victorious Shawn Giles, the triple Australian Superbike champion.

If you were lucky, you could also snatch a paddock rendition of ‘I Can’t Stop Dancing’ or ‘Just a Boy’ if you asked veteran singer/songwriter Leo Sayer nicely. He topped the bill at the Grand Prix Ball, and is currently riding the wave of his recent revival back home in the UK.

For more on Jack Brabham click here