The former partner of motor racing legend Peter Brock has relived the moment she found out the Australian icon had been killed while competing in a rally.
Brock, a nine-time winner of the Bathurst 1000, died in September 2006 after the car he was driving in the Targa West rally left the road and hit a tree, killing the 61-year-old.
Promoting a new film, Brock: Over the Top, Bev Brock said she was shocked to learn Peter was even competing.
“Some people will say that because we’d separated 14 months before that it wouldn’t have affected me, but I can tell you that that wasn’t so,” she told TODAY.
“About six weeks before he died he’d rung me to tell me, very emotionally, that he’d decided to retire.
“He knew I wanted to hear that because he knew how it had always had an impact on my life.
“So when the phone call came that day out of the blue, I didn’t even know he was in an event, and neither did the kids.
“He’d changed his mind and didn’t have the courage to tell us. Why he changed his mind I’ll never know.”
Bev said the phone call she received turned her life upside down.
“I get this female voice telling me there’s been an accident, and you think ‘my god, is it the kids?’ and they said: ‘It’s Peter.’
“She said he was in an event and he hasn’t made it, and hung up. I’m absolutely gutted and devastated, and I’m thinking, how do I tell the kids?
“But already there’s a helicopter landing in the paddock. I looked out the window and there’s media driving up the driveway with the cameras going. I hadn’t had a chance to talk to the kids and I’ve got to go out and front the cameras.
“My whole world had just been torn away and it was absolutely soul destroying. But you’ve got to do it in front of public scrutiny. It’s a unique situation when you’ve got a profile.”
Bev said that despite his huge public profile, there was a different side to Peter when he was with family.
“He was very different to the public perception, he was a very private person. I don’t think people realise that,” she said.
“He simply wanted to be the best that he could be and to make the world a better place. He was a very complex, multi-faceted guy, gentle, caring, compassion. There was so much more to him than motor racing.”
Made for the cinema, Brock: Over the Top is available to rent from Friday 3 July on digital platforms such as Apple TV, Fetch and Google Play.