In Argentina, final preparations are underway for Sunday's Grand prix -- first in the 1977 World Motor-Racing Championships.
In Argentina, final preparations are underway for Sunday's Grand prix -- first in the 1977 World Motor-Racing Championships. It's the first held in the country for two years -- last year's was cancelled for financial reasons.
SYNOPSIS: Among the favourites for the race is James Hunt of Britain, the current World Champion.
Malborough-McLaren team manager, Alistaire Coldwell, is in Buenos Aires for the race.
Austria's Niki Lauda, last year's leader through the season, lost the title to James Hunt in the last race of the series in Japan, when he withdrew in heavy rain. Hunt pushed on to take the title, leaving Launda's position as Ferrari's number one driver in some doubt. A Ferrari spokesman in Buenos Aires said this week that the Austrian -- who was badly burned in a crash in last year's West German Grand Prix -- could be replaced by Carlos Reutemann of Argentina if he doesn't perform better this year. Team Manager Alberto Nocetti said Reutemann has been performing well in recent tests -- and had all the qualities that pleased car millionaire Enzo Ferrari.
Local police and army troops are co-operating in providing heavy security for the machines -- grand prix racing is, after all, a multi-million-pound business.
The row which threatened to disrupt this year's season was all about money -- and it;s only recently been settled, just in time for Sunday's race. It involved three organisations -- the governing body, the car manufacturers' representatives. and a new company representing the race organisers. It arose when the car people wanted to fix their appearance fees directly with the organisers, not their representatives. The issue was temporarily settled with an uneasy compromise on the fees. The argument was one of the reasons Argentina could not afford to stage last year's race.
While it seems likely Ferrari and McLaren will dominate the season, two outsiders are being tipped to do well. They're John Watson of Northern Ireland in Martini-Brabham's twelve-cylinder Alfa Romeo, and South African Jody Scheckter, driving for Canadian millionaire Walter Wolf.