Eddie Keizan


Eddie Keizan
Four time winner of the South African Saloon Car Championship, Keizan also won the 1972 F5000 title in his homeland. He drove in three World Championship Grand Prix, all in South Africa. He failed to score any points.

After successfully racing saloons in South Africa and winning the championship twice, Keizan moved into Formula Ford and sports car racing with a Lola T212 in 1971. He then graduated to Formula 5000 with a Surtees in 1972, winning the national championship.

He then raced Alex Blignaut's ex-Jackie Stewart Tyrrell 004 in the South African F1 Series and his home Grand Prix that year.

In 1974 Eddie continued to race the Tyrrell and once again made an appearance at the South African Grand Prix. He also tested for Surtees and drove in two rounds of the British F5000 Championship for Embassy.

In 1975 Keizan was signed up by South Africa's premier team, Gunston, to partner Tunmer in its two-car Lotus 72E team contesting the last South African championship to be run to F1 regulations. Team Gunston also entered the South African GP, with Keizan qualifying 22nd and Tunmer 25th. In the race, Tunmer passed both Keizan and works Lotus driver Ickx, eventually finishing 11th, just behind Ronnie Peterson. Eddie was very quick but rarely finished and endured a terrible run of mechanical failures with the Lotus.

At the end of 1975 the South African championship was downgraded to Formula Atlantic cars and Eddie went back to racing touring car with his own team, running a BMW 535, and winning the title twice more in 1977 and 1978.

One of his best wins was in 1979 in the Wynn’s 1000 at Kyalami. During the early stages of the race his co-driver , Helmut Kelleners was taken ill and Eddie had to drive solo for most of the race. He took the win against a strong field that included Watson, Mass, Surer and Stuck. Keizan was back in the BMW in the Wynn’s in 1980 when Ian Scheckter suffered a neck injury. However almost certain victory was lost when a driveshaft broke.

Devoting more of his time to his business interests which included a Johannesburg alloy sports wheel business, Eddie withdrew from racing for ten years, but then occasionally returned to drive a BMW in South African endurance events.



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