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Austrian GP
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March' s orange nose. Patrick kept going
with hardly any signs of damage; just a
bent corner ' of his bodywork. Vittorio
set off again the car looking naked
without its nose, without stopping at the
pits. Probably he was gambling on the
weather getting bad enough for
everybody to make a pit stop.
In fact that almost happened. There had
been an agreement beforehand that if at
any time during the race there was visible
spray the race would be stopped for a
change of tires. Now there was certainly
visible spray, which the officials could
see on their television monitors, and they
were on the point of throwing flags. But
they decided to hang on fora lap or two.
As Robert Langford, the driver's
representative, said, "Ye.s, we
disregarded our previous agreement, and
it turned out to be the right thing to do!"
For after about five laps the sprinkle
stopped and from then on the day
gradually but definitely turned dry.
On the fourth lap Peterson came out of
the Jochen Rindt curve before the Pits
better than Watson and took the lead on
speed up the hill. The Citibank March
began to pull out a little gap on the
Citibank Penske, but Watson claimed
later on that he wasn't concerned about it,
he thought conditions would keep
changing and he'd still have his speed.
Right up tight behind him were still Hunt
and Nilsson, and he wasn't concerned
about that either. But a man who did
concern him was Scheckter, for Jody was
into one ,,<;>f those fantastic race-charges
that more t han make up for poor
qualifying.
The scramble had two effects: it
. dropped Scheckter back to a narrow
fourth behind Nilsson, and ' it made
Watson get the hell out of it. On the 12th
lap, the First National Penske scratched
its way by the First National March into
the lead,. and abruptly then started
driving away at a rate that had John 2.5
seconds to the good after two laps.
Then Scheckter crashed. At the top of
the hill past the pits going into the flat-out
SCCA Happenings
As the Sports Car Club of America
competition yea.r rushes headlong tow-
ard Divisional and National champion-
ships in road racing, rallying and .solo
event together with tight battles for titles
in four professional racing series, this
summer has . been one of the usiest for
SCCA, its Regions and worker
force.
Including the August 14-15 weekend, a
total .of 52 ofa record schedule of 68
National Championship road racing
events have been conducted with SCCA
drivers seeking invitations to the year-
end, championship-deciding Champion
Spark Plug Road Racing Classic at Road
Atlanta, October 24-31. Champion classic
entry invitations will be mailed to all
National competition license holders by
August 20 with entries accepted from the
top four who enter from the six leading
points earners in 21 classes from each of
ther SCCA's seven geographic divisions.
In addition, 82 of 147 Regional race
events have been successfully conduc-
ted.
That's activity for more than 5000
SCCA-licensed drivers, race workers and
officials.
And it's been just as busy on the rally
and solo events side_of the ledger-two
Pro Rally Series events with a total 132
competitors, 12 National rallies with a
total entry of 1048, 18 Divisional rallies
attracting 1092 competitors.
On the Regional level, a total of375 solo
events have been conducted throughout
the United States with competitors shar-
pening their skills in anticipation of the
seven Divisional Solo II run-offs to be
staged later in August. This all leads up to
the big one in this rapidly-growing area
of motorsport competition-the SCCA-
British Leyland NationalSolo II Champi-
onships in Columbus, uhio on Sept. 18-19.
As one wag recently said, "It must cost
SCCA a ton of money to push that rain
cloud around the country from race to
race."
That seems to be the story of this year's
pro racing season. Inclement weather
either prior to an event-when racing .
fans are making their weekend plans"-or
on race day, has only enhanced the
competition.
Just look at the point standings for the
Formula 5000, Trans-Am, Robert Bosch
VW Gold Cup and Bilstein Scirocco
series. A two-way tie for the lead in F5000
is unheard of at this time of year. The
Road America 5000 event on August 28
and the final at Riverside International
on October 17 are going to be some shows.
The longer circuits give the morning line
advantage to Jackie Oliver ana his horse-
power-rich Shadow-Dodge, but don't
count out Brian Redman in the Boraxo
Lola or Alan Jones' Hong Kong Lola or
the American Racing Wheels Lola of Al
Up.ser.
And how about the TransAm-alive
and growing steadily. Haywood, Follmer,
Chamberlain, Javelin Jocko and
Headley-all having at it for the champi-
onship crown and a share of the SCCA's
$25,000 driver points fund.
Ditto the championship chases in the
Gold Cup and Scirocco series. Don't tell
those boys it's been a bad year-they're
too busy battling it out on road circuits to
to that kind of nonsense.
At a recent-ACCUS the SCCA
requested nirie U.S. Formula 5000 dates
for 1977, and the CASConeinCanada.But
series competitors may be in for a total of
13 races next year, the additional three,
non-championship events to be staged in
England.
During his recent visitto the U.S., John
Webb, owner of Brands Hatch, Snetterton,
Oulton Park and Mallory Park, an-
nounced at the Mid-Ohio race ' he is
negotiating to bring 15 teams and drivers
currently competing in the U.S. to Eng-
land fora three-race April 1977 series at
Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Oulton
Park. This series could well mean a
reciprocal exchange of ShellSport driv-
ers in next year's North American series.
Already competing 'from the European
series are Teddy Pilette, Peter Gethin and
most recently, current ShellSport points
leader David Purley ,driving . John Can-
non's March with LEC Refrigeration

And there are some new cars already
being constructed for next year's Trans-
Am. The builders are said to have a direct
line to Michigan so perhaps a resurgence
of factory interest in the Trans-Am can be
anticipated.
DON MAY ENTERPRISES
Please contact us for specifications
and information on single axle,
tandem axle or enclosed trailer
models.
Don May Enterprises
8209 Meadow Rd.
Suite 2136
Dallas, Texas 75231
Phone: (214) 361-5999
or 368-3903
AUGUST 21, 1976 AUTOWEEK PAGE 9
Second piace finisher Jacques Laffite trails third placer Gunnar Nilsson.
right hander _ where Mark Donohue
crashed fatally last year, the six-wheeler
suddenly turned sharp right. It rammed
the guardrail on the inside and bounced
back across the road to hit the rail on the
outside. The drivers immediately behind
were Hunt and Laffite, and they only just
got through without disaster, although
they both out the far side covered
with mud and Hunt had a damaged nose
fin. Since the Donohue crash thecorrter
had been modified slightly, with the
inside cut back a little to make a slightly
straighter (faster) line and a wider runoff
area. The catch fencing on the outside that
had balled up under the Donohue car
raising it high enough to go over the
guardrail had been completely removed
and the barrier itself was one rail higher
and had a qebris fence mounted on top.
Jody's Tyrrell was a complete writeoff,
and he got out quickly and walked back to
the pits. It was some time before anyone
noticed that he had a cut on one leg. The
cause of the crash was determined to be
front wishbone failure.
The race continued, but in a stabilized
condition, while the wreckage was
cleared, then Watson started pulling
away again. Similarly Nilsson overtook
Peterson for second and began to ease
away too. The situation was that it was
now completely dry, with bright sun
shining, besides his car not handling
quite so well, Ronnie was having brake
'troubles: "I started to get, pad knock-off,
and lwas having to pump them up ateach
corner."
Other people were having troubles too.
Depailler's Tyrrell suddenly had a
suspension failure of its own, but because
he was able to catch the car and stop it
without further damage, it was pos'sible
to determine that his and Scheckter's cars
had broken the identical wishbone, the
Continued On Next Page
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