December 31, 2020 | General


Thoughts and condolences from S5000 are with the family and friends of Brian Shead, a legend of Australian open wheel racing who passed away on December 30, 2020.

Brian devoted much of his life to motorsport as a constructor, driver, engineer and administrator of true distinction.

He will be remembered as the founder and constructor of Cheetah Racing Cars, which Brian single-handedly designed and built from his home in Mordialloc, Victoria to be the class of Australian Formula 3 and Formula 2 racing during the 1970s and 1980s.

A champion driver in his own right, Brian won the 1979 Australian Formula 2 Championship and his Cheetah products won five consecutive national Formula 2 titles, including the 1988 Australian Drivers’ Championship and CAMS Gold Star.

Brian was later instrumental in the introduction and running of Formula Holden, Australia’s longest running premier open wheel formula, from before its inception in 1989 through to the mid-2000s.

Perhaps Brian’s most enduring legacy is the contribution he made to the National Track Safety Committee, which he performed largely in a voluntary capacity to such a level that the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) called upon Brian to inspect top-grade racing circuits around the world.

Diligent, reliable and a thinking engineer in the vein of fellow racer-constructors Sir Jack Brabham, Garrie Cooper and Frank Matich, Brian Shead operated to world class standards with a humble and unassuming approach. He was bestowed a life membership of the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (now Motorsport Australia) in 1994.