Swiss-Italian Clay Regazzoni, in his first season on the formula One Circuit, continued the Ferrari revival with a photo-finish victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sunday (6 September).
Swiss-Italian Clay Regazzoni, in his first season on the formula One Circuit, continued the Ferrari revival with a photo-finish victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sunday (6 September). Jackie Stewart of Britain was second in a March Ford.
Austrian Jechen Rindt, killed the day before at Monza in practice, remained 20 points ahead in the world championship table after this result, and with three races remaining looks certain to become the first posthumous world champion.
The Italian Ferraris, in the shadow of their British competitors for the past two years, followed up last month's victory in the Austrian Grand Prix with a desperately close finish at Monza. Less than six seconds separated the first three, Regazzoni, Stewart and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Beltoise in his Matra-Simca.
Thirty-year-old Regazzoni finished second behind fellow Ferrari driver Jackie Ickx of Belgium in the Austrian Grand Prix - the Italian car's first World Championship triumph since the 1968 French Grand Prix.
Ickx, fastest in practice, set the early pace in the today's race-tenth in the 13-race world championship calendar. He was still ahead after 115 kilometres (71.45 miles) closely followed by Jackie Oliver of Britain in a BRM, and by Regazzoni.
But after 32 laps of the 5.75 kilometres (three-and-a-half-mile) circuit, Ickx was forced into the pits with fuel supply problems. Australian Denny Hulme, Mclaren Ford) took over the lead, but could only manage fourth place in the final scramble for the line.
Regazzoni covered the three hundred and ninety-one kilometres in one hour thirty-nine minutes, 6.8 seconds - an average speed of 236.7 kilometres per hour (147.3 miles per hour), and a race record.
Excited Italians among the 150,000 crowd cramming the stands on the hot September afternoon raced on to the track at the end of the race, lifted both Regazzoni and the Ferrari mechanics on to their shoulders and carried them away in triumph.