'Didn't even know': Widow's startling admission about Peter Brock's death

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
Peter Brock of the Holden Racing Team waves to the fans after his final race before retirement in 1997, accompanied by then-wife Bev. (Photo by Getty Images)

Bev Brock has opened up about the day her former husband, Australian motorsport icon Peter, died in a rally accident in Western Australia.

Discussing the moment as part of the promotion for upcoming documentary Brock: Over the Top, Bev said her late ex-husband had phoned her just over a year after they had separated to let her know he was retiring from driving.

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It was the last she heard of the Bathurst legend, who then entered the rally that would later claim his life, unbeknownst to Bev.

“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 said on the TODAY show on Tuesday.

“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.”

Bev had long worried about Peter’s safety throughout his lengthy career, and said she was appreciative of the phone call to let her know about his retirement.

Bev Brock ‘gutted’ after Peter’s death

But Brock’s decision to enter the rally came as a surprise, and Bev only learned of his demise when media began to descend on her home in September, 2006.

“He'd changed his mind and didn't have the courage to tell us,” she said.

“Why he changed his mind I'll never know.

“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?

Peter Brock talks with his then-wife Bev prior to the qualifying session ahead of the 2002 Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar race. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“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.”

Bev said having to face cameras immediately after the death of her husband of 28 years was ‘soul destroying’, despite their marriage breaking down four years earlier.

“My whole world had just been torn away and it was absolutely soul destroying,” she said.

“But you've got to do it in front of public scrutiny.

“It's a unique situation when you've got a profile.”