Sarel van der Merwe
Career in motorsports
Sarel van der Merwe is next to Jody Scheckter, the most popular South African racing driver. While Schecker (born 1950) achieved its success in Monopostosport - 1979 he was a works Ferrari 312T4 Formula 1 world champion - was van der Merwe as a rally, touring and sports car driver successfully.
Eleven times, van der Merwe secured the overall rating of the South African Rally Championship; 1975, without interruption from 1977 to 1985 and again in 1988. A record in international motorsport. The versatility of the South African was also by race starts on five continents. He denied NASCAR race, went into the sports car world championship at the start, twice won the South African Touring Car Championship and was for many years active in the IMSA GTP series. In 2002 he was awarded the Motorsport South African Lifetime Achievement Ward for his contributions and success in motor sport.
Touring and sports car racing
His career began in 1967 in the South African touring car racing. He was on a DKW twelfth the 6-hour race at Südfafrika on the Roy Hesketh Circuit Pietermaritzburg in 1968. From 1983 he was active internationally. His greatest successes in sports car racing, he celebrated the mid- 1980s. In 1984, he triumphed in common with his countrymen Tony Martin and Graham Duxbury on March 83G at the 24 - hour race at Daytona and was on his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, equal third overall.
In 1986, he won the 500 - km race at Road Atlanta and the 3- hour race in West Palm Beach, each with Doc Bundy on a Chevrolet Corvette GTP.
At Le Mans, he drove a total of seven times, the third overall place in 1984 was the best finish in this 24 - hour race. In 1986 he handed over the Kremer Porsche 962C in the 168th lap teammates Jo Gartner, who died in an accident a lap later with the car.
Van der Merwe drove professionally until 1990 sports car race and stepped back end of the year. In 2001 he returned for a season and promptly secured the overall rating of the South African V8 Star series.
In the South African Rally Championship, he was considered unbeatable, no matter what car he drove and what team he took. In the 1970s, he was a factory driver for Ford and in the 1980s at Audi, where he went to the start with the Audi Sport quattro. His co-driver in his many victories with DKW, Datsun, Ford, Audi and Volkswagen was his compatriot Franz Boshoff.