South African Formula One Championship

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South African Formula One Championship
Category Single-seaters
Country South Africa
Rhodesia (one race per year)
Inaugural season 1960
Folded 1975
Drivers 14 (1975)
Teams 10 (1975)
Constructors 7 (1975)
Engine suppliers 2 (1975)
Last Drivers' champion South Africa Dave Charlton

The South African Formula One Championship, was a Formula One motor racing championship held in South Africa between 1960 and 1975, including a race in Rhodesia during each season.

The frontrunning cars in the series were recently retired from the world championship although there was also a healthy selection of locally built or modified machines, and from the late 60s Formula 5000 added to grids with Formula Two cars joining in 1973. Front-running drivers from the series usually contested their local World Championship Grand Prix, as well as occasional European events, although they had little success at that level.

1967 also saw a remarkable result by Rhodesian driver John Love with a 2.7 litre four-cylinder Cooper-Climax; Love, who was in his forties and, although seen as one of the finest drivers in Southern Africa, was not a major star, led and finished second in that year's South African Grand Prix. Love's Cooper was originally designed for the short races of the Tasman Series; to run a full Grand Prix Love added two auxiliary gas tanks. Unfortunately the auxiliary tanks fuel pump failure forced him to refuel after having led most of the race.[1]

Love and Charlton both won the South African Formula One championship for six consecutive seasons, Love from 1964 to 1969 and Charlton from 1970 to 1975. In 1975 Ian Scheckter raced the Tyrrell 007 that had been campaigned by brother, Jody is the previous years world championship and won five of the seasons races, including four on the trot. However he only had one other points finish with fifth place at the False Bay "100" on 5 July giving him a points total for the season of 47. Charlton proved more consistent with three victories, five second positions to give him a points total for the season of 57. By winning the Natal Spring Trophy at Roy Hesketh Circuit on 1 September Charlton joined Rhodesian, John Love as a six times winner of the South African National Drivers Championship. Charlton ended the South African Formula One Championship by winning the final race of the season, the Rand Spring Trophy at Kyalami on 4 October after the faster Scheckter retired with a driveshaft problem.

Primarily owing to cost and dwindling grids, the Formula One championship was replaced at the end of the 1975 season with Formula Atlantic. 1976 would see the start of the domination of South Africa's National Championship by Ian Scheckter. Indeed had it not been for youthful exuberance Scheckter would have won the 1975 title. He won more races than Charlton, but Charlton was more consistent. Scheckter won the first four championship in a row for Lexington Racing before United Tobacco Company withdrew their teams (Lexington, Gunston and Texan). With Gunston returning in 1983, Scheckter returned to the Championship and won a further two championships to join Love and Charlton as six times winners.

Champions[edit]

Season Champion Car Wins Podiums Points Margin (pts.)
1960 South Africa Syd van der Vyver Cooper-Alfa Romeo
1961 South Africa Syd van der Vyver Lotus 18-Alfa Romeo
1962 South Africa Ernest Pieterse Heron-Alfa Romeo
Lotus 20-Climax
1963 South Africa Neville Lederle Lotus 20-Climax
1964 Rhodesia John Love Cooper T55-Climax
1965 Rhodesia John Love Cooper T55-Climax
1966 Rhodesia John Love Cooper T79-Climax 7 8 69 13
1967 Rhodesia John Love Cooper T79-Climax
Brabham BT20-Repco
8 10 82 30
1968 Rhodesia John Love Brabham BT20-Repco
Lotus 49-Ford
6 6 54 14
1969 Rhodesia John Love Lotus 49-Ford 4 5 43 1
1970 South Africa Dave Charlton Lotus 49-Ford 7 8 69 32
1971 South Africa Dave Charlton Lotus 49-Ford
Lotus 72-Ford
7 8 72 24
1972 South Africa Dave Charlton Lotus 72-Ford 9 9 81 39
1973 South Africa Dave Charlton Lotus 72-Ford 10 10 93 40
1974 South Africa Dave Charlton McLaren M23-Ford 6 10 76 11
1975 South Africa Dave Charlton McLaren M23-Ford 3 5 57 10
1976 South Africa Ian Scheckter Lexington March 76B-Ford 6
1977 South Africa Ian Scheckter Lexington March 77B-Ford 6
1978 South Africa Ian Scheckter Lexington March 78B-Ford 4
1979 South Africa Ian Scheckter Lexington March 79B-Ford 7
1980 South Africa Tony Martin BP Chevron B31-Mazda 12
1981 South Africa Bernard Tilanus DAW March 78B-Mazda 5
1982 South Africa Graham Duxbury Hekro-Propart March 822-Mazda 6
1983 South Africa Ian Scheckter Gunston March 832-Mazda 13
1984 South Africa Ian Scheckter Gunston March 842-Mazda 11
1985 South Africa Trevor van Rooyen DAW Maurer MM83-Mazda 11
1986 South Africa Wayne Taylor Ralt RT4-Mazda 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Love, L'homme de Kyalami. Automobile historique (To be completed)

External links[edit]