Australia’s first Formula One driver dies aged 93

Frederick Anthony Owen Gaze, Australia’s first Formula One World Championship driver, has passed away peacefully in his home in Victoria, Australia yesterday at the age of 93.

Gaze was a highly respected personality in the motor-racing world and was step-grandfather to Australian motor-racing stars Alex, James and Will Davison.

After being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts with the Royal Air Force during the second world war, he became the first Australian to contest in a Formula One World Championship motor-race at the 1952 Belgian Grand Prix, where he finished 15th.

Gaze would participate in two more World Championship events, at that year’s British and German Grands Prix, but would fail to complete both races.

In his final appearance in F1, at the notorious Nordschliefe circuit in Germany, Gaze recorded a career-best 14th position in qualifying in a privately-entered Hersham and Walton Motor car.

Gaze helped establish “The Kangaroo Stable” in 1955, Australia’s first international motor-racing team, that was headed by future three-time Australian World Champion Sir Jack Brabham.

He later represented Australia in the 1960 World  Gliding Championship and played a key role in making Goodwood England’s home of motor-racing, following the closure of the Brooklands circuit after the second world war.

In 2006, he was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to motor racing.

The Aussie was married twice, to Kay Wakefield in 1949 until her death in the early 1960s, and Diana Davison until her passing in 2012.

A public memorial service is expected to be held in the coming weeks as a commemoration of Gaze’s prolific life.


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