Sarel van der Merwe

Sports Speaker - Cape Town
Sarel van der Merwe

 

Sarel Daniel van der Merwe (born 5 December 1946) is a former rally and racing driver, who was a multiple South African Rally Drivers Champion. He is referred to by his nickname "Supervan".

Van der Merwe won the South African Rally Drivers Championship a record eleven times in 1975, from 1977 to 1985 and in 1988. Van der Merwe's IMSA career included time at Hendrick Motorsports during the Corvette GTP era, which also led to one NASCAR Sprint Cup for the team, Watkins Glen in 1990 when Hendrick driver Darrell Waltrip was recuperating from a severe leg injury at the Firecracker 400 final practice, where he finished 24th; van der Merwe had attempted to qualify for the 1988 Daytona 500 in a Hendrick-owned car, but failed to make the race. He also held the SA Saloon Car Championship (1994), SA Modified Saloon Car Championship (1994 & 2001), and won the 1996 Castrol International Rally ending in Swaziland. He received his Springbok Colours in 1976 and his South African National Colours in 1997. In 2002, van der Merwe was awarded the Motorsport South African (MSA) Lifetime Achievement award.

He retired from competitive motor racing on 23 November 2002 after Round 12 of the Vodacom Power Tour at Kyalami, but he is still seen around some motorsport events, organising a few events and raising publicity for the sponsors of these events.

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