On Saturday (4 March) 26 of the world's fastest racing cars will take part in the 11th South African Grand Prix at the Kyalami track just north of Johannesburg.
On Saturday (4 March) 26 of the world's fastest racing cars will take part in the 11th South African Grand Prix at the Kyalami track just north of Johannesburg. In the last few days, all the entrants have been putting themselves and their cars through their paces in official practice session on the two-and-half mile circuit.
SYNOPSIS: The practice runs have not been without disruptions. World champion Niki Lauda stormed angrily from the track on Wednesday (1 March) complaining it was not safe. Later a practice was cancelled and extra safety barriers were erected.
One car that has attracted attention is the Saudia Williams-Ford which is sponsored by Saudi Airlines. It will be driven by Australian Alan Jones, making his debut at Kyalami. During Thursday's (2 March) practice, Jones crashed an extensively damaged the car. But he was unhurt and a spare car will be used.
All eyes will be on top drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi, Niki Lauda and Swedish driver Ronnie Peterson, all of whom have clocked good practice times. Lauda hopes for a win after setting the best time on Wednesday.
Lauda, the man who almost died in the German Grand prix two years ago, has dominated these practices in his Brabham Alfa Romeo. In the first practice session, he sliced two-and-half-seconds off the top lap record.
But he faces some stiff opposition from men like Mario Andretti, who will be driving the latest Mark Four Lotus on Saturday.
Jean-Pierre Jebouille, driving a Turbo Renault.
And the popular English driver James Hunt, fourth last year. He notched up third fastest time in Wednesday's practice session in his Marlboro-McLaran Ford.