Clapham raced saloon cars and single-seaters from 1956 to 1975 and pioneering numerous different forms of motor sport in South Africa throughout his life.
Dave Clapham was a major figure in the development of motorsport in South Africa. Clapham made a name for himself in early saloon car racing, making his debut in 1956 before moving up to local F1 racing in 1964. He became the manager of Sports Car Cub of South Africa in 1960 and quickly went into action reorganising the national saloon car championship in 1961.
He was instrumental in establishing local racing as we know it today: he introduced classes into saloon car racing in 1961, brought Formula Vee here in `65 and was one of the men who arranged the Formula Ford Sunshine Series in 1970 - the springboard that blasted Jody Scheckter on to his meteoric international career. Clapham in fact shared a Mazda with a young Scheckter in the Springbok Series of 1971.
While he actively retired from racing in 1975, Dave remained involved on various levels and in fact competed in the Total Economy Run as he always had done in July 2005.
Clapham was also instrumental in bringing Production Car racing to SA in the mid-`80s, and he introduced the hugely successful Touring Cars in `93, and was working on the framework for a new Super Hatch formula. Dave was Chair of the Transvaal Motorsport Committee from `77 to `88, Chair of the Group N Association and Chair of the Sports Car Club before being elected as President of Motorsport South Africa between `88 and `93.