Motor racing...and Gilles villeneuve of Canada has won his third major race in a row.?
Motor racing...and Gilles villeneuve of Canada has won his third major race in a row. Driving a 1977 model Ferrari, he took the honours on sunday (15 April) in the Race of Champions, the first major European competition of the season. Nelson Piquet of Brazil was second in a V-12 Brabham, and defending world champion Mario Andretti third, in a Lotus 79.
SYNOPSIS: Andretti in the pits with the Lotus team chief Colin Chapman.
Andretti was to drive last year's Lotus in preference to the troubled Lotus Eighty. And here's Piquet in his Brabham.
On the grid, with andretti in the pole position on the right, and Niki Lauda beside him in a Brabham. Villeneuve is behind Lauda and Piquet behind Andretti, as they roar away.
Lauda went straight into the lead and held it for eight laps. But he later had to make two pit stops for tyres unduly worn in the warm conditions.
First Villeneuve, for three laps, and then andretti took over the lead. Andretti had chosen the Lotus 79 after gearbox and skirt problems with the new Eighty at practice. later, Andretti was also to suffer worries from worn tyres.
At this point, Andretti still headed the field. This event, the Race of Champions, was introduced in 1965 to give Grand Prix drivers early-season experience. Villeneuve is now setting the pace from Piquet, with Andretti having slipped back to third. Villeneuve leads the drivers' world championship, after his wins in the South African and United States West Grand Prix races.
Piquet was tenacious, picking up time he'd lost through a pit stop for tyres in the tenth lap.
Villeneuve had stalked Andretti from the eleventh to the twenty-eighth laps to regain the lead, but was not to surrender it again. Piquet, now second, set a new lap record of one hundred and twenty-one point four seven miles an hour (195.48 kph) -- the fastest time ever recorded at Brand's Hatch.
The chequered flag for Villeneuve. He had driven the forty laps in just over fifty-two and a quarter minutes.