A promising career gone South for Stephen

Stephen South, born on this day 69 years ago, once rose through the junior ranks of motorsport with skill and great promise, only to fall into oblivion.

At the end of 1979, following a good campaign in the European F2 Championship, South looked to be on the verge of a Grand Prix career. He tested for Lotus but Colin Chapman ultimately chose Elio de Angelis to race alongside Mario Andretti.

Opportunity came knocking however for South who deputized for an injured Alain Prost at McLaren at the 1980 Long Beach Grand Prix. It was raw deal however for the young and inexperienced Brit who failed to qualify the M29.

To fulfill his year, South accepted a late Can-Am drive with Paul Newman's team but crashed heavily at Trois-Rivières, an accident which unfortunately led to the amputation of South's left leg and, alas, to his permanent retreat from the sport.