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The 19 year old Guy Tunmer started racing a Mini Marcos before switching to a Mini Cooper S and then Ford Capri V6 in local endurance races. However, a serious road accident almost cost Tunmer his life and he was apparently saved by Kyalami’s doctor who happened to be in casualty when he was admitted.
Tunmer recovered and drove a Lola 2000cc sports car and an ex-Ronnie Peterson Formula 2 March 712 in national events during 1973. Kyalami first held a World Sportscar Championship round in 1974 and Tunmer was drafted into the works Chevron team to share with John Lepp. The traditional race duration was cut from nine to six hours due to the oil crisis and the Lepp/Tunmer Chevron B26-Ford finished fourth overall.
Formula 1 appearance
He joined the two-car Team Gunston for 1975 – driving a Lotus 72D-Ford in national events and the South African Grand Prix itself. Tunmer qualified last-but-one for his only world championship GP and suffered a misfire during the race. He finished two laps off the pace in 11th position.
He won that year’s False Bay 100 at Killarney despite spinning with team-mate Eddie Keizan on the last lap. His only win in the South African Formula 1 Championship helped Tunmer finish third in that year’s standings.
Tunmer made a rare European appearance in the 1976 Monza 1000Kms with Vern Schuppan and a March 75S-Hart before racing in touring cars for another decade or so. He worked as a motor racing consultant but died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident when just 50 years old.