Australian driver Alan Jones has won a surprise victory in the Austrian Grand Prix. Driving?
Australian driver Alan Jones has won a surprise victory in the Austrian Grand Prix. Driving a Shadow, he beat Austria's Niki Lauda into second place. But the race has widened Lauda's lead in the world championship tables. He has a total of 54 points - 16 ahead of South africa's Jody Scheckter.
SYNOPSIS: Niki Lauda, in a Ferrari, was first to go into the lead. The Austrian driver had chalked up the fastest time in the official practices and he was the favourite to win the race.
Before the first lap was over Lauda was dropping back, and slipped behind the first ten in the early stages.
In Car Number Five, America's Mario Andretti then took the lead. Driving a Lotus, he slipped past Lauda and Britain's James Hunt.
An early casualty in the race was South African driver Ian Scheckter. He overbraked his March in the first lap was forced off the track.
Heavy rain clouds threatened to postpone the start of the race up until the last minute.
Just before the start the drivers changed their rain tyres for slicks. Then the sun came out and the few remaining puddles on the circuit dried out.
Half way through, the Grand Prix was being led by the world champion, James Hunt. But his hope for another win in this years championships were ended when he was forced to retire.
As Hunt dropped out with engine trouble, Australia's Alan Jones took the lead.
With only five laps to go Niki Lauda was back in the race closing up on Jones, chasing him around the tight circuits of this track. But Jones held on.
It was the first time in seven years an Australian had won a formula one race. The last time was when Jack Brabham took the South African Grand Prix.