French driver Jean-Paul Jabouille -- who has never won a grand prix -- caused a sensation on the first day of practice for Saturday's (3 March) South African Grand Prix at Kyalami.
French driver Jean-Paul Jabouille -- who has never won a grand prix -- caused a sensation on the first day of practice for Saturday's (3 March) South African Grand Prix at Kyalami. He recorded the fastest lap in his Renault with an astonishing one minute 11.80 seconds for an average speed of 205.53 kilometres per hour. No one could get near that time in the two remaining sessions and Jabouille won the pole position.
SYNOPSIS: The South African event, held on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Thursday (1 March) was the third round in the formula one world championship. Jabouille's practice time worried the Lotus team of Carlos Reutemann, designer Colin Chapman and champion Mario Andretti. But they were also concerned about the success of the French Ligier drivers, Patrick Depailler and Jacques Laffite.
James Hunt of Britain is still having problems with his new car, a Wolf.
The blistering heat at Kyalami cause tyre trouble and this was one reason why Andretti was only eight-fastest in practice.
Local hero, Judy Scheckter, lived up to his high reputation here by recording the second-fastest time, just ahead of Ferrari team-mate Gilles Villeneuve. Andretti and most others could not get near the Ferraris in any of the three practice sessions.
Australian, Alan Jones, had little luck in his Saudi backed Williams car and was well back on the starting grid. Former world champion Niki Lauda, however, proved impressive in the final session. He ended three places ahead of Andretti, who was alongside Frenchman Didier Pironi. Despite Jabouille's time and the home support for Scheckter, the man of the moment remained Laffite, who spoke to a reporter.