1979 was the last time Jody Scheckter, or any other South African driver for that matter, competed and was successful on the grand stage that is Formula 1.
Fellow countryman Brad Binder, Jordan Pepper, and brothers Sheldon and Kelvin Van der Linde are flying the flag high on the big stage in their respective race categories, but the absence of a local face in F1 still leaves a beaming void after more than three decades.
Rise up, Eudrich
At some point, the drought will come to an end, and the mantel will be passed onto another unique talent. He might only be 14 years of age, but Eudrich Huysamen represents SA's best chance of doing what Jody Scheckter did all those years ago.
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Hailing from the Swartland town of Malmesbury, Eudrich has been into cars since he was 5-years-old, collecting Hot Wheels cars, and up until today, he collects all sorts of vehicles with a 2 000 strong collection so far.
But it was when he started watching F1 on television where his passion for racing snowballed.
As his career developed, he won the 2017/2018 160cc championship, and at the moment, he competes at Zone 7 Dirt Karting stationed just outside Cape Town on the N7, where kids from as young as four-years-old can participate in various classes. Huysamen Jr currently races in the 270cc class.
At the age of 13, the current Grade 8 pupil at Malmesbury High School, joined the Formula M class at Killarney International Raceway while at the same time became the youngest in his class. That same year, in 2019, Eudrich was interviewed at Killarney by KykNet.
At the beginning of the 2020 season that took place at Killarney, he achieved the 'Driver of the Day' award for the M Class. He has also won the March Supersport Let's Play prize for his achievements in motorsport.
Eudrich says he keeps himself (mentally) fit by watching motorsport on television but also does sim racing as well. At the moment because of the National Lockdown, he is competing in sim racing and even part of the BERacing-FXX sim racing group.
Eudrich does oval karting because, according to both him and his dad, it teaches you more about the handling of a kart. This father and son combination is a sure-fire dream team.
If there are any challenges, Eudrich faces, it's the politics, according to his father, who is also the owner of Chilli Racing Team, who his son represents.
This 14 Year old from South Africa... Well look at his race at Motorland Aragon and decide for yourself.. #Chilli Racing Team on YouTube..@StrollLawrence @insideFDA @ScuderiaFerrari @RGrosjean @AlfaRomeoF1Fan @FIAFormula3 @MercedesEQFE @MercedesFRteam #motorsports #eSports pic.twitter.com/fZAt5g6myQ— Chilli Racing Team (@chilli_team) November 3, 2020
"His biggest challenge is politics. Everywhere you go, especially if you're one of the 'front runners', you will always have politics in motorsport, and with the Formula M at Killarney International Raceway, the youngest competitor is 25 years and older. He is only 14," Johan adds.
His father, mother, Lizette, and younger sister, Johane, 10, are his biggest supporters. Parents know their kids, and it was seeing him on track when dad Johan knew his son was cut from a different cloth.
"From the moment Eudrich took part in karting, I saw that he was blessed with a God-given talent. Do you know when you only get racers like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher once in a lifetime? That is Eudrich," says Johan.
A legend in the making
Johan also adds that he would love to see him compete overseas, but the lack of funding locally makes it challenging for local drivers to succeed on the international stage.
Just like any teenager, he does not like school very much, and when he is not shredding tyres on the track, Eudrich relaxes in front of his Playstation while also regularly visiting websites to keep up to date on latest racing news.
He lives by the words of Niki Lauda, which is a great inspiration to him - "Winning is not everything. Sometimes when you lose, you learn more from it by just doing better.
"The belief is that Eudrich was meant for bigger things, and when racing is the topic of discussion, if it was meant to be, he will donate half of his winning to charities in South Africa.
With age still very much on his side and his proven qualities behind the wheel, Eudrich is well on his way to putting South Africa, and himself, on the map in a massive way.