Jackie Pretorius

Jackie Pretorius

22/11/1934 - 30/3/2009

A South African racing legend from the 60s and early '70 Jackie Pretorius participated in 4 South African Grand Prix, debuting on January 1, 1965.

A South African racing legend from the ‘60s and early '70s, Jackie was born in the Transvaal and is most remembered for his F1 exploits. Pretorious drove the local Doug Serrurier-built LDS-Alfa Romeo 1.5 in national events but failed to qualify the car for the 1965 South African Grand Prix at East London. In 1966 he entered a Lotus, finishing 9th in the Grand Prix which had non-championship status that year. He subsequently raced in the 1968 race in a Brabham-Climax BT11

Between 1968 and 1970 he was successful in the Lola single-seaters and sports cars entered by Serrurier, with his best season coming in 1971 in the Team Gunston Brabham BT26A, winning at Killarney and Natal’s Roy Hesketh circuit.

He was called up by Frank Williams to drive the Iso Marlboro in the South African Grand Prix in 1973 as a replacement for Nanni Galli who had been injured in an earlier testing accident. He retired after 36 laps with overheating.

He then returning to the local series with his ex-Motul Brabham.

On October 11 2003 he and his wife Shirley were brutally attacked in their home in Glen Austin, a suburb of Johannesburg. Shirley was shot in the shoulder and head and Jackie was held at gunpoint and severely beaten. He was forced to open the safe which the intruders emptied before stealing Shirley’s car. Both were put in intensive care and Shirley underwent a three-hour operation but tragically died the following day.

Six years later Jackie died from injuries received when intruders broke into his house a second time. He had been in a coma for three weeks.


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