Peter Brock, one of Australia's most successful and well-known auto racers, died yesterday in a rallying accident.
The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) said Brock, 61, died when his car crashed during the Targa West rally in Western Australia state. His co-driver was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
"On behalf of the motor sport community, CAMS offers its sincere sympathy to Peter's family and many friends," the statement said.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said Brock's car hit a tree near the small town of Gidgegannup, about 40km east of Perth.
Brock dominated Australian auto racing for three decades before retiring from the touring car circuit in 1997. He made a couple of brief comebacks and at one stage owned a racing team.
He won Australia's premiere touring car event, now known as the Bathurst 1000, a record nine times, and held more pole positions and won more races than any other driver since the inception of the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960.
National radio and television interrupted normal programming to report the death of Brock, who many people called "Peter Perfect" for his success on the track, as a road safety campaigner and for his humble, nice-guy image.
It was the second death this week of an iconic Australian, coming four days after Steve Irwin, globally famous as television's "Crocodile Hunter," was killed by the barb of a stingray while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
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