New Zealand's Denis Hulme, in a McLaren, won the 200-mile (320 klm) Argentine Formula One Grand Prix in Buenos Aires on Sunday (13 January).
New Zealand's Denis Hulme, in a McLaren, won the 200-mile (320 klm) Argentine Formula One Grand Prix in Buenos Aires on Sunday (13 January). But he only came through into the lead in the 51st of the 53 laps when Argentina's Carlos Reutemann, who had led for most of the race, began to run out of fuel. At one stage, Reutemann was half a minute ahead of Hulme and appeared unbeatable. After falling back into second place, the Argentine driver finally ran out of petrol in the last half-lap of the race.
Hulme told reporters he was very glad to have won; but admitted he had not really hoped to be able to attack Reutemann's lead.
The brilliant performance of Reutemann's new Brabham -- until it developed the air in-take problem which caused it to use too much fuel -- surprised many experts watching the race. Some now predict it will be a major challenge in future races for the 1974 World Championship.
Niki Lauda of Austria was second in a Ferrari and Clay Regazzoni of Switzerland was third in another Ferrari. Britain's Mike Hailwood in a McClaren was fourth and was followed by Jean Pierre Beltoise of France in a BRM.
A crowd of more than 100,000 packed the Admiral Brown Park to see the race. Most were bitterly disappointed when Reutemann had to drop out.
Hulme's winning time was one hour 41 minutes 2.01 seconds -- an average speed of 116.71 m.p.h. (187.847 k.p.h.)
The second world championship event of the season will be held at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 27 January.
SYNOPSIS: The cars come out on Sunday for the first World Championship race of the nineteen seventy-four motor-racing season.
It's the Argentine Formula One Grand Prix in the Admiral Brown Park, Buenos Aires.
New Zealand's Denis Hulme, who was to win, is followed by Carlos Reutemann of Argentina. Another leading contender--former world champion Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil.
It was to be a fine race for Niki Laude of Austria.
Watching was Juan Fangio, five times world champion, nearest the camera.
Security was very tight for the race.
Clay Re??? of Switzerland--one of the formidable Ferrari team.
The drivers faced fifty three laps of the three-point-seven-mile circuit.
One-hundred-thousand fans cheered as the cars pulled away and roared down the first straight with Ronnie Peterson of Sweden in the pole position. He had the fastest practice lap.
To the delight of the crowd Carlos Reutemann of Argentina took an early lead--a lead he was to hold for fifty laps.
At one stage he was thirty seconds ahead, and many were amazed at the speed of his new car.
The crowd was disappointed at Reutemann's bad luck. Afterwards Hulme admitted he had not really hoped to attack Reutemann's commanding lead. Regazzoni was third. But experts predicted that Reutemann's British Brabham would be a major challenge in this year's World Championship.