Gary Hocking Biography: Gary Stuart Hocking was a Grand Prix motorcycle racing world champion. He competed in Rhodesia in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Gary Hocking Biography
Gary Hocking Biography: Gary Hocking was born in Caerleon, Monmouthshire, in south-east Wales, but grew up in Southern Rhodesia and attended Gifford High School. He began racing motorcycles on grass tracks as a teenager. He quickly progressed to road racing circuits.
Gary Hocking Wiki
|Date Of Birth||30 September 1937|
|Birth Place||Caerleon, Wales, United Kingdom|
Gary Hocking Career
In 1958, he departed Rhodesia to compete in Europe and made an immediate impression, finishing third behind the works MV Agustas at the Nürburgring. He was sponsored by the Manchester dealer/tuner Reg Dearden, who provided him with brand-new 350 and 500-cc Manx Norton racing motorcycles. He spent the winter of 1958/59 with the Costain family in Castletown, Isle of Man, learning the Mountain Course from George ‘Sparrow’ 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 Junior TT of 1959, he placed 12th after starting 22nd.
In 1959, he was given a ride by the East German MZ manufacturer and placed second in the 250cc championship. During practice for the 1959 Junior TT, his 350 Manx Norton and his teammates Terry Shepherd and John Hartle were equipped with the top-secret works 350 cc Desmodromic engine, but they run standard engines during the race. MV Agusta provided Hocking with full factory support during the 1960 season, and he rewarded their faith by finishing second in the 125 cc, 250 cc, and 350 cc classes.
After defending champion John Surtees retired from motorcycle racing in 1961, Hocking became MV Agusta’s leading rider and won World Championships in the 350 cc and 500 cc classes with little factory-mounted competition.
Tom Phillis’ death at the Isle of Man TT in 1962 significantly impacted Hocking. He announced his retirement from motorcycle racing & returned to Rhodesia after winning the Senior TT. He felt motorcycle racing was too dangerous and determined that auto racing would be a safer career option. Later that year, on December 22 at the Westmead circuit, he died during practice for the 1962 Natal Grand Prix. At the end of the long right-hand turn, his vehicle, a Rob Walker-entered Lotus 24, veered off the track and performed two somersaults. Hocking’s head struck the roll hoop, and he passed away several hours later at the Addington Hospital in Durban.
It is possible that the car suffered a front nearside suspension failure, and it is also possible that incorrectly reassembled steering – Hocking requested a change on this item – was the cause; regardless of the reason, this caused the car to veer sharply to the left & somersault as he was driving uphill and approaching the crest of the rise. Additionally, it is likely that he was dehydrated and lost consciousness as a result. It was his 25th year. Hocking is interred in Newport, Wales’s Christchurch Cemetery.