Jody Scheckter ( born January 29, 1950 in East London, South Africa) is a South African entrepreneur and former racing driver. He started 1972-1980 to a total of 112 Grand Prix races in Formula 1, and was there in 1979 world champion. Currently Scheckter runs an organic farm in southern England.
In memory remained Scheckter to a wide audience, especially the fact that he was the last Ferrari world champion in Formula 1 was over 20 years before Michael Schumacher again won the title for the traditional racing team in 2000. Check Marketers older brother Ian was also briefly in Formula 1 is active, while his son Tomas starts in the IndyCar Series since 2000.
After winning the South African Formula Ford Championship in 1970 and 1971, Scheckter his racing career in Europe continues and moved to the UK because he would hardly have had more opportunities for advancement in his native South Africa. In 1972 he was in Watkins Glen at the wheel of a McLaren - Ford for the first time at the start of a Formula 1 race, which he finished in ninth place after a spin. Scheckter won the 1973 British Formula 5000 Championship and launched alongside five other Grand Prix for McLaren. The French Grand Prix, to be only the third F1 race, he would start from second place even almost won before it collided with the reigning world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and retired. At the following Grand Prix of Great Britain founded Scheckter his temporary "wild " reputation, as he at the end of the first lap caused the largest ever pile-up of Formula 1 history at Silverstone.
For the 1974 season Ken Tyrrell took the youngster under contract who needed a successor to outgoing world champion Jackie Stewart. In Sweden Scheckter succeeded in his 13th Grand Prix, the first victory by his team-mate Patrick Depailler completed a double success for Tyrrell. The South African won in his adopted home of Great Britain and finished his first full season as third in the World Championship behind Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni. Scheckter Tyrrell remained faithful also in 1975 and 1976 and won another two races. In 1976 he was again third championship, but could not get used to the new vehicle concept of the team that began with the P34 to six instead of four wheels. So he took to the well-paid offer the Austro - Canadian entrepreneur Walter Wolf oil for a cockpit in the new Walter Wolf Racing Team for 1977.
To the surprise of experts Scheckter won already the first race with the new Wolf WR1 in Argentina and established himself in the championship top. He won two races in Monaco and Canada, and was behind Niki Lauda in the Ferrari World Championship runner. Also in 1978 remained Scheckter Wolf, but could not build on the success of the debut year. Although he stood on the podium four times, but won no races and took seventh place in the final. The selection of Enzo Ferrari, to succeed the Argentine Carlos Reutemann, it came in quite handy. In 1973 Scheckter was present a contract offer from Ferrari, but it refused with reference to his current contract commitments with McLaren.
In 1979, Scheckter next to later become a legend by his accidental death Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, who was early in his career and how Scheckter was the beginning of his career as a wild and very courageous. Both pilots were always said to have a exceptional vehicle control. Ferrari had a technological advantage developed so Scheckter and Villeneuve could dominate the World Cup. Because of its routine and already tame risk appetite kept Scheckter in this duel, but ultimately the upper hand, although Villeneuve as at least the equal of the basic speed proved ago. In addition, both riders came together a good personal wire, which was marked by mutual respect. In Monza Scheckter finally with a victory over his teammate the world title.
The 1980 season came a mighty crash the same - rarely a reigning world champion had such a little competitive vehicle. Ferrari had brought a complete misconstruction at the start, with Scheckter only the United States Grand Prix West was able to drive into the points: in Long Beach, he gained fifth the only two points of the season. After the South Africans its maximum target - the world title - had already been reached, he lacked the motivation to continue his career at this level. He joined logically back end of 1980 from active racing.
Career as an entrepreneur
After his resignation Scheckter founded the company in his home FATS ( Fire Arms Training System), which specialized in weapons simulators for sniper training. When he sold the company many years later, it gave products in 30 different countries and was worth an estimated $ 100 million. In the 1990s, Scheckter founded in England a farm for organic and biodynamic products, which was initially thought to self-sufficiency. Now employs Scheckter in his Laverstoke Park Farm near Basingstoke in Southern England than 100 employees.