Jackie Stewart came a step closer to his third world championship, with a convincing win in the German Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on Sunday (5 August).
Jackie Stewart came a step closer to his third world championship, with a convincing win in the German Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on Sunday (5 August). Stewart and his Tyrell Ford team-mate Francois Cevert led from start to finish. The only serious threat came from Jackie Ickx, acknowledged master of the track, but he was hard-pressed even to keep the leaders in sight. Ickx finished third.
It was Stewart's 27th Grand Prix win, and his third at Nuerburgring. The win -- at a record 116.81 miles an hour (186km)-- gave Stewart a commanding lead in the world championship. He now has 60 points, 15 ahead of Cevert, his nearest rival. Stewart isn't yet in an unbeatable position, but another clear win in Austria in a fortnight's time would make the championship result almost a foregone conclusion.
Safety precautions at Nuerburgring were elaborate following the death of British driver Roger Williamson at Zandvoort, in Holland, just over a week before. There was rain on Saturday but the tortuous mountain circuit dried out in time for the race. There were a few minor incidents but the safety precautions, including three hovering helicopters, were never seriously tested. Nonetheless, race organisers confidently predicted that if there had been serious trouble, no part of the circuit was more than 30 seconds from a safety check-point.
SYNOPSIS: Sunday at Nuerburgring, where Britain's Jackie Stewart schemed set for his third German Grand Prix win.
Reigning world champion Emerson Fittipaldi was still nursing an injured ankle from the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort the week before. British driver Roger Williamson died in that race, and the West German officials had planned elaborate safety precautions to guard against a similar tragedy.
At the start Tyrell Ford teammates Stewart and Francois Cevert were first away. Ronnie Peterson set off in pursuit.
Peterson's run was short-lived, and it was left to last year's Nuerburgring winner, Jacky Ickx, to chase the two leaders.
That was the way the race began - and ended - two hours later. Stewart and Covert were neck and neck, with Ickx about 30 seconds away, in third place.
There were a few minor incidents but the safety precautions--including three helicopters--weren't seriously tested. Denny Hulme was one driver who struck trouble.
It was Stewart's 27th grand prix win and he turned in a record average speed of almost 117 miles an hour.
The Win also took Stewart closer to his third world championship He's now on 60 points, 15 ahead of Cevert. A win in the Austrian Grand Prix next week would give him a virtually unassailable lead.