In 1975 Peter Brock was no longer in
the Holden Dealer Team and was driving a rather low budget privateer Torana
L34 for mates Norm Gown and Bruce Hindhaugh. Things were rather tough
financially but an opportunity presented itself for Brock in an area that
he felt passionately about. That was road safety and driver training.
the Number 05
Early in 1975, Brock was engaged
by the Victoria Road Safety and Traffic Authority to promote various road
safety messages. It was the intention of the Authority to exploit
Peter’s near hero status with the younger generation of drivers to instil
safe driving techniques and more importantly attitude.
Who can remember the front fenders
of Brock’s yellow L34 Torana and the words, “Class Driving, attitude –
fitness – car – road”? These few words would form the important message
for Brock’s students.
Brock conducted road safety workshops,
lectures, and information seminars and was the subject of an extensive
TV and magazine safety campaigns. Peter also carried out a very successful
“Class Driving” series in which he was able to reach many thousands of
young people. He concentrated on attitude and behaviours. Indeed,
he provided education about cars and their behaviours under various conditions
and types of driving techniques at a time in which there were few driver
education programs available.
Obviously, his adoption of the number
05 was to highlight the Victorian Governments 05 blood alcohol limit to
the public So from 1975, Brock maintained 05 as his car number
even when as Australian Touring Car Champion, he was entitled to use the
Peter Brock also had a long-standing
relationship with Melbourne Radio Station 3KY to provide on air comments
about motor sport and community based messages about road safety.
As a means to recognise Peter's significant
contribution to Australian motorsport, there was some talk about
having the 05 number permanently set-aside or reserved, much like
what NASCAR did with the number 43 for King Richard Petty. While
this unfortunately did not happen, it’s unlikely anyone could honour
this number 05 as well as Peter did.
Brock’s fantastic records are certainly
unlikely to be broken for some time to come if ever. He is, for most
Australian’s, the unquestioned King of Touring Car Racing.