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AUTOWEEK

MARCH 13, 1976


SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX, KYAlAMI. SOUTH AFRICA. MARCH 7:1976 ENTRY & QUALIFYING I-James Hunt, Mclaren Ford. 1:16.10 for an average speed of 120.564mph; 2-Nlki lauda. Ferrari 312T.l:16.20; 3-John Watson . Penske PC3-Ford. 1:16.43; 4-Jochen Mass. Mclaren M23-Ford. 1:16.45; 5-Vittorio Brambilla. March 761-Ford. 1:16.64; 6-Patrick Depailier. Tyrrell 007-Ford. 1:16.77; 7-Tom Pryce. Shadow DN5Ford.1:16.S4; 8-Jacques lafitte.ligler JS5-Matra.l :16.8S; 9-Clay RegazzoOi . Ferrari 312T. l :16.94; 10-Ronnie Peterson. March 761Ford. 1:17.03; ll-Carlos Reutemann. Brabham BT45-Alfa. 1:l7.09; 12-Jody Scheckter. Tyrrell 007-Ford. 1:17.18; 13-Mario Andretti . Parnell I VPHB-Ford. 1:17.25; 14-Carlos Pace. Brabham BT45Alia. 1:17 .i6; 15-Jean-Pierre-Jarier. Shadow DN5-Ford. 1:17.35; IG-Ian Sheckter. Tyrrell 007-Ford .l:17.40; 17-Hans Stuck. March 7GI-Ford. 1:17.44; 18-Chris Amon . Ensign MN-02-Ford. 1:17.73: 19-Jacky Ickx. Williams FW05-Ford. 1:IS.13; 20-Brett Lunger. Surtees TSI9-Ford. 1:18.3G; 21-Emerson Fittipaldi. FittipaldiFord. 1:1S_ 40; 22-Michel leclere. Williams FW05-Ford. 1:18.S2; 23 -Bob Evans. JPS-Ford. 1:19.35; 24-Harald Ertl. Hesketh 308B-' Ford. 1:22.11; 25-Gunnar Nilsson. JPS-Ford. 1:22.70. RESULTS l-lauda. 78 laps in 1:42:18.4 for an average speed of llG.b5mph; 2-Hunt. 78. 1:42 :19.7; 3-Mass. 78; 4-J. Scheckter. 78; 5-Watson. 77; 6-Andretti. 77; 7-Pryce. 77; 8-Brambilla. 77; 9Depailler. 77; 10-Evans. 77 ; ll-lunger. 77; 12-Stuck. 76; 13Leclere. 7G; 14-Amon. 7G; 15-Erll. 74; 16-lckx. 73; 17-Fittipaldi. 70. engine; IS-Regazzoni. 52. engine; 19-1affite. 49. engine; 20Jarier. 28. radiator damage; 21-Pace. 22, engine; 22 -Nilsson . 18. . clutch; 23 -Reutemann. 16. engine; 24-Peterson. 15. crash with Depailler; 25-1 Scheckter. O . crash with leclere. Fastest lap: Lauda. lap G. 1:17.94. 117.71Smph.

S. African GP
Continued From Page 1 Fast he was still, but Hunt was faster. In each of the three sessions that counted for grid positions the Marlboro McLaren was the fastest car on the track. By one tenth of a second, finally, James established himself upon the second GP pole position of his career in as many appearances for his new team. All he had to do now was contrive to outdrag the Ferrari into Crowthorne corner. A bit of a challenge for a Ford, these days. For dramatic tension we will now flash back to the evening of the last practice day. two days before (the Saturday race was, as last year, preceded by a few days for the mechanics to thoroughly prep their cars), and pan along the row of garages until we come to a pair of men who, we realize, are responsible for the management of the two cars which have won places on the second row of the grid. It's Alastair Caldwell of McLaren, the sort of crew-chief who doubles as manager of Jochen Mass in race matters-Teddy Mayer takes care of James Hunt-and Heinz Hofer of the Penske team. They are gleefully engaged in that verbal jabbing and counterpunching which is so much a part of GP life. They are savoring a scene of a few moments before in the tower amongst the official timers. The grid sheet has come out and it shows John Watson's Citibank Penske third fastest overall, with 1:16.43 to Mass' 1:16.45. Caldwell has trotted along upstairs to see if maybe he can't improve his man's prospects a little, and Hofer has run after him to guard Watson's position. Together they have poured over the official records, and lo-and-behold Caldwell has found a lap for Mass, missed by the official who extracted best times, of 1:16.41. He has with a polite smile pOinted this out to the official. The official has, like officials everywhere, attempted to preserve his dignity by refusing to discuss the matter. The two managers have come back down the stairs. Now Hofer with a congratulatory, if somewhat strained, smile is telling Caldwell that he has kept his eye on him and seen him running back up the stairs. "You told me you weren't going to press it!" Caldwell, face wreathed in the smile of a cat with feathers in its fur, comes back with the placating information that he wasn't able to press it anyway. "When I got up there again they'd put the times away, wouldn't let me see 'em. Said they'd gbt the right time in the first place, the grid stands, go. away. But I've been thinking anyway that Jochen's better off where he is behind Niki. Niki's never been known to make a bad start yet!" Alastair's grin was at its broadest. Heinz' was faded quite away. Engines roistering all together in the thin Highveldt air, the 25 cars rolled into their places on the grid. Exercising his prerogative as pole man, Hunt moved over to the pitward side of the track, opposite the normal , Kyalami pole position, hoping for the best possible run into the first turn. Lauda rolled alongside

Carlos Reutemann (7) was pressed by Andretti (27) into an early retirement.

Chris Mullen

to the left. Following their lead, as was proper, Watson changed overtoo,placing the Penske actually closer to the pit rail than was the McLaren ahead. Mass formed up behind the gap between Hunt and Lauda. But the third row-Vittorio Brambilla in the Beta March and Patrick Depailler in the Elf Tyrrell-didn't get the message and they lined up in the "standard" grid arrangement, Brambilla in echelon formation to the left behind Mass, directly behind Lauda. The very young South African Broadcasting Corporation got a great tape of the start which was shown a couple of times that night. It shows the pack straining at the leash, waiting for

the precise instant when the green starting light would flash. It shows Brambilla's orange nose lifting abruptly a good second before any other car moves-and then dipping again as Vittorio realizes he's too flagrantly jumped the start. But he's still rolling and as the other 48 back wheels blur into motion the March is forging steadily forward amongst them. So is the Ferrari. Hunt and Lauda have let their clutch feet out together, but J ames has just a few too many revs on and the McLaren scrabbles away its pole position with wheelspin. Into the gap between the two comes Mass' nosepiece, and Watson starts around the pits side of

Hunt. But he's not making as good a start as Depailler behind, and as the cars, all leaving broad arcing smears of black rubber, begin to move down the hill their initial orderly arrangement has blurred. It's the Ferrari ahead, Mass' McLaren a very close second-alongside and almost a nose ahead as they clear the end of the pits but falling back slightly as the Ferrari engine comes in strong-and Brambilla tucking in third. Hunt, rolling properly now, is fourth but Depailler is just off his inside quarter and still gaining. It's a shocking tape. Somehow you never realize how frightening is a standing mass start until you see it on a screen later. The Kyalami screen this time was crammed from edge to edge with Continued On Next Page

Americans Win Points In South Africa


John Watson earned himself an outstanding second row starting spot in his third race with the First National Bank Penske team. Whether or not he actually beat Jochen Mass, who was awarded actual fourth ppsition on the grid was a matter of two hundredths of a second either way. Watson had been doing fine work ever since the first day in South Africa, and he was one of the quickest runners all during the Goodyear tire tests that preceded the Grand Prix. As racing will, however, it all deteriorated somewhat in the race. Partially as a result of James Hunt's sluggish start, partially by himself not getting off well, the Irishman fell back to 13th place by the end of the first lap. Driving thereafter as hard as he could, handicapped by an oversteer caused possibly by incorrect rear tire pressures and also by his brake bal.ance giving too much onto the rear wheels, he brought the PC3 home fifth for his and Roger Penske's first points of the year. There will be more. Mario Andretti arrived to drive what all the F-1 regulars agreed was the most beautiful car on the garage. Last year's Watkins Glen Parnelli updated with coil spring suspension all around and new posterior bodywork, the VPJ-4B had not only that essential "rightness" of design but typically superb workmanship as well. And, despite a duff engine through most of practice, (legacy of an overheating problem on the initial run) it was quick. Mario qualified amidst the solid bulk of the entry and stayed wi th the mainstream in the race until the engine went off song after some 20 laps. The hectic events of the latter part of the race brought him up to sixth by the end-a decent championship point for the initial 1976 outing of the car across the nose of which Vel Miletich has caused to be painted, "Happy Birthday, America!" Tom Pryce had missed the entire test weelr because of influenza, but he came out better than Jean Pierre J arier once the official GP weekend started. The Shadows were carrying red Lucky Strike emblems for this race, and Tom, from the middle of the grid, was showing them brightly in fourth place quite early in the race when a flat rear tire forced him into the pits. Its replacement caused some oversteer, which coupled with locking front brakes made his eventual seventh place behind the other two American cars good "indeed. Meanwhile poor J arier, who had done the testing (in Tom's car), had a practice bedeviled by handling, brake, and fuel system bothers-and a race that ended when a large stone bashed a leak in his right side radiator. Brett Lunger with the Chesterfieldcolored Surtees spend the entire Goodyear test week getting thoroughly acclimatized with the car, the team, the track and F-l , but he showed more than simply well learned lessons by his spirited attack late in the race on Bob Evans' JPS. Earlier Brett had made a mistake: he selected the wrong gear on the start line and lost about ten seconds as the field took off without him. Then for the early laps the car itself was suffering from a mistake on the part of the team: the fuel overflow breather had been innocently routed into the engine airbox, so un til the tank level dropped the S urtees stuttered along with a too-rich mixture. Hard physical work brought him ever closer to Evans' ill-handling type 77 Lotus, and eleventh place by scant fractions of a second by the end.

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Amon Climbs Back Up


Mo Nunn and Chris Amon came to Kyalami simply to play themselves back into the game. Their Ensign, pending completion of a new car for Long Beach, was the "old nail" of 1974. Chrissie himself was only just recovering from the damage to his foot caused by the traffic accident right after last fall's Long Beach race. That's been quite a saga-gangrene, partial amputation, skin grafts, and three months in bed. "It's only been these last two weeks that I've been able to walk properly," he said, complaining of being out of shape. Qualifying 18th of 25, Amon put in one of the most stirring drives of the race, holding off people like Depailler, Fittipaldi, and Pryce and running behind Andretti in a position that would have been seventh overall had not the Ensign started to run out of gas with three laps to go.

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