Career Summary:

Luki Botha

  • January 16, 1930
  • October 01, 2006
  • South Africa
  • Not Active
  • 29
  • 6
  • 16
  • 20.69%
  • 55.17%

Lukas 'Luki' Botha (1930-2006) was a racing driver from South Africa who was active during the 1960s, participating mostly in sports car races but also in the South African Formula 1 Championship. He recorded one start in the Formula 1 World Championship, participating at 1967 South African Grand Prix in a privately-entered Brabham BT11.

Lukas 'Luki' Botha

Lukas 'Luki' Botha

Lots of success in sports car racing

Born in Pretoria in January 1930, Botha started his racing career in the early 1960s, driving a South African-built GSM Dart in sports car competitions. He was pretty successful with that car before switching to Lotus 23-Cosworth in 1965. He continued to collect good results but a car was destroyed in one accident, so Botha switched to Porsche-engined Elva Mk VII, driving that car in 1966 and 1967.

He collected many wins and podiums but Botha later stated that his most enjoyable race was the Angola Grand Prix where he finished fifth overall, splitting the pack of Ferrari 250GTs and beating factory-entered Porsches, Ford GT40s and Lolas.

Luki Botha in an Elva-Porsche in 1967

Luki Botha in an Elva-Porsche in 1967

Moving to Formula One in 1967

Botha moved to Formula One late in 1966, purchasing Brabham BT11 for Rhodesian Grand Prix, the last round of the South African Formula One Championship. He was racing with that car next year in the national F1 Championship but also took place in the 1967 South African Grand Prix, a part of the Formula One World Championship.

The race was held at Kyalami Circuit in January 1967. Driving the #20 Brabham-Climax, he stopped after 38 laps due to mechanical problems. Thanks to a help from spectators, he continued and completed 60 laps, twenty laps less than a race winner Pedro Rodriguez.

Luki Botha was driving the #20 Brabham at 1967 South African Grand Prix

Luki Botha was driving the #20 Brabham at 1967 South African Grand Prix

Killing nine spectators in Mozambique

During the non-championship F1 race at Lourenco Marques circuit in Mozambique, he crashed out in a Brabham-Repco and killed nine spectators. However, he returned to racing in 1968, driving an Elva-Climax in sports car races but not in many events, deciding to end his career.

He left motorsport completely, working in civil engineering, farming and politics. He died in October 2006.