Rene Arnoux of France is the 1977 World Champion in Formula Two motor racing. Arnoux,?
Rene Arnoux of France is the 1977 World Champion in Formula Two motor racing. Arnoux, driving a Martini-Renault Mk22, clinched the title with 51 points on Sunday (2 October) when he finished second in the Estoril Grand Prix behind teammate Didier Pironi. Eddie Cheever of the United States was third in a Ralt RT1-BMW.
SYNOPSIS: Before the race, Pironi looked confident though he realised that even a win here wouldn't bring him the title. Rene Arnoux has had a fine season that began with a win in the season's opening Grand Prix race at Silverstone. And Eddie Cheever fancied his chances.
They're away for the first of 50 laps and a race of 136 miles (217 kilometres) around the Estoril Autodromo circuit. Pironi led from the start, draining some excitement from the race, though he was hard pressed all the way by Arnoux and the consistent Cheever.
Pironi's car was handling too well and he was far too race-wise to allow Arnoux to overtake him along the straights, or to try to out-fox him on the bends. So the pattern could not be broken.
At one point, Cheever did get his nose in front of Arnoux's car, but Arnoux later slipped back into his habitual second place behind Pironi.
Into the last few laps, and it was clear that, barring mechanical trouble or mishap, the race was Pironi's. At the chequered flag, Pironi had covered the distance in one hour and 19 minutes. He finished 17 seconds ahead of Arnoux, who'd pipped Cheever by less than a second. Pironi's victory took his championship points tally to 34, and overall third place behind Arnoux and Cheever.