Argentine racing driver, Carlos Reutemann, won his first world championship race - the South African Grand Prix -- at Kyalami near Johannesburg on Saturday (30 March).
Argentine racing driver, Carlos Reutemann, won his first world championship race - the South African Grand Prix -- at Kyalami near Johannesburg on Saturday (30 March). Reutemann's white Brabham led for all but the first ten laps of the 78 lap race.
Reutemann immediately dedicated his win to his parents and the family of Peter Revson, the American millionaire racing driver who was killed during practics at Kyalami last week. Minutes after radio news announced Reutemann's win in Argentina, motorists in his home town of Santa Fe, north-west of Buenos Aires, drove in a cavalcade honking their horns in tribute.
Reutemann, who had shown promise during the last there seasons, recorded an average speed of 187.07 kilometeres an hour (116.9 m.p.h.) over the 320 kilometre (200 mile) race.
Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltois finished second a whole half lap behind Reutemann. Britain's Mike Hilwood, the former world motorcycle champion, was third.
The results put Reutemann and Hailwood second equal with the New Zealand's Denny Hulme and Brazil's Emerson Fittipaldi in the World Championship drivers' standings. Jean-Pierre Beltoise is sixth in the world table.
The world table leaders came nowhere. Clay Regazzoni of Switzerland who is still first was well in the running until engine trouble forced his retirement in the 65th lap. Emerson Fittipaldi, the Brazilian ex-world champion was a firm favourite in his McLaren but he finished seventh.
New Zealander Denny Hulme winner of January's Argentinian Grand Prix came ninth -- also in a McLaren.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the death of American millionaire driver Peter Revson in practice, preparations continued for Saturday's South African Grand Prix at Kyalami near Johannesburg. Belgian Jackie Ickx drove a revolutinary four-pedal Lotus, New Zealander Denny Hulme and Britain's Mike Hailwood drove McLaren.
Sweden's Ronnie Peterson was also in the Lotus team. Denny Hulme who stood second in the world championship drivers' table was anxious for another high place -- as was Jacky Ickx who was sixth before the race.
South African Jody Scheckter in car number three was one of the strongest local hopes. Austrian Niki Lauda had the fastest practice time.
Almost a hundred thousand people watched the race. Brazilian ex-world champion Emerson Fittipaldi was the favorite but the only South American in a challenging position in the early stages was Carlos Reutemann of Argentina. Lauda took the lead but Reutemann, who had shown great promise without ever winning a world championship race, was right on his tail in car number seven.
Jacky Ickx's Lotus brushed team-mate Ronnie Peterson's first lap. Peterson retired with a front suspension fault and after continual trouble, Ickx finally retired after thirty three laps.
Clay Regazzoni of Switzerland is first in the world championship table. He was well in the running until engine trouble forced him out after sixty five laps. Frenchman Jean Pierre Beltois in car number fourteen shot into second place when Lauda's Ferrari dramatically stopped just three laps from the end of the two hundred mile race.
Reutemann took the lead after ten laps and he finished a whole half lap ahead of Jean-Pierre Beltois to win his first world championship race. Britain's former world motorcycle champion, Mike Hailwood, was third.
Reutemann's average speed was a hundred and sixteen point nine miles per hour. When Argentine Radio announced his win, motorists in his home town of Santa Fe drove in a cavalcade honking their horns.
Reutemann said it had been a hard race. he dedicated the win to his parents and the family of Peter Revson. The win put Reutemann in second place in the world championship table with Britain's Mike Hailwood, Denny Hulme and Emerson Fittipaldi who finished seventh.