Sunday 29th January 1950
Born on this day, Jody Scheckter, former South African F1 World Drivers Champion. Scheckter got noted on his debut during the 1972 South African Grand Prix as a brave and wild guy with astonishing car control. But young Jody quickly gained the wrong kind of fame by causing a massive pile-up at the first lap of the 1973 British Grand Prix, the second crash within two weeks. The right guy to calm this quick but overenthusiastic youngster down, was Ken Tyrrell, who hired him for the 1974 season to replace the retired Jackie Stewart. In the following years he was often among the title contenders and with the Wolf team he came close in 1977 as runner-up to Niki Lauda. It finally worked out when he joined Ferrari in 1979 and won the title straight away. Having achieved his life time ambition he seemed a bit dull in 1980 and duly retired at the end of the year. After being involved for some time in a business of simulation equipment for firearms training in the US, he only showed up at the race tracks again when his sons took up racing. Nowadays he is into organic farming in the UK.