Stephen Simpson (born 8 January 1984) is an A1 Grand Prix and Champ Car Atlantic Championship race car driver. Stephen is a resident of Cape Town in South Africa hence his connection to A1 Team South Africa.
Stephen was born on 8 January 1984 in Poole, Dorset, England and he moved to South Africa with his family when he was 10 months old. He studied at the South African College High School and matriculated in 2002.
Stephen began karting at the age of 8 and won several regional and national karting titles.
In 2000 Stephen became the youngest ever driver to win the South African Formula Ford Championship, at the age of 16. In 2001 Stephen left his native South Africa to compete in the Slick 50 Formula Ford Zetec Championship in Britain. Despite poor funding the youngster was highly impressive beating the 'works' teams on a number of occasions and culminating in being awarded the Motorsport News Race Ace award for his performance at Donington Park. He ended the season with a stirring performance in atrocious conditions at Brands Hatch in the Formula Ford Festival, an event previously won by Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert.
Just weeks before the 2003 season got underway, a potential sponsor pulled out, leaving Stephen high and dry, without a drive. Undaunted, the youngster concentrated on his fitness, and continued looking for the right drive.
For 2004, Stephen joined Richard Dean’s Team JLR, with which he contested the prestigious British Formula Renault Championship. He finished second in the Winter Series with two wins and five podiums to his name.
2005 to date
Stephen was brought into race in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix World Cup of Motorsport in winter 2005, helping A1 Team South Africa to 17th place in the series. His best result was a third place in the Feature Race in Dubai, and he also achieved a fifth at his home event. Stephen also continued to drive for Team JLR in British Formula Renault.
For 2006 he was signed to drive for Gelles Racing in the Champ Car Atlantic Series, he left the series after three races, with a best finish of 5th. Towards the end of the year he had a test with Champ Car World Series team Mi-Jack Conquest Racing and reportedly impressed the team with his performance.
In 2007 he signed with Kenn Hardley Racing to compete in the Indy Pro Series. He struggled with the oval races on the series, but finished well on the road and street courses, recording a season best 3rd place finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and finished 9th in the championship. Kenn Hardley racing shut down at the end of the season and its assets were sold. Simpson was unable to find another team to continue in the series with in 2008.
- A1 GP South Africa site - Driver biography page