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Tony GazeTony Gaze, Australia's first Formula One driver, and a World War II Spitfire pilot, has won the 2012 Sir Jack Brabham Award for his achievements in international motor sport.

Mr Gaze was presented with the award at a CAMS gala dinner in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Tony Gaze was a pioneer for Australian motor sport in the truest sense of the word.

In 1948 it was Tony Gaze who convinced the Earl of Richmond that Goodwood was an ideal venue for a racing circuit to replace the obsolete Brooklands track.

In 1952 he became Australia's first Formula One driver when he competed in the Belgian, British and German Grands Prix at Spa, Silverstone and the Nurburgring respectively behind the wheel of a HWM Alta.

His distinguished career saw him compete in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in open wheelers and sports cars.

Later, in 1955, Tony Gaze was part of an Australian team, (the 'Kangaroo Stable') that raced sports cars in Europe, and gave Sir Jack Brabham his first taste of international motor sport.

He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the sport of motor racing.

In addition to his distinguished motor sport career, Squadron Leader Tony Gaze was a highly decorated fighter pilot, and is the only Australian to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross three times.

He took part in 485 sorties across Europe and was the first to fly a jet aircraft in combat.

Andrew Papadopoulos, President, CAMS, believes Tony Gaze was the ultimate trail blazer for Australian motor sport.

"As our first Formula One driver, Tony Gaze was one of the driving forces behind Australia being recognised internationally on the motor sport stage.

"He helped to break down what was an incredibly Euro-centric sport in those days.

"In addition to his distinguished career in motor sport, he was also a legend of the Royal Australian Air Force - his story is truly remarkable.

"It is only fitting that such a global pioneer for Australian motor sport be recognised with an award for Australians achieving on the international stage."

Previous winners of the Sir Jack Brabham Award have include Mark Webber, Will Power, Marcos Ambrose, Cody Crocker and Ben Atkinson.