The TA2 family is deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of one of our own racers, Jack Childs.
Jack passed away in his sleep in the early morning on Tuesday March 15, 2022 at 71 years of age, only a couple of weeks before his 72nd birthday. He is survived by his lovely wife Christine and three daughters Letta, Charmaine, Nita and grandson Jaxxon. He also had a son David who previously passed away.
Childs first jumped behind the wheel on the dirt track at 19 years of age in an FJ Holden at Toowoomba’s Echo Valley Raceway.
Concentrating on his career, Jack then moved to Rockhampton in 1972 and managed numerous pubs throughout Gracemere, Innisfail, Townsville and Rockhampton, meeting his lovely wife Christine in Rockhampton six years later.
Childs returned to speedway racing in 1982, competing in the Bomber class regularly at Rockhampton’s Rocky and Bouldercombe Speedway and won the 1983 Queensland Title. Moving into the Modified Production class, Childs visited tracks such as Rocky Speedway, Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway, Maryborough Speedway, Bundaberg’s Carina Speedway, Cairns International Speedway and Mac’s Speedway in Mackay until the late 1990s, winning two Rocky Speedway Club Championships and scoring several podium finishes.
Moving from Rockhampton to Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in 2007, Childs upgraded to a Rocket Super Sedan previously owned by Danny Smith, participating in three National Series and the prestigious Grand National race in Tasmania.
Childs retired from speedway at the end of the 2017-18 season and has always been a huge supporter of the sport through his business Think Money, sponsoring drivers and events, and received a fitting send-off at Gympie’s Mothar Mountain Speedway in May, 2018, bringing to an end what has been a memorable journey.
After a long Speedway career and having always harboured a desire to compete in road racing. Childs made his TA2 Muscle Car Series debut at Winton Motor Raceway in 2019, with eight race starts to his name and a best finish of 23rd position.
Jack’s Mustang was later sold to Garry Rogers Motorsport which was recently campaigned by Owen Kelly and Jason Bargwanna in the National Trans-Am Series.
After a couple of years out of the seat, Jack had been planning a return to TA2 competition at the time of his passing.
TA2 Muscle Car Series founder Peter Robinson paid respect to a “real gentleman” of the motorsport community and while he didn’t finish on the podium in TA2, he was a winner in all aspects of life and a much respected member of the TA2 family.
“It’s funny how things come full circle in life, but I first met Jack Childs over 20 years ago when I used to fix the power steering on his Super Sedan car.“I got a call from Jack one day and he asked ‘is this the same Peter Robinson that used to help me with the power steering on my Super Sedan?’
“He was a passionate Speedway racer but always had a dream to go circuit racing and these TA2 cars were right up his alley, being a user-friendly car to work on that was welcome to drivers at any experience level. He said ‘If you’re a part of this series I want in, I trust you from when you used to work on my cars and I love everything about this series’.
“Jack applied himself to this new form of racing extremely well, attending race driver training classes at Norwell Motorplex through a business acquaintance and fellow TA2 racer Chris Pappas, and he also received tutoring and support from experienced Queenslander racer Rod Dawson.”
“We all loved Jack and Christine and they were truly suited to the TA2 family and their passion and attitude to racing was outstanding.
“Not only a savvy racer he was also a very good businessman and holds the sales record for a second-hand TA2 car at $173,000 which I don’t expect to be broken anytime soon.”
“Although Jack wasn’t a podium finisher in his TA2 career, he was a well-respected competitor and a real gentleman. We are all deeply saddened by his passing and send our thoughts and condolences to Christine and his family.”
Rod Dawson, a successful Queensland race team owner, added that Childs was the “Nicest, kindest soul” that he had the pleasure to work with.
“The greatest thing about Jack was his approach to racing. He had raced in Speedway for over 50 years before he tried this new challenge in road racing and he took everything in his stride and was just happy to be out there giving it his all.”
“One of my best memories of Jack was when we went to Sydney Motorsport Park in 2019 for the TA2 races and I was on the radio the whole session telling him when to brake and change up and down the gears. Well when you’re on top of the pit building you can’t see around Turn 6, so once Jack disappeared around Corporate Hill I had to count the seconds and guess where he would be to call his braking and gear change markers. So when Jack came in he reported that he was going very deep in to the corners around there, only for me to tell him that I couldn’t actually see where he was on track!”
“He had two shoulder operations during the couple of years out of the seat, and only a few weeks ago he had got the clearance from the doctors to go racing again. He was at my workshop last week getting things ready to go racing again, but we will race on inspired by his passion for life and motorsport.
TA2 Racing Australia wishes to extend their condolences to Christine, Letta, Charmaine, Nita, Jaxxon and Jack’s wider family.