- November 22, 1934
- March 30, 2009
- South Africa
- Not Active
Jackie Pretorius (1934-2009) was a racing driver from South Africa who was active in the 1960s and 1970s, recording four participations in the Formula One World Championship, all four in the South African Grand Prix. He gained some success in Formula 1 on the national level, finishing second in the South African F1 Championship in 1971.
Jacobus Pretorius was born in November 1934 and started racing in the early 1960s. In 1965, he made a debut in the Formula 1 World Championship, appearing in the South African Grand Prix at Prince George Circuit in East London.
He was driving Alfa Romeo-powered LDS Mark I, a car built by South African Louis Douglas Serrurier, especially for the South African F1 Championship. Pretorius wasn't competitive and didn't qualify for the race.
In 1966, Pretorious competed in a Lotus-Climax. He finished ninth in that year's South African Grand Prix, which was a non-championship event.
In 1967, still racing in a Lotus-Climax in open-wheel races, Pretorius also expanded his racing activities to sports car races in the South African Springbok Trophy Series, sharing a Lola T70-Ford with Doug Serrurier. They retired at Kyalami 9 Hours, finished third at Cape Town 3 Hours and won the Roy Hesketh 3 Hours race at Pietermaritzburg.
In January 1968, Pretorius returned to the South African Grand Prix that took place at Kyalami Circuit as the opening round of the Formula 1 World Championship. He was driving the #23 Brabham BT11-Climax for Team Pretoria. He was the slowest qualifier and started 23rd on the grid. He finished the race in the tenth place, but nine laps behind the race winner Jim Clark (Lotus) so he wasn't classified in the official results.
Following his start in the F1 World Championship, Pretorius recorded three starts in the South African F1 Championship, scoring three podiums, but the highlight of the season was a victory at Mozambique Grand Prix at Circuito de Lourenco Marques. There he was driving a Lola T140-Ford.
In 1968 and 1969, Pretorius also continued to race in sports car events in a Lola T70-Ford, sharing a car with Doug Serrurier. In 1968, they finishing just one of four races. In 1969, the results were similar, they reached the finish line in just one of five races.
In 1969, Pretorius spent a full season in the South African F1 Championship, driving a LolaT140-Ford and scoring one victory. He ended the season fifth in the points. Next year, he switched to Surtees TS5-Ford and scored two podiums in the South African Formula 1.
In 1970, Pretorius successfully raced at Kyalami 9 Hours, sharing the #7 Lola T70-Chevrolet with Barrie Smith. They finished seventh overall and first in Class J.
The season 1971 was the most successful for Pretorius in his F1 career. He won two races in the South African F1 Championship, driving a Brabham BT26-Cosworth, to finish as a runner-up in the championship, behind Dave Charlton.
Pretorius was also driving Team Gunston's #25 Brabham BT26-Cosworth in the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, the opening round of the World Championship. He was 20th on the 25-car grid, retiring from the race after 22 laps with a broken engine.
In sports car races in 1971, Pretorius was driving a Lola T212-Cosworth, scoring two podiums together with Guy Edwards.
In 1972, Pretorius spent a season in the South African F1 Championship driving Surtees TS5-Ford or McLaren M10B-Ford, scoring one podium and finishing sixth in the points. His last season was 1973 when he was driving a Brabham BT38 for Team Glover, scoring two podiums to finish seventh in the points.
In March 1973, Pretorius recorded his last attempt in the F1 World Championship, driving the #20 Iso-Marlboro FX3B-Cosworth for Frank Williams Racing in the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami. After starting 20th on the grid, he stopped after 35 laps with an overheated engine.