A promising career gone South for Stephen

Stephen South, born on this day 72 years ago, once rose through the junior ranks of motorsport with skill and great promise, only for his career to be nipped in the bud by a tragic twist of misfortune.

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 a raw deal however for the young and inexperienced Brit who failed to qualify the M29.

To keep himself going, South accepted a late Can-Am drive with Paul Newman's team.

But a heavy crash at Trois-Rivières unfortunately led to the amputation of the Briton's left leg and, alas, to his permanent retreat from the sport.

South has largely kept away from the motor racing scene since his accident, but in 2018 he was invited to Donington to see in action the restored former March 782 that he raced in the 1978 European formula 2 Championship.