| Race car driver|
| 30 September 1937
Caerleon, Wales (1937-09-30) |
December 21, 1962, Durban, South Africa
Gary Hocking Wikipedia
Gary Stuart Hocking (30 September 1937 – 21 December 1962) was a Grand Prix motorcycle racing world champion from Southern Rhodesia who raced in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Hocking was born in Caerleon, near Newport, Monmouthshire, in south-east Wales, but grew up in Southern Rhodesia (renamed Zimbabwe in 1980). As a teenager, he began racing motorcycles on grass tracks. Before long, he had moved on to road racing circuits.
He left Rhodesia to compete in Europe in 1958 and made an immediate impact, finishing 3rd behind the works MV Agustas at the Nürburgring. He was sponsored by Manchester tuner/dealer Reg Dearden, who provided him with new 350cc & 500cc Manx Norton racers. He spent the winter of 58/59 with the Costain family at their home "Lindors" in Castletown on the Isle of Man, learning the Isle of Man TT course with George Costain, an established rider for the Dearden team, who had won the Senior Manx Grand Prix on a 500 Dearden-tuned Manx in 1954. In the 1959 Junior TT, he finished a credible 12th from 22nd on the grid, an impressive achievement for a first-timer to the circuit.
In 1959, he was offered a ride by the East German MZ factory and finished second in the 250cc championship. During practice for the 1959 Junior TT, his and the machines of teammates Terry Shepherd and John Hartle 350 Manx's were fitted with the top-secret works 350cc Desmodromic engine, but they ran standard engines for the actual race. MV Agusta offered Hocking full factory support for the 1960 season and he repaid their confidence by finishing 2nd in the 125cc, 250cc and 350cc classes.
Following the retirement from motorcycle racing by defending champion, John Surtees in 1961, Hocking became MV Agusta's top rider and went on to claim dual World Championships in the 350cc and 500cc classes, in a dominant manner against little factory mounted opposition.
Hocking was deeply affected by the death of his friend, Tom Phillis at the 1962 Isle of Man TT. After winning the Senior TT, he announced his retirement from motorcycle racing and returned to Rhodesia. He felt motorcycle racing was too dangerous and decided a career in auto racing would be safer. Later that year, on the 22nd of December he was killed during practice for the 1962 Natal Grand Prix at the Westmead circuit. His car, a Rob Walker entered Lotus 24, ran off the edge of the track at the end of the long right hand corner & somersaulted end over end twice. Gary's head struck the roll hoop & he died some hours later in the Addington hospital in Durban. It is possible that the car suffered a front nearside suspension failure & this caused the car to veer sharply to the left & somersault. He was 25 years old. Hocking is buried at Christchurch Cemetery, Newport in Wales.
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)