|Life To The Limit, by Bev Brock|
|© 2014, Affirm Press (ISBN 9781922213204)|
It’s been almost eight years since Australia’s legendary touring car driver, Peter Brock, was killed in a rallying accident in Western Australia.
Nicknamed the ‘King of the Mountain’ for winning the Bathurst 1000 a record nine times, Brock was adored by his many fans worldwide, all the while supported over 28 years by his partner, Bev.
The pair made headlines when they separated shortly after Brock hung up his race helmet; the news was even more shocking when it emerged he’d left Bev for a woman who was a mutual friend of the couple.
“Everything [was] not quite as some sections of the media choose to portray it,” she told RichardsF1.com in an exclusive interview following the launch of her memoir, Life to The Limit, which hit the shelves at all good bookstores just a few weeks ago.
“I sincerely hope that people are starting to realize just how difficult it is for dedicated sportspeople to handle retirement from all that has dominated their lives for so long,” she added, telling us that the feedback she’s received so far has been “heartwarming”.
For Bev, penning her autobiography proved a challenging and ultimately cathartic affair. Much of it excellently covers her near three decades spent beside her famous partner’s side, supporting him by raising their family and handling his many business affairs behind the scenes.
“Relationships in motorsport are just like any other partnership, they are a team venture. It is essential that you focus on your shared goals and don’t let anyone or anything destroy what the two of you are striving to achieve,” she added, referencing several points in the book where the strains of their relationship took their toll.
At the age of 22 and well before meeting Peter, Bev broke her neck after diving into shallow waters. Despite being warned she would never walk freely again, she was soon up and dancing and playing basketball within a matter of months. It’s fair to describe her as unbreakable, even though the exercise of penning her own story was perhaps one of the toughest journeys she’s put herself through to-date.
“The depth of personal exposure was something I hadn’t anticipated,” she told us.
“I have always preferred to remain in the background and opening up to a potential huge number of readers was daunting. However, if I was going to have any chance of getting people to alter how they view their own lives, it was a step I had to take.”
It’s certainly a wise step to take. Few sport-themed biographies have told the team from the spouse’s perspective, and Life To The Limit certainly sheds new insight into the challenges such a high-profile couple faced during thirty years in the spotlight.
“I have absolutely no doubt that every partner of a high profile individual goes through pretty much what I faced in my life. It seems to be a part of the territory and everyone handles the challenges differently.”
Today Bev enjoys being a grandmother, but still maintains a keen interest in the Australian touring car scene, even if it has evolved dramatically in the last ten years.
“I still have a keen interest in V8 Supercars, especially as I know so many of the people involved. I remain in regular contact with Craig [Lowndes] although I rarely attend a race. I truly believe that we had the best phase of motorsport as it was a time when camaraderie and social interaction blended wonderfully with tough competition.
“In my opinion, the sport has become quite sterile and elitist in its attempt to mimic Formula One. Whilst I understand that it is now a big business, the cost to supporters prevents many from attending races and meeting their idols.”
Coming from an era when accessibility to the drivers was much greater – too great, some wives might argue – they are certainly interesting opinions indeed.
Life To The Limit is available nationwide in all major book retailers.
Our review copy and interview opportunity were kindly arranged by Affirm Press.
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