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Eddie Keizan

12th September 1944
Johannesburg, Gauteng
21st May 2016 (Aged 71)
Bryanston, Johannesburg, Gauteng
South African
Most recent race (in database):

Eddie Keizan was already successful in national touring cars before he embarked on a single-seater career that included three successive starts in the South African Grand Prix.

Early racing career

He first raced in 1967 and won the national production saloon car title on four occasions. His single-seater debut was in Formula Ford during 1971 and Keizan graduated to the South African Drivers’ Championship a year later with Alex Blignaut’s Formula 5000 Surtees TS5-Chevrolet. He beat the local Formula 1 machinery at Welkom on the way to winning the 1972 F5000 class title.

Grand Prix appearances

A Tyrrell 004-Ford was acquired for the following season as Keizan stepped up to the F1 category. He also made his world championship debut in the 1973 South African GP. The Lucky Strike-sponsored machine was still running at the finish, albeit unclassified and 12 laps behind the winner.

He won the national F1 race at Bulawayo that year and returned to Kyalami to finish the 1974 GP in 14th position with the Tyrrell now sporting new cigarette sponsorship from Embassy. He drove Team Gunston’s fast but fragile ex-Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus 72-Ford in 1975 when 13th in the GP was a rare finish.

Subsequent career

South Africa’s national series was downgraded to Formula Atlantic rules in 1976 and Keizan abandoned single-seaters – returning to touring cars with a BMW 535. Keizan then shared the winning Eggenberger BMW M1 in the non-championship 1979 Kyalami 1000kms with an ill Helmut Kelleners.

He later quit racing to concentrate on the aftermarket alloy wheels business (Tiger Wheels) that he had founded in 1972.