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Dave Charlton

Born:
27th October 1936
Brotton, Yorkshire (GB)
Died:
24th February 2013 (Aged 76)
Johannesburg, Gauteng
Nationality:
South African
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Dave Charlton was a star of South African racing during the 1970s who also started 11 world championship Grands Prix. He succeeded John Love as the dominant force in his country’s Formula 1 series – winning the South African title for six years in a row from 1970 to 1975.

A star of South African Formula 1

He had been racing for three years when he first entered the South African GP in 1965 but his Ecurie Tomahawk Lotus 20-Ford was not quick enough to pre-qualify. A switch to a Scuderia Scribante Brabham BT11-Climax for the non-championship 1966 South African GP was rewarded with a fourth-place finish.

He qualified eighth for his championship debut in the 1967 race, Scribante bought Jo Bonnier’s Lotus 49C-Ford for the 1970 season and that transformed Charlton into the leading driver in his homeland. 12th in the 1970 South African GP despite a puncture, he won that year’s national F1 title.

European appearances and Grand Prix finale

Invited to drive a works Brabham BT33-Ford in the 1971 South African GP, Charlton qualified 12th but retired from the race. He then travelled to Europe for a couple of GPs with a factory Lotus 72-Ford and he used new Lucky Strike sponsorship to acquire such a chassis for the South African season. His success continued at home during 1972 but Charlton’s four GPs that year were unsuccessful – registering three retirements and a DNQ.

The South African GP was his only World Championship start in 1973, 1974 and 1975 – swapping the Lotus for a McLaren M23 for his last two appearances. His early spin in 1973 caused a pile-up that eliminated three others and delayed leader Denny Hulme with a puncture. His 1975 race was interrupted by a collision with Richard Robarts and he finished 14th in what was his final GP.

South Africa switched its national series to Formula Atlantic rules in 1976 and Charlton relinquished his title to Ian Scheckter. He moved to touring cars in 1978 before retiring from the sport in the early 1980s.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1975 F1 World Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1975 South African Drivers Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
2 0 2 2 1st 0
1974 F1 World Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1974 South African Drivers Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
6 3 6 6 1st 0
1973 F1 World Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1973 South African Drivers Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
10 8 10 10 1st 0
1972 F1 World Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
3 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1972 South African Drivers Championship
Lucky Strike Scuderia Scribante
9 9 9 9 1st 0
1971 South African Drivers Championship
Scuderia Scribante
7 3 7 7 1st 0
1971 F1 World Championship
Gold Leaf Team Lotus
Motor Racing Developments
2 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1970 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Scribante
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1970 South African Drivers Championship
Scuderia Scribante
7 4 7 7 1st 0
1969 South African Drivers Championship
Scuderia Scribante
1 0 1 1 0
1968 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Scribante
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1968 South African Drivers Championship
Scuderia Scribante
1 0 1 1 0
1967 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Scribante
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1967 South African Drivers Championship
Scuderia Scribante
2 1 2 2 0
1966 South African Drivers Championship
Scuderia Scribante
1 0 1 1 0
1965 F1 World Championship
Ecurie Tomahawk
0 (1) 0 0 0 0