Frank Gardner (1931-2009) was an Australian racing driver, engineer and team manager who was active for more than four decades in different racing disciplines, leaving a significant trail in almost every competition he entered, including touring cars, sports cars and open-wheelers.
He was born on October 1st, 1931, in the rural coastal town of Ulladulla, New South Wales. Many articles written over the years recorded his birth date as 1930. Frank himself was responsible for this inaccuracy. In order to secure a licence to race speedway in 1949, he had assumed his brother Jacks identity and subsequent year of birth.
Gardner is most known as a three-time champion of the British Saloon Car Championship (1967, 1968 and 1973). He also won European Formula 5000 Championship and Australian Sports Sedan Series.
Gardner participated five times at 24 Hours of Le Mans, recording four DNFs and one class victory, in 1962, when he and David Hobbs have won GT 1.3 class in a Lotus Elite.
Between 1964 and 1971, Gardner participated in nine Formula One World Championship Grand Prix events and eleven F1 non-championship events, driving for Brabham, Cooper and Lola.
Besides his driving duties, he worked as an engineer at Brabham, as a development engineer on Ford GT40 and Allan Mann Racing, and as a chief development engineer at Lola Cars.