Belgian motor racing champion, Teddy Pilette, failed on Sunday (19 October) to win the final race in this season's Formula 5000 Championship....
Belgian motor racing champion, Teddy Pilette, failed on Sunday (19 October) to win the final race in this season's Formula 5000 Championship....but gained enough points when he came in second to become the 1975 Shellsport 5000 European Champion.
Pilette was the 1973 champion and was strongly favoured to take this season's title.
In sunday's event Pilette drove a cautious race apparently taking no chances on losing his leading place in the championship. He came in second to Britain's Peter Gethin, a Lola team mate.
For the first few laps of the race it seemed the Belgian might win the final race as well. He roared away at the start but after five laps his anxiety to avoid straining his Lola model car showed and team mate Gethin overtook him.
Gethin in his Lola, kept the lead from then to win the race and take second place overall in the championship.
Gethin won the race at an average speed of 112.11 miles per hour (180.41 kilometres per hour).
One of the other top contenders for this year's championship, Australian Alan Jones, drove his vehicle to the utmost limits of its capacity to lower the lap record at Brands Hatch from one minute 24.2 seconds to one minute 22.8 seconds. But clutch trouble later forced him out of the race.
SYNOPSIS: The world famous Brands Hatch motor racing circuit near London on Sunday before the final race of the nineteen-seventy-five Formula Five-thousand Championship. Britain's Peter Gethin in a Lola waits for the flag.
Australian, Alan Jones, was another top contender for the championship.
A large crowd was there for the final race. Belgian champion Teddy Pilette was ahead on points in the Championship so far and he was soon vying for the lead with British driver Bob Evans in car one hot in pursuit. But Pilette's team mate, Peter Gethin in car number two was determined to forge ahead.
Another British driver who fought hard was Mike Wilds in car number forty-four. But after the sixth lap Gethin took the lead from Pilette.
It appeared that Pilette may have played safe for fear his Lola modal car would be overstrained and Gethin was a Lola team mate.
So it was Peter Gethin, who took the chequered flag and first place in the race.
Pilette finished second...but it was enough and his careful driving enabled him to become the overall winner of the Shellsport European Formula Five Thousand Championship.
Pilette had previously won the Championship in Nineteen-seventy-three....but said this year's win was "the thrill of a lifetime". Although he had won the actual race Peter Gethin had to be content to look on. His turn for rewards came soon after as he was presented with the winner's traditional garland of flowers....and a weighty cheque.