Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
Category: Sports Hall of Fame
Sport: Motor Cyclist
Jack was born Cyril John Findlay in Mooroopna on 5th February 1935 and grew up living in Northgate Street Mooroopna. He fell in love with motorcycle racing during his boyhood and set his sights as a professional motor cycle racer. At 15 years of age he used his father’s driver’s licence to gain his motorcycle competition licence. His father’s name “Jack” has been with him ever since.
Re raced motorcycles in his youth and loved the sport. By the time he reached 23 years of age he followed his dream to compete internationally and took a ship to England.
Life in England was hard but Jack never faltered in his pursuit and gradually edged towards becoming an established name on the racing circuits of Europe. He was proud to race as an Australian and had the image of a kangaroo emblazoned on his racing helmet.
His brilliance started to bring results and he won three 500cc. Grand Prix events in Austria, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
He rode as a privateer against the might of the factory teams but his talent and dogged persistence saw this Mooroopna man competing against the best in the world.
1963 was a wonderful year for Jack as he won a total of 11 international races including a win on the full LeMans circuit. He twice won the title of best privateer in the world championships – in 1966 and 1968. Jack was 3rd in the world 500cc championship in 1966, 2nd in the 68 championship and 4th in the same event in 1970 and 1971. Jack had cemented his place as a world class rider, and was top privateer in the world for 15 incredible years. In 1973 he became the only Australian rider to have won the Isle of Man senior TT event. He won the F.I.M Formula 750 prize in 1975.
His success brought him fame and the movie Continental circus featured Jack Findlay as himself in a film about the extremes of Grand Prix racing. He became a test rider for the Michelin Company and played a key role in the development of their radial tyre.
Following his racing career he became a road racing world championship director and travelled the world to Grand Prix meetings taking responsibility for the technical aspects of racing and its development.
Jack Findlay showed what can be achieved if you have a dream and take risks and be prepared to work hard to achieve the results you desire. The City of Greater Shepparton can be justly proud of Jack Findlay who took on the world and succeeded against all odds. He was not able to return to live in Australia due to his commitment to his sport.
Jack died in France on 19th May 2007.