Austria's Niki Lauda, the current world champion driver, last year's winner of the Swedish Grand Prix seems set to repeat the performance on Sunday (13 June) to give him five Formula One victories in a row.
CU Race poster
SV cars onto track
CU Mario Andretti in car No.5
CU James Hunt in car No.11
CU Niki Lauda
CU Clay Reggazoni
CU Ronnie Peterson
CU Jody Schekter walking
CU Patrick Depailler into car 4
CU Emerson Fittipaldi in 30 (2 shots)
CU Red lights to green
SV cars onto track
GV PAN Reggazoni in No.2
CU Colin Chapman
SV Lauda passes Ken Tyrrel watching (2 shots)
SV and LV Depailier racing and overtaking (4 shots)
LV Reggazoni leading Peterson in car 10
CU PAN Fittipaldi in 30 and Lauda in No.1 passes other cars (3 shots)
TV Lauda into pits
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: Austria's Niki Lauda, the current world champion driver, last year's winner of the Swedish Grand Prix seems set to repeat the performance on Sunday (13 June) to give him five Formula One victories in a row.
SYNOPSIS: The Grand Prix is being held at the Arderstorp circuit and if Lauda does win he will have an almost unbeatable lead in this year's world championship. Nobody seems to be able to match him in the now Ferrari 312 T2 and in the practise runs on Friday (11 June) he set a lap record of 167.1 KPH (104.435 MPH).
The American, Mario Andretti, was Lauda's nearest rival in the practise, pushed his John Player Special around the 4 Kilometre (2.5 mile) circuit at an average speed of 167 KPH (104.38 MPH). But it was Lauda who continued to show the form that has put him well on the way to his second driver's title Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni was also driving a Ferrari but couldn't match Lauda. And Sweden's hope, Ronnie Peterson driving a March, could only manage the seventh fastest practise time.
The six-wheeled Tyrells of South Africa's Jody Scheckter and Frenchman, Patrick Depailler, llok set for good grid positions when the race starts on Sunday. Anderstorp, with its long straights and fast corners, should suit the Tyrells. But it will be during the race that Scheckter and Depailler will see if they can match the speed of the Ferraris.
Regazzoni will be starting from the fourth row on the grid, alongside Petersen and Italy's Vittorio Brambilla in another March. If Lauda or Regazzoni can win Sunday's race, it will be the Ferrari team's ninth grand prix success in a row. But the main threat will come from the Tyrells and the Swedish Grand Prix is likely to repeat the battle that took place in last month's Monaco Grand Prix. Lauda finished first in that race, but he was closely pursued by Depailler and Schockter.
In the World Championship positions it is the Austrian, Lauda, who has the convincing lead. He has 51 points compared to Regazzoni's 15 and the 14 points of Depailler and Scheckter. A total of 26 cars will be starting on Sunday and the race will be a hard fought one. If Lauda should win, he must be certain of taking this year's World Championship title.