From speeding hazard to sublime finesse
- Mattijs Diepraam
- 8W October 1998 issue
- Patrick Depailler - Committed to life, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Politoys - No special FX, by Mattijs Diepraam/Felix Muelas
- Tyrrell 006 - Ken's team at the height of its powers, by Mattijs Diepraam
- Gilles Villeneuve - Red fever break-out, by Mattijs Diepraam
Young South African hotshoe Jody Scheckter made quite an impact on the Grand Prix scene when he was entered by McLaren as a third works driver in five 1973 races. He did so quite literally when he demolished half the field in the freak multi-car pile-up at Silverstone, his half-baked manoeuvre
finishing Andrea De Adamich's F1 career. But he also stood out in a very positive way, often outgunning McLaren regulars Hulme and Revson when he was given the chance.
His home race at Kyalami, only his second Grand Prix after a promising debut for McLaren at the 1972 US GP, saw him qualify a splendid 3rd, a performance which he managed to emulate at Paul Ricard, where he even hit the front row. Apart from his Silverstone shunt Scheckter's first real year in F1 was mesmerizing: he led the field in South Africa and France, ran in the top three in most of his other outings and never qualified poorer than 10th.
His raw talent was spotted by Ken Tyrrell from the outset and was further acknowledged when Tyrrell had to build up a new team after the retirement of Jackie Stewart and the death of François Cevert.
For 1974, Jody signed to drive Tyrrell's new 006 chassis alongside another promising youngster, Patrick Depailler. He rewarded Ken's faith by winning the Swedish and British GP and recording fastest laps in France and Germany.
From then on Jody was established as a recognized Grand Prix star. He became the only driver to have won in a six-wheeled GP car and of course went on to become South Africa's only and Ferrari's last World Champion for decades.
Kyalami '73 also brought the pole-winning debut of McLaren's M23 model, a car which was to deliver World Championship success to Emerson Fittipaldi the following year. Incidentally, this picture also captures Jackie Pretorius' single Williams appearance in the Iso-Marlboro, replacing the injured Nanni Galli. His car was in fact the rebuilt Politoys FX3B prototype which, after appearing only twice in its original guise, returned to the GP tracks in lots of different shapes and colours.