Having shown his talent as early as 1963, when he beat Lotus Cortina ace John Whitmore in an identical machine, Basil was a dominant force in saloons in South Africa for many years, handling a variety of cars including Ford Mustangs and Alfa Romeo GTs. With backing from STP he also moved into national single-seaters in 1968 with a Brabham BT24, although he had to make do with John Love's old Cooper for the Grand Prix.
In 1969, van Rooyen had a McLaren M7A at his disposal, but afer a couple of wins in the car he wrote it off in a big way at Kyalami, returning to the more comfortable environment of saloon cars until 1973, when he virtually retired from racing. However, when Formula Atlantic was introduced in 1975, Basil was tempted back into single-seaters with a Chevron for a couple of seasons.
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000