Australia's Frank Gardner, Manager of the Diet Coke Racing BMW motor racing team, has had more than 40 years in the sport, with 22 years spent in building up an international reputation in driving and developing race cars on the tough European and American circuits.
He was work's driver for Porsche, Lola, General Motors, Ford, Brabham and Lotus, and drove as well for a number of private racing teams.
The first driver in the world to chalk up 100 wins in international racing, he also carried off major titles against some of the world's best drivers.
Twice British Champion Racing Driver, he was also three times British Saloon Car Champion and European Formula 5000 Champion. He also won the European formula 2 Championship, the European Touring Car Championship and the European Saloon Car title.
As Development Engineer for the Lola Car Company, then the world's largest manufacturer of racing cars, he was responsible for developing and testing some 200 racing cars each year.
He returned to Australia in 1975 and after successfully racing sports sedans and touring cars developed a Chevrolet Corvair sports sedan in which he won the 1977 Australian Sports Sedan Championship. In his hands the Corvair started 49 times for 41 wins, four second placings, one third, one fourth, and failed to finish in only two races. He broke lap records in 18 races.
Following his retirement from race driving at the end of the 1977 Australian season Frank Gardner remained in motor racing on the team management side and has been largely responsible for the success of such drivers as Alan Grice, Jim Richards, Tony Longhurst and Paul Morris. He also conducted courses in motor racing and advanced driving. He quickly established a national reputation as an outspoken advocate of road safety.
Frank Gardner knows cars - and driving. His professional racing career combined with his engineering experience has seen to that. He also knows what road safety is about because under the extreme pressure of motor racing safety is linked intricately with survival. Unquestionably he is one of the world's foremost authorities on driving and driving techniques.
Today Frank Gardner is managing director of the Performance Driving Centre at Norwell on the Gold Coast.