Paddy Driver is pursued by Emerson Fittipaldi, 1974 South African Grand Prix

The very appropriately-named Grand Prix racer Paddy Driver is today celebrating his 78th birthday!

Born in the South African city of Johannesburg in 1934, Driver was an accomplished motorcycle racer, finishing third overall in the 1965 500cc Championship.

He flirted briefly with four-wheeled competition in 1963 in Formula Junior, but it was until the late 1960s that he started to really commit to auto racing.

While a regular competitor in the South African Formula One Championship, his two World Championship appearances bookended his car-racing career.

His first came at the 1963 race in East London, where he entered a 1.5-litre BRM-powered Lotus 24 with backing from Selby Spares. After qualifying slowest of the 22 entries, he failed to take the start when he crashed in the morning warm-up.

His second and final Grand Prix race was the 1974 event at Kyalami. Entering a Lotus 72E under a ‘Team Gunston’ entry, he qualified 26th-fastest and retired with a clutch failure.

Post-F1, he switched to tin-top racing and continued to race right up until his retirement in the 1980s.

[Image via Slot Forum]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.