Brazilian racing-driver Emerson Fittipaldi only won the Argentine Grand Prix on Sunday(January 28) after a closely-fought duel with Scotland's Jackie Stewart and Frenchman Francois Cevert.
Brazilian racing-driver Emerson Fittipaldi only won the Argentine Grand Prix on Sunday(January 28) after a closely-fought duel with Scotland's Jackie Stewart and Frenchman Francois Cevert. As far back as fourth place in the early stages of the race, he trailed both of them for 76 of the 96 laps -- with Cevert leading. But in the 76th lap of the 200-mile (321.2 kilometres) event, he forged ahead of Stewart and chased Cevert for another ten laps before taking the lead to hold it to the chequered flag -- crossing in one hour, 56 minutes, 18.22 second; only 4.69 seconds ahead of the Frenchman. Stewart, handicapped by a slow puncture in the 92nd lap, came third -- 33.19 seconds behind Fittipaldi's John Player Lotus 72-D.
Steward and Cevert, his team-mate, drove Tyrrell Fords. Belgium's Jacky Ickx, in a Ferrari 312, was fourth after Fittipaldi's team-mate Ronnie Peterson of Sweden dropped out. He was the only other driver of the original 19 car field to complete the 96 laps. New Zealander Dennis Hulme completed 95 laps to take fifth place and Fittipaldi's brother Wilson also completed 95 laps to finish sixth.
SYNOPSIS: The Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires on Sunday developed into thrilling battle between Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, number two, in a John Player Lotus 72-D; Scotland's Jackie Stewart in a Tyrrell Ford; and Stewart's French team-mate Francois Cevert, also in a Tyrrell Ford.
Fittipaldi held second position on the nineteen-man starting grid, but drooped back to fourth place in the early stages of the two-hundred-mile race with Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni, in a BRM, in the lead up to the twenty-eight lap.
After Regazzoni dropped back it was Cevert, Stewart and Fittipaldi all the way to the seventy-sixth of the ninety-six laps.
In the seventy-sixth, Fittipaldi passed Stewart and began chasing Cevert. It took him another ten laps. But for the last ten laps it was Fittipaldi all the way. He crossed the finishing line in one hour, fifty-six minutes, eighteen-point-two-two seconds. Cevert was four-point-six-nine seconds behind, and Stewart, handicapped by a slow puncture in the ninety-second lap, over half a minute away to take third.
Only one other driver completed the ninety-six laps -- Belgium's Jacky Ickx, in a Ferrari, fourth place-getter. Fifth and sixth, a lap behind,were New Zealander Dennis Hulme and Fittipaldi's brother, Wilson.