Tony Martin in the Lucky Stripe Chevron B45 at Kyalami in 1978.  Copyright motoprint.co.za/David Pearson.  Used with permission.

South African Formula Atlantic 1978

The third season of Formula Atlantic started by following a similar trend: Ian Scheckter went to Europe and bought the best available car and then won the opening race of the season from pole position. Competition could be expected as usual from Roy Klomfass but he had left Team Gunston and was now driving the Team Uniewinkels March 77B, as driven in 1977 by Rupert Keegan and then John Gibb. His seat in the Gunston-liveried March 77B was taken by Trevor van Rooyen who had made his name beating Nigel Mansell to the 1977 RAC British Formula Ford title. Tony Martin remained committed to Chevron and bought one of the few Chevron B45s to leave the factory but could not compete with the three leading Marches.

For once there was dramatic tension. After six races, Scheckter led by just three points from Van Rooyen with Klomfass seven points further back, but a dominant win in the penultimate race sealed a third successive title. This time the season was completed in May, before the South African winter, and a new season would begin in September.

The races

07 Jan 1978 > Cape South Easter Trophy at Killarney

04 Feb 1978 > Highveld "100" at Kyalami

11 Feb 1978 > Goldfields "100" at Goldfields Raceway (Welkom)

25 Feb 1978 > Scribante Summer Trophy at Aldo Scribante

25 Mar 1978 > Easter "120" at Roy Hesketh

08 Apr 1978 > Brandkop Trophy

29 Apr 1978 > Rand Autumn Trophy at Kyalami

27 May 1978 > Roy Hesketh

1978 South African Formula Atlantic Championship table

1Ian ScheckterMarch 78B - Ford BDD45 pts3 wins
2Roy KlomfassMarch 77B - Ford BDD Swindon35 pts3 wins
3Trevor van RooyenMarch 77B - Ford BDD Swindon34 pts2 wins
4Bobby ScottMarch 77B - Ford BDD21 pts 
5=Nols NiemanMarch 77B - Ford BDD17 pts 
5=Tony MartinChevron B45 - Ford BDD Swindon17 pts 
7Mike DomingoMarch 76B - Ford BDD9 pts 
8Dave CharltonMarch 76B - Ford BDD7 pts 
9Clive CookeDonnelly JD201 - Ford BDD6 pts 
10Keith ZeemanWheatcroft R18 - Ford BDD4 pts 
11Evan BoddyChevron B34 - Ford BDD Nicholson3 pts 
12=Len BooysenKauhsen 2J - Ford BDD Richardson1 pt 
12=Bernard TilanusMarch 76B - Ford BDD1 pt