Rupert Keegan in the Uniewinkels March 77B at Kyalami in 1977.  Copyright motoprint.co.za/Roger Swann 2012.  Used with permission.

South African Formula Atlantic 1977

Champion Ian Scheckter went into 1977 as overwhelming favourite to retain his title. His dominance during 1976 had secured him a seat in the March F1 and he would have a new works-supported March 77B for the 1977 South African season. Also in March 77Bs were Ralt refugee Roy Klomfass and a guest driver, the British F3 star Rupert Keegan. Chevron had also organised a guest driver for their new B39, the Canadian and IMSA Formula Atlantic champion Gilles Villeneuve who, like Scheckter and Keegan, was tipped for a F1 ride in 1977. Chevron's local representation was led by Tony Martin in a second B39.

Scheckter's performances against the highly-rated Villeneuve and Keegan were hugely impressive, winning each of the opening three races from pole, and despite needing to miss several races because of his F1 commitments, he tied up the title with two races to spare. Roy Klomfass continued to impress in his March and such was the dominance of the 77B that two more were sold, to Alex Blignaut for Nols Nieman and to Bobby Scott.

The races

15 Jan 1977 > Datsun Summer Races at Roy Hesketh

29 Jan 1977 > Highveld "100" at Kyalami

05 Feb 1977 > Goldfields "100" at Goldfields Raceway (Welkom)

19 Feb 1977 > Cape South Easter Trophy at Killarney

19 Mar 1977 > Scribante Summer Trophy at Aldo Scribante

30 Apr 1977 > Brandkop Trophy

11 Jun 1977 > Republic Day Trophy at Kyalami

26 Jun 1977 > Rhodesian Grand Prix at Donnybrook

20 Aug 1977 > Goldfields Trophy at Goldfields Raceway (Welkom)

05 Sep 1977 > Natal Spring Trophy at Roy Hesketh

01 Oct 1977 > Rand Spring Trophy at Kyalami

15 Oct 1977 > False Bay "100" at Killarney

1977 South African Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Ian ScheckterMarch 77B - Ford BDA Nicholson63 pts6 wins
2Roy KlomfassMarch 77B - Ford BDA Swindon54 pts4 wins
3Tony MartinChevron B39 - Ford BDA Nicholson36 pts1 win
4Nols NiemanWheatcroft R18 - Ford BDA Nicholson
March 77B - Ford BDA
33 pts1 win
5Len BooysenMarch 76B - Ford BDA25 pts 
6Dave CharltonMarch 76B - Ford BDA Swindon23 pts 
7Bobby ScottMarch 77B - Ford BDA20 pts 
8John GibbMarch 77B - Ford BDA Swindon18 pts 
9=Kevin StopfordModus M3 - Ford BDA Nicholson8 pts 
9=Basil van RooyenChevron B34 - Ford BDA Swindon8 pts 
11Gilles VilleneuveChevron B39 - Ford BDA Swindon6 pts 
12=Evan BoddyChevron B34 - Ford BDA Nicholson2 pts 
12=Rupert KeeganMarch 77B - Ford BDA Swindon2 pts 
14=Mike DomingoMarch 76B - Ford BDA1 pt 
14=Grant MabenWheatcroft R18 - Ford BDA Nicholson1 pt