Tomas Scheckter

Last updated

Tomas Scheckter
Tomas Scheckter 2010 Indy 500 Practice Day 1.JPG
Scheckter in 2010
Nationality Flag of South Africa.svg South African
Born (1980-09-21) 21 September 1980 (age 40)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Related to Jody Scheckter (father)
Ian Scheckter (uncle)
Toby Scheckter (brother)
IRL IndyCar Series career
Debut season 2002
Current teamTeam REDLINE Xtreme
Car number07
Former teams Conquest Racing
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Luczo Dragon Racing
Vision Racing
Panther Racing
Chip Ganassi Racing
Cheever Racing
KV Racing
Starts115
Wins2
Poles8
Best finish7th in 2003

Tomas Scheckter (born 21 September 1980) is a South African former racing driver.

Contents

Early years

Scheckter was born in Monte Carlo to 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter and his first wife Pamela. Scheckter started racing karts in South Africa at the age of 11 and it did not take long for the young driver to reach the podium. He had his first taste of a major championship as a teenager when he captured the South African Kart Championship in 1995. In 1996 he ventured on to the main circuit in the South African Formula Vee series and soon after he was in the South African Formula Ford Series where he posted two wins.

He had proven his speed in South African motorsports and was then off to Europe the following year where he entered the British Formula Vauxhall Junior series where he raced against the likes of Antônio Pizzonia and Takuma Sato. Scheckter earned third in the championship with one victory and one pole. He was also named series Rookie of the Year.

In 1999, Scheckter won the Formula Opel Euroseries championship with a record eight victories and eight poles, and in the process broke all the winning records previously set by Mika Häkkinen, Rubens Barrichello, and David Coulthard. That success landed him a drive that same year in the last two races of the Formula Nissan championship which Fernando Alonso had dominated that whole season. Even though Scheckter was with a new team for this brief stint in Formula Nissan, he captured a win, two poles and a second-place position.

Scheckter moved on to the Formula 3 Series in 2000, and in his rookie year, he was the runner-up in the British Formula 3 Championship with two victories and two pole positions, while contending again with drivers such as Takuma Sato, Antônio Pizzonia and Narain Karthikeyan. He also had time to race in the prestigious Marlboro Masters F3 race at Zandvoort where he took the third podium position. To complete his year, he competed in the final four races of the FIA Formula 3000 Championship, finishing second at Hockenheim behind future IRL teammate Tomáš Enge. [1] He also raced in the Open Telefónica by Nissan, finishing as championship runner-up.

Scheckter was signed as a test/reserve driver by Jaguar for the 2001 Formula One season, but was soon let go after being found "kerb crawling." [2] [3] [4] [5]

IndyCar Series

Scheckter watches practice speeds while waiting for his turn to qualify for the 2007 Indy 500. Photo by Tim Wohlford. Scheckter video.JPG
Scheckter watches practice speeds while waiting for his turn to qualify for the 2007 Indy 500. Photo by Tim Wohlford.

Scheckter was signed to drive for Eddie Cheever's Red Bull Cheever Racing in the IndyCar Series for the 2002 season. He was the Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the year (with 4th placed Alex Barron) after leading 85 laps of the race. However, Cheever soon grew tired of Scheckter's frequent crashes, and looked to replace him with Buddy Rice. At Michigan International Speedway, Cheever was forced to race Scheckter due to contractual obligations, but gave Rice the best equipment and crew. In the 2002 Michigan Indy 400, Scheckter won by 1.7 seconds over Rice for his first IRL win, while team owner Cheever crashed out. However, he was soon gone from Cheever Racing.

In 2003, he moved to Target Ganassi Racing with mixed results, often being criticized for his inconsistency and frequency of crashing, finishing well behind title winning teammate Scott Dixon. In 2004 he moved to Panther Racing to replace double champion Sam Hornish, Jr.. In 2004 and 2005, Scheckter and Panther were the dominant Chevrolet powered team, greatly outpacing other teams powered by what many considered the weakest engine in the series. Scheckter broke through a horrendous string of bad luck, defeating Hornish to win the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in June 2005 for his second career victory.

In mid-2005, Scheckter was announced as one of the drivers for A1 Team South Africa in the inaugural A1 Grand Prix series. He raced in the rounds at EuroSpeedway Lausitz and Estoril. In 2006, Scheckter drove for Tony George and Patrick Dempsey's Vision Racing alongside teammate Ed Carpenter and finished 10th in points. In 2007, Scheckter again raced for Vision Racing sponsored by Joost. The South African was one of the few drivers that year to challenge the Team Penske, Andretti Green Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers on a regular basis during races, on occasion leading races. He ultimately finished 10th in points for the second season in a row with a best finish of fifth.

For the 2008 season, Scheckter was scheduled to race for Luczo Dragon Racing in three races: Kansas, Indianapolis, and Infineon. Despite not finishing at Kansas or Indy, Scheckter's runs gave the team additional race time at Texas, Detroit, and Chicagoland. Scheckter failed to return any good results in the additional races despite qualifying well. He did not return to the team in 2009, as it became a full-time team with 2008 Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos. Scheckter was reported to be joining Beck Motorsports, now renamed Team 3G, starting at the 2009 Long Beach race, but the deal never materialized. Scheckter personally secured sponsorship from MonaVie which he shopped to a number of teams, ultimately signing with Dale Coyne Racing for a second week program. He qualified 26th and finished 12th. Later in the 2009 season he returned with the MonaVie sponsorship with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing sharing the #23 car with Milka Duno, who brought her own sponsorship, as well as driving a third car, the #43, in select races.

In 2010, Scheckter once again brought Mona-Vie to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to drive the #23 car in the Indianapolis 500. Scheckter had a great race, and was in the top for the majority of the race. In the last 20 laps a fuel mileage problem forced Scheckter to conserve fuel and he dropped back to finish 12th. Scheckter's teammate Mike Conway suffered a leg injury in a terrible crash at the Indianapolis 500 and Scheckter was hired to fill in for Conway at Texas and Iowa finished 15th and 19th at each. Later in the year he was hired to drive for Conquest Racing at Chicago and Kentucky. Scheckter finished 28th at Chicago, but after having a surprisingly quick time in practice and qualifying he was accidentally hit from behind by Alex Lloyd in the first 10 laps and made contact with the wall that ended his day. At Kentucky Scheckter struggled getting the car up to speed and finished 14th.

For 2011, Scheckter joined KV-SH Racing and drive the #07 Team Redline Extreme car in the Indianapolis 500. For the season's final race in Las Vegas, Scheckter drove the #57 car for Sarah Fisher Racing with Angie's List as the primary sponsor, but the race was red flagged due to a multicar pile up early in the race in which Dan Wheldon was killed.

Personal

He is the son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter and the nephew of racer Ian Scheckter. He also has an older brother named Toby, and a younger brother Hugo, who often updates Tomas's fans through his Twitter page. [6]

In April 2020, Scheckter announced that he had suffered multiple strokes and required a heart operation at the Mayo Clinic. [7] Scheckter currently resides in the United Kingdom. [8]

Motorsports career results

Complete Euro Open by Nissan results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrant12345678910111213141516DCPoints
1999 Vergani Racing ALB
1
ALB
2
JER
1
JER
2
JAR
1
JAR
2
MNZ
1
MNZ
2
JAR
1
JAR
2
DON
1
DON
2
BAR
1
BAR
2
VAL
1

1
VAL
2

2
12th35
2001 Vergani Racing JAR
1

10
JAR
2

3
EST
1

1
EST
2

1
ALB
1

2
ALB
2

2
VAL
1

1
VAL
2

2
MNZ
1

3
MNZ
2

2
MAG
1

5
MAG
2

2
BAR
1

1
BAR
2

Ret
VAL
1

Ret
VAL
2

9
2nd185

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrant123456789101112DCPoints
2000 MySap.com IMO SIL CAT NÜR MON MAG A1R
18
HOC
2
HUN
21
SPA
DNS
13th6
2001 European Minardi F3000 INT IMO CAT A1R MON NÜR MAG SIL HOC
Ret
HUN SPA MNZ NC0

Complete IndyCar Series results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

YearTeamChassisEngine12345678910111213141516171819RankPoints
2002 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara Infiniti HMS
6
PHX
24
FON
24
NZR
21
INDY
26
TXS
17
PPIR
16
RIR
4
KAN
15
NSH
13
MIS
1
KTY
22
STL
DNS
CHI TX2 14th210
2003 Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Toyota HMS
8
PHX
15
MOT
16
INDY
4
TXS
18
PPIR
8
RIR
18
KAN
9
NSH
10
MIS
3
STL
4
KTY
10
NZR
19
CHI
5
FON
5
TX2
15
7th356
2004 Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet HMS
5
PHX
16
MOT
13
INDY
18
TXS
20
RIR
17
KAN
15
NSH
19
MIL
21
MIS
19
KTY
22
PPIR
17
NZR
13
CHI
19
FON
15
TX2
18
19th230
2005 Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet HMS
11
PHX
17
STP
17
MOT
10
INDY
20
TXS
1
RIR
4
KAN
5
NSH
17
MIL
3
MIS
3
KTY
21
PPIR
14
SNM
16
CHI
4
WGL
20
FON
7
9th390
2006 Vision Racing Dallara Honda HMS
9
STP
12
MOT
13
INDY
27
WGL
10
TXS
10
RIR
7
KAN
7
NSH
15
MIL
3
MIS
5
KTY
7
SNM
17
CHI
10
10th298
2007 Vision Racing Dallara Honda HMS
8
STP
6
MOT
9
KAN
5
INDY
7
MIL
17
TXS
14
IOW
19
RIR
7
WGL
13
NSH
11
MDO
9
MIS
11
KTY
5
SNM
8
DET
13
CHI
20
10th357
2008 Luczo Dragon Racing Dallara Honda HMS STP MOT 1 LBH 1 KAN
23
INDY
24
MIL TXS
25
IOW RIR WGL NSH MDO EDM KTY SNM
27
DET
21
CHI
26
SRF2 31st66
2009 Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda STP LBH KAN INDY
12
20th195
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing MIL
13
TXS
13
IOW
6
RIR
11
WGL TOR
16
EDM
19
KTY
22
MDO SNM CHI
8
MOT
23
HMS
9
2010 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara Honda SAO STP ALA LBH KAN INDY
15
TXS
13
IOW WGL TOR
15
EDM
19
MDO SNM     29th89
Conquest Racing               CHI
28
KTY
14
MOT HMS
2011 SH Racing
KV Racing Technology
Dallara Honda STP ALA LBH SAO INDY
8
TXS TX2 MIL IOW TOR EDM MDO       32nd52
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing              NHM
23
SNM
SH Racing
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
             BAL
22
MOT KTY
Sarah Fisher Racing              LVS
C
1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race.
YearsTeamsRacesPolesWinsPodiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
1081178243800

Indianapolis 500

YearChassisEngineStartFinishTeamNotes
2002 Dallara Infiniti 1026 Team Cheever Led most laps, crashed in Turn 4
2003 G-Force Toyota 124 Chip Ganassi Racing Led the most laps
2004 Dallara Chevrolet 1018 Panther Racing Running
2005 Dallara Chevrolet 1120 Panther Racing Accident
2006 Dallara Honda 1127 Vision Racing Accident
2007 Dallara Honda 107 Vision Racing Running
2008 Dallara Honda 1124 Luczo Dragon Racing Mechanical failure
2009 Dallara Honda 2612 Dale Coyne Racing Running
2010 Dallara Honda 2015 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Led 5 laps
2011 Dallara Honda 218 SH Racing/KVRT Running

Scheckter started on the fourth row of the Indy 500 his first seven races until 2009, when he qualified 26th.

Complete A1 Grand Prix results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearEntrant12345678910111213141516171819202122DCPoints
2005–06 A1 Team South Africa GBR
SPR
GBR
FEA
GER
SPR

12
GER
FEA

Ret
POR
SPR

10
POR
FEA

Ret
AUS
SPR
AUS
FEA
MYS
SPR
MYS
FEA
UAE
SPR
UAE
FEA
RSA
SPR
RSA
FEA
IDN
SPR
IDN
FEA
MEX
SPR
MEX
FEA
USA
SPR
USA
FEA
CHN
SPR
CHN
FEA
17th20

See also

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References

  1. "Tomas Scheckter – Biography". TomasScheckter.com. Archived from the original on 30 July 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  2. Tomas Scheckter fired as Jaguar test-driver, GrandPrix.com, 5 May 2001
  3. Kennedy, David (20 May 2001). "Reality of 'mobile bodyguard' hits Barrichello". Irish Independent . Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  4. "Scheckter's woes may help Courtney's career". The Age . Associated Press. 7 May 2001. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  5. "Sports Round-up". The Daily Telegraph . 9 May 2001. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  6. "Hugo Scheckter". twitter.com. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  7. Scheckter, Tomas (20 April 2020). "Tomas Scheckter on Twitter". www.twitter.com.
  8. Scheckter, Tomas (20 April 2020). "Tomas Scheckter on Twitter". www.twitter.com.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hélio Castroneves
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

(with Alex Barron)

2002
Succeeded by
Toranosuke Takagi