Australia holds state funeral for motor racing legend Peter Brock

A state funeral was held Tuesday for Australia's motor racing legend Peter Brock who died in a crash.

The 61-year-old was killed after his car hit a tree during a rally in the state of Western Australia on September 8.

Thousands of people, including family members, friends and fans, packed St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, to pay tribute to and farewell the nine-times Bathurst winner.

Many of those who gathered dressed in Brock's racing team colors and a number carried banners paying tribute to his life, Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio reported.

A long list of politicians, motor racing figures and sporting identities were in attendance, among them federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey, who spoke on behalf of Prime Minister John Howard.

"What a remarkable man Peter Brock was, and what an incredible journey his life was," she said.

"From growing up in the hills of the Plenty Valley in Hurstbridge, to conquering and commanding racing at Bathurst and beyond, and on the way influencing and changing the lives of so many people," she said.

"Many thousands of us will remember him for his enthusiastic kindness. It was a privilege to be a friend. Rest in peace Peter," she said.

The funeral will be followed by a private cremation.

Known as "Peter Perfect" and the "King of the Mountain," Brock won the Bathurst 1000 nine times in the 1970s and 80s.

In 1969, the Holden Dealer Team gave Brock his first break to drive at the Bathurst 1000, and he placed third.

He became the team's lead driver and won the 1979 race by a record six laps.

Brock retired from full-time racing in 1997 and established his own charity to help disadvantaged children, but returned to Bathurst to win the 24-hour race in 2003.

Source: Xinhua

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