Sep 4, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Jack Brabham made Formula One history on this day in 1966 by clinching the world championship in a car he had built himself.
His unique achievement came about as F1 underwent a dramatic change in engine regulations of the kind we will see next year. In 1966, 1.5-litre engines were replaced with 3.0-litre units, and Brabham was quick to secure a supply of powerful, reliable Repco engines for his team.
Arriving at Monza for the seventh race of the nine-round campaign, Brabham had won the last four races in a row, giving him a commanding 22-point lead in the championship in the days when a win was only worth nine.
So when his BT19 developed an oil leak just seven laps into the race, putting him out, he was still in with a chance of claiming the title on the day. Sure enough, the retirements of Graham Hill and John Surtees secured Brabham’s third world championship crown – and the first in his own machinery.
It was a good day for the home crowd too. Ferrari scored their second win of the season and this one went to home driver Ludovico Scarfiotti.
The driver from Turin only made sporadic appearances in F1 and this triumph was his only visit to the podium. Sadly he was killed in a crash while competing in a hillclimb less than two years later.
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