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Neville Lederle only raced in one Grand Prix but his performance that day suggested a strong future in the sport. However, injury prevented that promise from being fulfilled.
His first Formula 1 race was the non-championship Natal GP at the end of 1961 in which he drove a Lotus 18-Ford and his talent was soon evident. This native of Orange Free State upgraded to a Lotus 21-Climax for the following national season and began with second place finishes in Kyalami’s Rand Spring Trophy and the Rhodesian GP.
Promising Grand Prix debut
Fifth in the Rand GP and fourth in the Natal GP when the visiting F1 stars arrived later that season, Lederle qualified in a promising 10th position for the 1962 South African GP on his world championship debut. While Jim Clark and Graham Hill went head-to-head for the title, Lederle acquitted himself well to be the first local home in sixth position and claim the final championship point.
Lederle won the 1963 South African F1 Championship before a crash while practising for the Rand Nine Hours at Kyalami abruptly halted his promising career. The broken leg he suffered forced Lederle to miss the South African GP and much of the following season.
He did return in December 1964 with the Scuderia Scribante entered Lotus 21, but he failed to qualify for the South African GP on New Year’s Day 1965. Dispirited, Lederle retired to concentrate on his business interests that later included a Volkswagen dealership in Bloemfontein.