John Love: A stalwart of Southern African motorsport


Born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia on this day in 1924, John Love’s passion for racing ignited in his youth and saw him emerge in the 1960s as a prominent figure in the vibrant racing scene of southern Africa.

His talent carried him to Europe where he competed for Ken Tyrrell in the Briton’s Formula Junior in 1961. His breakthrough came in 1962 when he clinched the British Touring Car Championship driving a works Mini Cooper.

However, an unsuccessful foray into European Formula 1 in 1964 led to Love’s return to his home country.

In the following years, he became a regular contender in the South African Grand Prix, although he was always hindered by outdated equipment.

But 1967, a near-miss at causing a historic F1 upset unfolded at Kyalami when a precautionary pit stop for fuel made late in the race cost him the victory and relegated him to second place behind Cooper's Pedro Rodriguez.

In 1972, Love contested his ninth and last home Grand Prix at the wheel of his privately-owned Team Gunston Surtees TS9, but failed to finish.