Emerson Fittipeldi of Brazil in a McLaren fought off a strong last lap challenge from the Ferrari of Niki Lauda of Austria to win the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at Nivelles on Sunday (May 12).
GV PAN Spectators and cars in pits (3 shots)
CU Regazzeni in pits
SCU Fittipaldi in racing car
SV PAN Start of the race
SV PAN Cars around bond with 24 James Hunt
GTV Cars around circuit
SV PAN Fittipaldi around bend and along streight.
GV Cars on final lap
SCU Fittipaldi acknowledging crowd
Initials AE/17.13 AE/17.27
SPORT: CAR RACING
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Background: Emerson Fittipeldi of Brazil in a McLaren fought off a strong last lap challenge from the Ferrari of Niki Lauda of Austria to win the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at Nivelles on Sunday (May 12).
Fittipaldi, a former world champion, led the 31 car race from just after the halfway mark and opened up a three second lead over Lauda. But in the closing laps the Austrian put on the pressure and with just one lap to go Laude's scarlet Forrari was alongcide the leading McLaren. Fittipaldi just held on to take the chequered flag at the Finishing line-half a car's length ahead.
Fittipaldi's win puts him at the top of the World Driver's Championship with 22 points, one ahead of Lauda after five Grand Prix races this season.
South African driver Jedy Scheckter, at 24 the second youngest driver in the race, came through to beat Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni into fourth place.
For nearly half the race, Regazzoni, the fastest man in practice, led a pack of five other drivers with Fittipaldi on his tail until the 40th lap when Fittipaldi took over.
The Brazilian won the 316 kilometre (196 mile) race at an average speed of 182.019 (114 mph). He completed the 85 laps in one hour 44 minutes 20.57 secs, just 0.35 seconds ahead of Lauda.
Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltoise was fifth in a BRM, and former World Champion Denny Hulme of New Zealand sixth in a McLaren. Hulme also clocked the fastest lap of 1 minute 11.31 secs, an average speed of 188.011 kph.