LEGENDARY Australian race car driver and prominent businessman Bob Jane has died, his family has confirmed.
The 88-year-old passed away on Friday night following a long and brave battle with prostate cancer.
Three of the racing legend’s children, Courtney, Charlotte and Robert, confirmed the news in a statement on Saturday morning.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“It is with great sadness that we would like to share the passing of our dad, Bob Jane (Robert Frederick Jane),” the statement said.
“After a long and brave fight with prostate cancer, he passed away last evening at 88 years of age, surrounded by his loving family.
“It was our privilege to have him as our dad, whom we loved and cherished.
“We will miss him deeply and he will forever be in our hearts.
“Whilst dad was an Australian icon and champion of the community, most importantly to use he was our loving dad.”
Best known for his chain of tyre retailers, Bob Jane T-Marts, Jane grew up in inner-city Melbourne and began racing in the early 50s as a champion bicycle rider before advancing to the race track.
Jane first entered competitive car racing in Australia in 1956 and by 1960 was racing with some of the country’s top sedan drivers.
He opened his first Bob Jane T-Mart store in Melbourne in 1965 and went on to win the Armstrong 500, now the Bathurst 1000, four times before being inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame in 2000.
Jane resigned as chairman of Bob Jane T-Marts in 2011, citing difficulties with his second son, Rodney, who now oversees the empire his father created.
The pair then became engaged in a bitter public legal battle when Rodney stopped his father from creating a new tyre business using the name ‘Bob Jane’ .
Jane senior’s farm was seized in 2015 after he was successfully sued by his own son and forced to pay his legal costs.
Once estimated to be worth more than $100 million, the 88-year-old filed for bankruptcy a year later, in 2016.
Rodney Jane was absent on the family statement released on Saturday, confirming their father’s death.