Datsun Summer Races
Roy Hesketh, 15 Jan 1977
|1||Ian Scheckter||March 77B  - Ford BDA Nicholson
#1 Team Lexington (see note 1)
|2||Tony Martin||Chevron B39 [39-77-02] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#4 Team Bic South Coast Motors (see note 2)
|3||Gilles Villeneuve||Chevron B39 [39-77-01] - Ford BDA Swindon
#20 Team Valvoline (see note 3)
|4||Len Booysen||March 76B  - Ford BDA
#9 Golden-Flo Racing (see note 4)
|5||Nols Nieman||Wheatcroft R18  - Ford BDA Nicholson
#5 Team Benson & Hedges (see note 5)
|6||Dave Charlton||March 76B  - Ford BDA Swindon
#3 Team Lucky Strike (see note 6)
|7||Rupert Keegan||March 77B  - Ford BDA Swindon
#21 Team Uniewinkels
|8||Mike Domingo||March 76B ['1A'] - Ford BDA
#10 Team Domingo
|R||Roy Klomfass||March 77B  - Ford BDA Swindon
#2 Team Gunston
|R||Basil van Rooyen||Chevron B34 [34-76-08] - Ford BDA Swindon
#7 Team Wrangler (see note 7)
|T||Tony Martin||Chevron B34 [34-76-02] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#4T Team Bic South Coast Motors
(see note 8)
|(Only used in practice)|
|DNA||Guy Tunmer||Chevron B39 - Ford BDA
|Did not arrive|
|DNA||John Gibb||Chevron B29 [29-75-25] - Ford BDA
#8 (see note 9)
|Did not arrive|
|DNA||Yunus Domingo||Modus M3 [022(A)] - Ford BDA Nicholson
#11 Team Domingo
|Did not arrive|
|DNA||Gary Ainscough||March 74B [722?] - Ford BDA
#12 Team Henley Forklift (see note 10)
|Did not arrive|
|DNA||Trevor van Rooyen||Chevron B29 [29-75-15] - Ford BDA
#14 Golden-Flo Racing
|Did not arrive|
|DNA||TBA||Modus M3 - Ford BDA
|Did not arrive|
All cars are 1.6-litre F/Atl unless noted.
|1||Ian Scheckter||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 77B  - Ford BDA Nicholson||1.04.72|
|2||Roy Klomfass||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 77B  - Ford BDA Swindon||1.04.91|
|3||Basil van Rooyen||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B34 [34-76-08] - Ford BDA Swindon||1.05.24|
|4||Dave Charlton||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B  - Ford BDA Swindon||1.05.37|
|5||Rupert Keegan||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 77B  - Ford BDA Swindon||1.06.08|
|6||Nols Nieman||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Wheatcroft R18  - Ford BDA Nicholson||1.06.48|
|7||Tony Martin||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B39 [39-77-02] - Ford BDA Nicholson||1.06.70|
|8||Len Booysen||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B  - Ford BDA||1.06.76|
|9||Mike Domingo||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre March 76B ['1A'] - Ford BDA||1.12.29|
|10||Gilles Villeneuve||(F/Atl) 1.6-litre Chevron B39 [39-77-01] - Ford BDA Swindon||No time|
Notes on the cars:
- March 77B  (Ian Scheckter): New to Team Lexington for Ian Scheckter to race in the South African Formula Atlantic championship in 1977, and used to win the first three rounds of the South African Formula Atlantic championship in January and February 1977. Crashed heavily at Killarney in February and replaced with 77B-7. The damaged car was returned to March Engineering, repaired. It was updated it to 772P specification and sold to Andy Barton (Newcastle upon Tyne) who fitted with a 2-litre Ford BDG and used it in libre racing in 1978. He converted it to Formula Atlantic specification for 1979 with a Swindon BDA engine and used in the revised British championship. Retained for 1980 as a hire drive, usually for Cameron Binnie (Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland). Sold to Colin Richardson (Peebles, Scottish Borders, Scotland) and raced in Scottish libre in 1981, 1982 and 1983, using a 1600cc engine. Possibly borrowed back by Barton for a couple of races after his 782/792 was wrecked in April 1981. To Geoff Todd (Greenlaw, Scottish Borders), and raced at Ingliston again through 1984. Advertised by Todd in June 1984. Subsequent history unknown.
- Chevron B39 [39-77-02] (Tony Martin): New to Tony Martin (Durban, South Africa) and raced in the 1977 South African series. Retained for 1978 as a spare car to Martin's new B45, and and upgraded to B45 specification. Sold for 1979 to Paul England for Peter Larner to race in the early 1979 Australian Internationals. Larry Perkins took over the drive later in 1979, and also drove the car in the Aurora AFX Formula Pacific Championship in New Zealand in early 1980 and the Australian National Panasonic Formula Pacific series in 1981. Some time about 1985 or 1986, the car was sold to Norm Carr (Victoria) who raced it once or twice before damaging one corner at Calder. When Carr acquired it the chassis plate was missing so he had a new one issued by Roger Andreason at Chevron which read "39-77-B-02". It was still owned by Carr in 2003.
- Chevron B39 [39-77-01] (Gilles Villeneuve): A works entry for Gilles Villeneuve in the 1977 South African series, but crashed in testing prior to the first race. It was repaired in time, but handled badly and after two races, Paul Owens persuaded Derek Bennett to fly out to South Africa to test it. He determined a difference in the tub construction so flew back to England, fabricated a new monocoque, and returned to South Africa with the tub as excess hand baggage in time for the car to be rebuilt on it for Villeneuve to drive at Killarney. Villeneuve was still unhappy with the car and his South African season was ended when he hit Ian Scheckter's March 77B during the race. The damaged B39 is believed to have been returned to the Chevron factory to be rebuilt and then sold to the US. However, the US owner has not yet been determined with confidence.
- March 76B  (Len Booysen): Presumed to be the car of Ian Scheckter, used in the 1976 South African season. Racing tradition has it that Scheckter always had the first car of any of March's production runs, and South African expert Ian Hebblethwaite suggests that Scheckter had both the first chassis of the 76B and 77B production. A/S report of the race at Welkom in February 1976 says that Scheckter's car is "the first of the production examples". Badly damaged in testing accident after the race at Aldo Scribante in March 1976, and at Roy Hesketh Scheckter appears in a car that is described as "brand new" by Autsport and as having a "new tub" by Motoring News. Subsequent evidence suggests that the latter was the case, and the rebuilt car, if it still carried a plate, probably kept the identity of chassis 1 to avoid fresh import duties on a new car. The remains of the old tub were sold to the Domingo brothers, who built it up with spares to become 76B-1A in 1977. Sold to Len Booysen in 1977, and loaned by him to Dave Charlton and Bernard Tilanus in 1978.
- Wheatcroft R18  (Nols Nieman): Sold new to Alex Blignaut, for the 1976 South African season driven by Nols Neiman. Chassis number given in AS report of Welkom race 10 Feb 76, with the note that ‘last year’s Wheatcroft works car’ was carried as the team spare [R18-002]. Used throughout season, the spare remaining un-raced until 1977. Reported by Ian Hebblewhite as sold to Grant Maben in 1977, debut at Kyalami 1 Oct 77.
- March 76B  (Dave Charlton): Sold to Dave Charlton in South Africa in mid 1976 to replace his Modus M3, debuting at the Rand Winter Trophy, 7 Aug 1976. Retained by Charlton in 1977, then sold mid-1978 to Nols Nieman as a spare car. To Alex Blignaut's team in 1979/80 and later to the Domingo team in exchange for ther 76B/1A.
- Chevron B34 [34-76-08] (Basil van Rooyen): New to Basil van Rooyen for the South African Formula Atlantic series, sponsored by Wrangler Jeans. Van Rooyen significantly modified the car during the season, with a March nose and side radiators. Retained for 1977, again with Wrangler Jeans sponsorship. Van Rooyen recalls that he sold the car to Tony Martin, and it was at some point during this time that the car was raced by Desiré Wilson in the first few races of the 1978 series. It was raced by Tony Martin at some races in 1979 as an alternative to his unsatisfactory B45, but Bernard Tilanus recalls that "the tub was damaged when Tony fell asleep and went off the road writing the trailer and car off". Tilanus explained that Martin bought a replacement tub from Chevron and built a standard B34. This car "was sold to Rolly Nofke, then to Keith Horwood". Tilanus then bought the car and sold it to Mike Fergusson, but the restoration was still incomplete when Fergusson died. It was then bought by Colin Frost, who took it to Andrew Thompson to complete the restoration.
- Chevron B34 [34-76-02] (Tony Martin): New to Tony Martin for the 1976 South African Formula Atlantic championship, entered by Team Bic/South Coast Motors. Retained by Martin for 1977 as a spare car to his new B39 and raced only once that season, as a South Coast Motors entry for Evan Boddy at Kyalami in October. Raced by Boddy during 1978, entered again by South Coast Motors Racing. Raced again by Boddy in 1979, again entered by South Coast Motors.
- Chevron B29 [29-75-25] (John Gibb): The Rapid Movements Chevron B29 driven by Matt Spitzley is believed to have suffered a testing accident at some point early in 1975, and it was rebuilt with a new monocoque. At the Oulton Park race on 26 May, it was noted as having chassis plate 75-25, but exactly when the rebuild took place is still unclear. Gunnar Nilsson took over the car from Spitzley in August, and recorded five successive wins in it, four of them from pole. In January 1976 it was sold to John Gibb (Randburg, South Africa), to be raced in the new South African Formula Atlantic series, entered by Team Mum for Men with backing from Pioneer Hi Fi. It was sold to Geoff Frizell (Durban, South Africa) for 1977, and returned with Frizell in 1979, when it was described as a B34. It then went to Manny Pinto, and was raced by him from 1980 to 1983, and then reappeared two years later with Trevor Trautman who raced it in 1986. It remained in South Africa after that, but its ownership history is not fully resolved. Bernard Tilanus reported that it went from Pinto to Alan Dunlop then to Mike Budd, who restored it, then to Mark du Toit who owned it in 2000. It was purchased by Anthony Corin (Malmesbury, South Africa) in 2004 and was still owned in him in June 2008, but by 2019 it was owned by Colin Frost.
- March 74B [722?] (Gary Ainscough): In 1976, Gary Ainscough (Bulawayo, Rhodesia) raced a March 74B in the South African Formula Atlantic series. It has been suggested that it was built from a March 722, chassis 722/17, but evidence for this proving elusive. It then disappeared again until 1980, when Alan MacDonald was reported to be driving the "ex-Ainscough" March. Ian Hebblethwaite then reports that it went to Dave Hart's Team Valvoline in 1981, then Kent Dyson in 1982, then to Keith Horwood for Michael Bryan in 1985, and then to Lew Baker who was the last to race it. In about 1988, it was sold via Brian Raubenheimer in South Africa to David McLaughlin in England. Its history after 1988 is still to be resolved.
The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.
The South African race results have been compiled by Chris Townsend based on material in Autosport and Motoring News plus information supplied by a wide range of contributors.
All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (email@example.com) if you can help in any way with our research.
Individual sources for this event
Autosport, Motoring News 20 Jan 1977 p1, Ian Hebblethwaite, Leader mc. 1523, Natal Mercury mc. 1517 [full entry list], Motor Sport Annual of South Africa 1978.