Motor Racing Champion
Wayne Gardner developed a passion for bike riding as a young boy in his home town of Wollongong. His first competitive race on a mini bike in 1972 eventually lead to Wayne becoming one of Australia’s most decorated motor sports success stories.
Wayne Gardner has been named ABC Sportsman of the Year, awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) and named the Sport Australia Sportsman of the Year in 1987.
In 1987, Wayne Gardner was the first Australian to win the prestigious 500cc World Motorcycle Championship. The highlight of Wayne’s career came in 1989, when he won at the inaugural Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Then, in 1990, against almost impossible odds, Wayne repeated this victory riding with a broken wrist bone as well as a broken fairing.
Wayne announced his retirement from Grand Prix racing in 1992, ending his illustrious career with a win in the 1992 British Grand Prix. Wayne’s career record includes 18 Grand Prix wins and an unequaled four victories in the Suzuka 8 hour Endurance event.
From 1993, Wayne commenced his four wheel racing career with the Holden Racing Team. He enjoyed many successful years in endurance including the Melbourne Grand Prix, Indy Car, Sensational Adelaide 500km endurance and the 1000km Bathurst endurance. In 1998, for the first time, he competed at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in a Riley and Scott LMP1 Ford. As a veteran 24 Hour driving specialists, in January 2003 Wayne Gardner completely retired from motor racing to pursue new career challenges.
Wayne Gardner is a Director of his family motorcycle import and distribution business, Wayne Gardner Enterprises. He works on a number of commercial and residential property developments and investments and owns and runs a cattle breeding farm on the South Coast of New South Wales. While Wayne works with several charity organisations, his main focus is Governor of the APEX Foundation of Australia.
Excellent. Wayne was inspirational as well as funny and approachable. The audience was very interested in what he had to say.
This is just a quick note to thank you very much for all your assistance during the launch of the Nissan 350Z at Darlington Park. Everyone at Nissan was really happy with the launch, and was very impressed with the way you spoke of the vehicle and also your lunch presentation. I especially would like to thank you for the way you interacted with the dealers and certainly gave them some great rides. Wayne, once again, thanks a heap and I will certainly keep you in mind for any similar function we have coming up, and especially good luck with your future ventures.
I have had feedback from several staff members since the conference, all of whom have indicated that they found your address both entertaining and motivating. You certainly created an energy amongst the group which prompted them to contribute several key ideas that will assist us to ‘fine tune’ our organization and hopefully take us from one world championship to many more in the years to come.