INTRODUCTION Motor racing, and World Champion James Hunt of Britain on Thursday (3 March) clinched the coveted pole position for Saturday's South African Grand Prix.
INTRODUCTION Motor racing, and World Champion James Hunt of Britain on Thursday (3 March) clinched the coveted pole position for Saturday's South African Grand Prix. Hunt, driving last year's championship-winning Mclaren M23, lagged behind his rivals until the last stages of Thursday's final practice session, then put on a tremendous spurt to record the fastest lap of one minute 15.96 seconds. However, it was another Briton -- Tom Pryce -- who clocked the fastest time on Wednesday's (2 March) practice session.
SYNOPSIS: The drivers had to contend with a rain-soaked track at South Africa's Kyalami circuit. Switzerland's Clay Regazzoni finished 12th and Austria's Niki Lauda was second fastest in his Ferrari.
West Germany's Hans Stuck, filling in for injured March driver Ian Scheckter of South Africa, made a big impression. He finished third.
Austria's Hans Binder found the wet conditions less congenial, however, and clocked in 13th at one minute 35.51 seconds.
Britain's Tom Pryce surprised the opposition by setting the pace at this first official practice. The 27-year-old driver, who has never won a Grand Prix, clocked one minute 31.57 seconds.
Pryce was almost a full second ahead of his nearest rival, Niki Lauda. For many of the drivers it was more like water-skiing than motor racing, with at least 10 centimetres of water on one corner. West Germany's Hans Stuck described the conditions as "appalling", a view which was no doubt shared by Lauda, who pulled out of last year's Japanese Grand Prix because of the dangerously wet conditions.