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A Rhodesian garage owner who raced in the South African Formula 1 series during the 1960s, Clive Puzey attempted to qualify for one world championship Grand Prix but without success.
He appeared on the international racing scene at the end of 1963 when driving a private Lotus 18-Climax in the Rand GP against the likes of Jim Clark and John Surtees. It was a short-lived debut for he retired from the first heat after starting at the back.
Formula 1 frustration
Seventh in the race a year later, Puzey had settled in Johannesburg by the time he entered the Lotus in the 1965 South African GP. With 28 entries accepted for the opening round of that year’s world championship, a pre-qualifying session was held on the previous Tuesday but Puzey failed to beat the 1min 37sec target time to progress to the main event.
That was as close as he came to a GP career and he competed in the following year’s South African F1 Championship instead. He finished seventh in the non-championship South African GP at East London and was second behind dominant champion John Love in the Pat Fairfield Trophy at Pietermaritzburg – one of four podium finishes.
His most successful season in the series came in 1966 with Puzey fifth in the final points. His Lotus was by now very out-of-date and he drove an LDS during 1967 with third in Pietermaritzburg’s Pat Fairfield Trophy his best result of the year. He acquired a Brabham BT20-Repco for 1969 but retired from the sport in the middle of the season.
Career after motor racing
He concentrated on running Clive Puzey Motors in Bulawayo and became a vocal opponent of Robert Mugabe’s regime, unsuccessfully standing for parliament in 1995 for the Forum Party of Zimbabwe. His business was subject of an armed robbery in 2000 and Puzey stated that it had been a politically motivated attack.
Eventually, after continuing threats to his safety, Puzey escaped the politics and retired to Australia.