1973 South African Grand Prix race report
Controversial Stewart victory
KYALAMI, March 3rd.
JACKIE STEWART will remember his win in the 1973 South African Grand Prix for a long time. After a frightening crash in practice, following total brake failure on his own machine, he took over team-mate Cevert’s Tyrrell but only qualified on the seventh row of the grid. With only seven laps of the race completed the Scot was in the lead and he was never challenged from then on and he finished up the winner by over twenty seconds from Revson’s McLaren. But a good deal happened in those six laps. At the start of the third lap an accident occurred at Crowthome Bend which put four cars out of the race. One of the drivers, Clay Regazzoni, was trapped in his BRM, which was on fire, and it was only thanks to the extreme bravery of Mike Hailwood, who was also involved in the accident, that the Swiss driver’s life was saved.
It took over three laps to extricate Regazzoni from the wreckage and, while this was taking place, Stewart moved up from seventh to first place. One of the reasons was that Denny Hulme’s McLaren M23 ran over some of the wreckage and had to make a pit stop for a puncture, thus losing the New Zealander first place. But Stewart was alleged to have passed at least three cars under the yellow or white flag including Jody Scheckter, the young South African who had moved into a sensational lead, in his second only Grand Prix, when Hulme made his pit stop. Immediately the race was over, the recriminations started and McLaren’s Teddy Mayer filed an official protest against Stewart’s tactics. The stewards of the meeting listened to the various sides of the story and, after due consideration, severely reprimanded Stewart who nevertheless had denied the allegations. He remained the winner. One wonders had it been Regazzoni, Reutemann, Scheckter or someone like that who had committed the same offence, whether the decision would have been disqualification from the race. In fact, in the saloon car race that followed the Grand Prix, a driver was disqualified for over-taking under a yellow flag. All this aside it should be said that Stewart drove superbly to win, although the story may have been different had Hulme not had to make the pit stop. John Player-Team Lotus made something of a miscalculation with the angle at which they set their rear wings and in so doing lost out on sheer straight line speed. Emerson Fittipaldi had to be content with third place, although in the closing stages, he set up a new lap record and very nearly caught Revson. With three rounds of the World Championship now run, the series enters its European section with the Brazilian only three championship points ahead of Stewart while, in the Constructors’ Championship, Lotus lead Tyrrell by a single point.
South Africa is always a popular race with the Grand Prix circus, for the 24-mile Kyalami track although a little short is fast and interesting while the race’s promoter Alex Blignaut is a true professional who does a tremendous job. The weather, of course, is also an attraction although this year the majority of the Grand Prix set already have a tan following the two earlier races in South America. Blignaut by-passed the political squabbles between the Constructors and the circuit owners, represented by Henri Treu’s GPI, by offering a prize fund that no one would sneer at. Prospects for the race looked good a month before the event with Ferrari, Brabham and McLaren all intending to bring their new models, while the new Shadow and Ensign teams were scheduled to make their first public appearances. Racing cars rarely seem to be finished on time and, in the end, the new Brabham BT42 wasn’t completed, the Ferrari was tested prior to the race in Italy and it was decided to leave it home for further development, while the Ensign project for Rikki von Opel was severely hampered when new and larger premises fell through at the last moment and the car consequently was still in a multitude of bits and pieces in a cramped workshop.
In contrast McLaren Racing were ready with their new car, the McLaren M23, and were confident that it was a race winner from the word go. On its very first test day Denny Hulme had lapped Goodwood quicker than in his well-sorted M19 and then the new car was shipped to South Africa, after being proudly shown to the press. Shadow also made it to South Africa after crying off from the first two races and, in between, they had tested extensively at Paul Ricard. But it was soon evident at Kyalami that there was plenty more work needed before the car can be regarded as a potential race winner.
The rest of the field was made up of the majority of the competitors seen in Brazil plus some replacement cars sent out from Europe while two locally owned Formula Ones completed the 26 on the entry list. John Player-Team Lotus were Nos. 1 and 2 on the programme with cars for Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson, and again chassis 72/7 and 72/8 were on hand. The two earlier works cars are back at Hethel, being stripped and rebuilt to comply with the new safety regulations which come into force at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Elf Team Tyrrell likewise had their usual pair of 1972 models for Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert and were numbered 3 and 4. The next three places were taken by Yardley-Team McLaren. Hulme was driving the brand new M23, Revson had his usual M19, while their “apprentice” Jody Scheckter was given his third Formula One chance in this, his home country. He had Hulme’s regular M19C, which had won this race a year ago. Although the team did not bring it to the circuit they also had the original M19A/1 on hand in South Africa in case of emergencies.
One of the biggest disappointments was that Ferrari’s new 83 model did not arrive at Kyalami. Thus the team fielded two of their regular B2 models for Jacky Ickx and Arturo Merzario. Ickx retained chassis No. 5, which he raced in South America, while No. 8 went back to Modena and was replaced by No. 6.
The various arms of Teams Surtees entered no less than four cars. As usual Mike Hailwood and Carlos Pace were in their regular TS14As while Andrea de Adamich made his first appearance of the year with his faithful TS9B, which served him adequately last year. Then, less than a week before the race, John Surtees entered the prototype TS14 for himself to drive. But the team was really rather short of mechanics to handle four cars, so the idea of racing was scratched.
The mini March Formula One effort was unchanged from the previous two races, with the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jarier handling the official STP entry and Mike Beuttler hopefully continuing with the stockbroker sponsored similar 721G. Motor Racing Developments Ltd. were again represented by their South American pairing of Carlos Reutemann and Wilson Fittipaldi and, with the Brabham BT42 unfinished, they relied on the safety clad BT37s. Marlboro-BRM were at their usual three-car strength with the regular P160s for Clay Regazzoni and Jean-Pierre Beltoise while a chassis not previously used this year, No. 4, was brought out for Lauda in replacement for No. 5 which was returned to Bourne. In testing, however, Regazzoni tried the Lancia car and decided he liked the feel of it more than his own, so he swopped BRMs.
The Frank Williams team had their normal pair of Iso Marlboros, as they call them, but were short of a driver as Nanni Galli had broken a leg testing an Abarth sports car at Vallelunga. So Howden Ganley’s new teammate turned out to be local driver, Jackie Pretorius, who had raced his own Brabham BT26 in the Grand Prix two years ago.
A brand new name on the entry list was that of Nichols AVS Inc. Shadow Cars. The Universal Oil Products sponsored team is the brainchild of an American called Don Nichols, who has already run a similar Can-Am venture for UOP. As has already been mentioned in these pages Nichols has chosen Tony Southgate to design the car and Alan Rees to run the team while Nichols himself remains in overall charge. None of the mechanics on the team have worked in Formula One before, although some are widely experienced, but a couple are completely new to motor racing. There is no doubt that this is no shoe-string effort for the team is tremendously well equipped and the whole outfit looks thoroughly professional.
The team so far have two cars, complete numbered DN1/1A and DN1/2A respectively for Jackie Oliver and George Follmer. The cars vary in the width of the inside dimension of the monocoque as Follmer’s hips are rather wider than Oliver’s, but otherwise the sinister black cars, described elsewhere in this issue are similar. For Oliver it is his return to a full-time Grand Prix seat after an absence of over two years, for Follmer this race was his first in Formula One, although as the reigning Can-Am and TransAm Champion he is vastly experienced in many forms of racing and a most worthy addition to the Grand Prix circus.
Completing the entry were the two cars from Lucky Strike Racing, although actually prepared completely separately. One was the Lotus 72 of three times South African F1 Champion Dave Charlton who took part in three European Grands Prix last year and the other was Tyrrell 004 which is now owned by Alex Blignaut and driven by South African F5000 Champion Eddie Keizan. Since the car was raced to seventh place in the US Grand Prix by Patrick Depailler it has been fitted with Lockheed brakes. Both the local cars were absolutely immaculate in the red and white Lucky Strike colour scheme.
Practice was spread over seven and a half hours of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but, before this, many of the teams had been testing at the track as it is available free of charge to any Formula One cars that might like to use it. In fact, this spate of testing really started before the Argentine Grand Prix when both Firestone and Goodyear held tyre testing sessions at Kyalami. The Lotuses of Peterson and Fittipaldi both circulated around 1 min. 16.7 sec. and so did Hailwood and this was obviously the time everyone would aim for, although the lap record actually stood to Dave Charlton whose best of 1 min. 18.74 sec. was recorded in a national race last year. McLaren Racing arrived with the new M23 ten days before the race and soon set a new standard. Hulme was delighted with the car and lapped in 1 min. 16.2 sec. during this unofficial testing. Quite a few other teams joined in before official practice but no one approached Hulme’s time. Shadow were learning a number of answers including the fact that the body was not securely enough fastened and on one occasion the main piece of fibreglass flew off on the straight giving Oliver a very nasty shock.
The official timed practice commenced at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday and immediately Hulme started to show that the testing times were genuine; which was hardly a surprise. What was not expected was a complete domination by the McLaren team. With half an hour of the session gone, the first three fastest cars were McLarens with Scheckter’s speed belying his inexperience and proving that he is a real natural in the Fangio/Clark/ Stewart mould. By the end of the three hours it was still McLaren, McLaren, McLaren with Holm fastest at 1 min. 16.42 sec. Revson on 1 min. 16.72 sec. and Scheckter on 1 min. 16.87 sec. Everyone else lapped in 1 min. 17 sec. or more. In fact the Lotuses were the next fastest with times of 1 min. 17 sec. for Fittipaldi and 1 min. 17.04 sec. for Peterson, after some very dramatic opposite lock motoring from both the John Player drivers. Stewart was trying various combinations on his car and finished up sixth fastest at 1 min. 17.18 sec., while five more cars were all very close behind. Several teams were struggling including Shadow. Jack Oliver lapped in a respectable 1 min. 17.64 sec. but then an engine mount pulled away from the chassis while Follmer’s engine blew up, after only two laps, as did Charlton’s. The Shadow problem was obviously fairly serious and both chassis were strengthened and they both missed Thursday’s session. Neither Ferrari looked very competitive and Team Surtees were trying hard to approach the times obtained in private testing and Hailwood’s car looked particularly skittish.
On Thursday it was very much a matter of the local boy making good for Scheckter improved to 1 min. 16.77 sec. to be fastest for most of this hot session. But in the final hour lightning flashed across the sky and, ten miles away in Johannesburg, it was obviously torrenting down. The air suddenly cooled off and it was in the closing minutes that Team Lotus chose to knock the McLarens off their pinnacle. They very nearly succeeded, but the times hung out by the pit crew were a trifle optimistic with Peterson recording an official 1 min. 16.44 sec. to almost knock Hulme off pole, with Fittipaldi a trifle slower. Both Hulme and Revson were inside 1 min. 17 sec. again, but neither was as fast as Scheckter. Reutemann and Cevert both improved into the 1 mi. 16 sec. bracket but Stewart was struggling rather with the old wing set-up and new suspension while Cevert had the opposite. lckx tried Merzario’s Ferrari, liked it better, and lapped in 1 min. 17.16 sec. but did not improve the next day when he stuck with this car and Merzario took his over.
Friday’s session was only an hour and a half long but it was action packed all through with Stewart making the headlines. He now had his wing set back and immediately his times started to fall. He recorded a 1 min. 16.33 sec. lap which would have been good for pole position if only Hulme hadn’t further improved to 1 min. 16.28 sec. Stewart’s glory was short-lived for, a couple of laps after his quick time, he braked for the corner at the end of the straight, where the cars are touching 175 m.p.h., and the pedal went straight to the floor due to a hydraulic failure. It could have ended in a terrible accident but the Scot was able to spin the car and then disappeared backwards through three layers of chain link fence which he himself advised to be placed at that spot. The car came to rest looking rather sorry for itself but Stewart was unhurt. He walked back and for the last half an hour was installed in Cevert’s car. The closing minutes of the session saw some desperate efforts with Scheckter again staggering everyone with a 1 min. 16.43 sec. Fittipaldi had lowered his time to 1 min. 16.41 sec. but then the rear subframe broke so his chance of snatching pole position came to naught. Hulme had a leaking water radiator so was unable to defend his fastest time, much as he wanted to because never in his Grand Prix career had he ever started from pole position. In the closing minutes some very fast times came from Regazzoni, while Beltoise was not much slower either, and Lauda was far from disgraced. Peterson tried desperately to save Lotus honour but couldn’t improve on his previous time while Revson had to sit the whole session out while a mechanical fuel pump was replaced on his engine. Then the flag was hung out, it was all over. One immediately realised the closeness of the whole plot. Timing to one hundredth of a second always tends to confuse but a look at the grid will reveal that the first five cars were separated by only one fifth of a second and the first thirteen were covered by a mere second. Racing can get no closer than that.
The grid looked particularly healthy for McLaren Racing with Denny Hulme sitting on pole position, for the first time in his long Grand Prix career, with the brand new M23 model. On the outside of the front row, sandwiching Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus 72, was McLaren’s No. 3 driver Jody Scheckter, in his second ever Grand Prix.
On row two was Ronnie Peterson’s Lotus and Clay Regazzoni’s BRM thanks to his final five minute burst at the end of the session, after various engine problems on the previous two days of practice. These five were closer than any Formula Three grid. On the third row was Revson’s McLaren, the Beltoise BRM and Reutemann’s Brabham while on the fourth rank was Pace’s Surtees and Lauda in the third BRM. Row five contained Ickx’s Ferrari, Hailwood’s Surtees and local man Charlton, who finally sorted out his Lotus when he screwed one of the works team’s engine in the back of it. These leading thirteen were all covered by 0.9 sec.
The rest were not quite in the same race with Jack Oliver’s first day time with the Shadow good enough for row six with Merzario while right back on row seven, in 16th fastest position, was Jackie Stewart with Cevert’s Tyrrell. Wilson Fittipaldi and JeanPierre Jarier could tell their friends that they started alongside Stewart. The rest were spread out behind with Cevert given a spot right at the back if Stewart’s wreckage could be repaired in time. This the Tyrrell team did but, because of lack of parts, had to convert it back to the old suspension and rear wing set-up and fit outboard front brakes.
All the papers and radio were absolutely full of the race and a huge crowd estimated at 91,000 turned up as usual to watch what is generally regarded as one of South Africa’s premier sporting events of the year. A couple of action-packed supporting events kept everyone amused while the mechanics put the finishing touches to the Formula One cars, some of which had taken part in an early morning check-up session. Revson was in trouble again, this time when first gear had disintegrated and damaged the gearbox. A bearing had to be replaced in the rear suspension of Reutemann’s Brabham, Beltoise’s car was having a new engine fitted while the Tyrrell mechanics had done a fantastic allnight job of repairing 005 for Cevert to race.
As the 3 o’clock start time approached and the cars were ready in the pit road to be driven round to the grid, it again became much cooler and, dramatically, lightning cut across the sky. A tropical storm was approaching and, as the 25 Grand Prix machines lined up on the grid, odd spots of rain set everyone scurrying for rain tyres. These storms tend to be very local but also very intense flooding everywhere with water within a matter of minutes and then passing over. Wisely the Clerk of the Course decided to delay the start and let the storm pass over. After forty minutes it was obvious that it was by-passing the circuit completely and so everyone lined up on the grid again, with Oliver a late-corner as his Shadow had wet all its plugs.
Finally the South African flag was raised and dropped and the front row all screamed off as one with Fittipaldi just getting half a length’s advantage as the cars disappeared out of sight of the pits. Regazzoni from row two completely screwed up his start and somehow got behind Beltoise, who then had his clutch lose all its grip and the two BRMs had nearly everyone pass them. Ickx also made a very bad start and Oliver swooped around him in the dirt off the circuit.
The front row arrived at Crowthorne at the end of the straight almost three abreast with Hulme coming out of the corner first ahead of Scheckter with Fittipaldi third and Revson fourth. That was the way they completed the first lap with Peterson fifth, Reutemann sixth while Charlton had moved up to seventh place after an excellent start. Mike Hailwood, Wilson Fittipaldi, Arturo Merzario completed the first ten while Stewart was already up to eleventh place leading Jarier, Lauda, Follmer and the rest with Ickx and Regazzoni right near the back. Beltoise immediately came into the pits and his clutch was adjusted but nothing could really be done, and after two more laps, he retired. Hulme looked in command right from the beginning and as he swept by at the start of the third lap he had already opened about three seconds on team-mate Scheckter. Then came Fittipaldi, Peterson and Revson. Next up was Reutemann, with Charlton desperately trying to outbrake him down into Crowthorne. But the South African was trying a little too hard and he got completely sideways on the outside of the corner and Mike Hailwood ran over his nose and in the process spun himself, finishing up backwards. Charlton managed to motor off towards the pits and the majority of the field passed by without further incident. Then all of a sudden Regazzoni arrived on the scene, possibly out of control already, due to a puncture or, possibly, after contact with Ickx. He slammed into the rear of Hailwood’s car chopping off a rear wheel while the BRM split down the side of the monocoque as if by a tin opener and burst into flames, with Hailwood’s car also catching alight, lckx stopped further round the corner, out of the race with a damaged wheel. The onboard extinguisher doused the Surtees fire and Hailwood was out of the car in a second. But Regazzoni was slumped back in his cockpit unconscious and the marshals, mainly in short trouser safari suits, showed their lack of training and made only vain attempts to fight the fire and save Regazzoni. Not so Mike Hailwood who leapt into the fire without any tear for his own safety and managed to undo the Swiss’s safety belts before the flames beat him back as he tried, unaided, to drag Regazzoni from the car. Hailwood’s overalls were now on fire but they were put out by a marshal while other marshals managed to bring Regazzoni’s fire briefly under control. The new high-speed fire engine, which had been proudly presented to the club, had still not moved. Hailwood with the help of a marshal managed to drag Regazzoni from the crumpled wreck and then the fire engine and ambulance arrived.
The Swiss was bruised and battered but fortunately the only burns were to his hands and he can thank Mike Hailwood for his life. He was rushed to hospital but was able to leave for Switzerland a few days later. Meanwhile the race had continued. On lap four HuIme sustained a puncture as a result of running over the wreckage and so did Howden Ganley in one of Williams’ cars. Hulme’s pit stop naturally lost him the lead and after only two more laps he stopped again for another tyre to be changed re-starting in 19th place. Scheckter was now in the lead. Stewart’s progress in those first few actionpacked laps was spectacular to say the least. Passing the Hailwood/Charlton spin moved Stewart up to seventh spot and he passed Reutemann before the end of the next lap.
By lap seven the Scot was in front and while Fittipaldi said he was passed out of the vicinity of the accident Peterson, Revson and Scheckter, who led his home Grand Prix for two laps, all reckoned that they had been overtaken under rather dubious circumstances, and this was what led to the protest.
With the fires now out and the wreckage all pushed out of the way the race continued with Stewart slamming home his advantage with a succession of fast laps which pulled him away from the other group. Already a fantastic battle for second place had formed up with Scheckter, the new boy, leading the World Champion, Fittipaldi; his American McLaren senior Peter Revson; and wonder boy Ronnie Peterson. In fact, on lap eleven, Revson overtook Fittipaldi on the main straight to take second place.
In sixth position was Reutemann followed by Lauda’s BRM, with Merzario eighth ahead of Jarier in the works March, Pace (who had been badly baulked at the start), Wilson Fittipaldi whose engine had gone off song, de Adamich, Follmer, Beuttler and the rest. Cevert was another who had a puncture but the rest of his race was punctuated by pit stops to attempt to cure a metering unit problem. Oliver’s Shadow was already in trouble and soon after a pit stop the engine seized.
It was to this pattern that the race settled down with Stewart pulling away from the next four, at the rate of almost a second a lap for a while, before settling down to a lead of some twenty seconds at half distance. The second place battle held everyone spell-bound as the two McLaren M19s held at bay the two Lotus 72s, while Denny Hulme was setting a rapid pace as he started to make up the odd place at the back of the field. On the road, however, he was closing on this four-car battle and, as half distance approached, he had no trouble in passing them all.
By then a good deal had happened because Revson was now leading Scheckter and the pair were still keeping the Lotuses behind. Reutemann was no longer sixth for he had a punctured rear tyre which had been going down slowly and he made a pit stop to change it after dropping behind first Lauda and then Pace, who was moving up well. Lauda’s glory was short-lived for his engine blew up on lap 26 and then Pace slowed with a problem, which elevated Merzario to sixth place. Pace was now seventh ahead of Farrier, who was driving sensibly, but was hampered by the engine which would not rev. above 9,200 r.p.m., possibly because of a fuel system problem. Follmer had finally passed de Adamich who now led Reutemann, and Beuttler, with Hulme moving up to twelfth place just ahead of Keizan’s Tyrrell and the remaining stragglers.
Soon after half distance the second place battle started to break up with Revson drawing away from the others as he followed in Hulme’s wake.
Scheckter felt that his tyres were losing their efficiency but, anyway, it was no disgrace being passed by Fittipaldi and he was still able to keep Peterson at bay. The Peterson challenge faded again on lap 49 when he rushed into the pits with a ball joint in the throttle linkage broken, a fault which has occurred on several cars this season. He lost six laps having it replaced and all chance of his first championship points of the season. Merzario moved up to fifth place but, in an attempt to fend off Pace, he spun and dropped to sixth place in front of Fullmer. Jarier had lost a good deal of time having his gear linkage repaired, Wilson Fittipaldi was soon to retire with engine and gearbox problems, and Pretorius retired with engine failure. Stewart now had the race firmly in the bag but Fittipaldi had not settled for third place and was trying everything to catch Revson. Scheckter was in a safe fourth place a lap ahead of Pace. Hulme’s progress continued and was now on the same lap as Follmer, de Adamich and Reutemann, who were also making up places. The last ten laps saw some further changes. With ten laps to go Pace suffered a front tyre deflation which sent him flying off at Sunset Bend and it took three catch fences to bring him to a halt. He was unhurt but the front suspension and the rear wing were damaged. Then, with only four laps remaining, Scheckter suddenly pulled into the pits and immediately jumped out of the car. There was a hole in the side of the engine and that was the end of his superb effort. Stewart roared on to victory, with a margin of some 24 seconds over Revson, who just succeeded in holding off Fittipaldi by about three car lengths. A lap down came Merzario for his second successive fourth place achieved without passing more than a couple of cars during the whole race, while Hulme was two laps down but in an excellent fifth place ahead of Fellmer who just held off Reutemann, who slipped by de Adamich in the closing couple of laps. Scheckter had completed enough laps to he classified ninth ahead of Ganley and Peterson.
Several others also finished after pit stops but none had completed sufficient enough laps to be classified. They were Keizan, who had stops with a puncture and front suspension trouble, Jarier, Beuttler (who had a brush with the armeo at one point) and Cevert.
Without hesitation Teddy Mayer of McLaren filed a protest against Stewart for his driving tactics during those opening laps and the various parties involved were questioned. If it was found that Stewart had passed under the yellow and gained an advantage in the process, there were precedents for his disqualification. But the Stewards decided, after due consideration, that a severe reprimand was all that was necessary. Two days later, after an appeal, the decision was reversed and Stewart was put in the clear. Formula Three and club drivers everywhere don’t expect the same treatment, your names are not Jackie Stewart. The yellow flag incident apart, there is no doubt that Jackie Stewart could have won just as easily if the accident had not occurred, except that Denny Hulme would not then have received a puncture, and he would have taken a great deal of catching. Hooray for the new McLaren M23—A.R.M.
7th AA Grand Prix of South Africa—Formula One—79 laps—Kyalami Circuit—324.2 kilometres—Warm
1st: J. Stewart (Tyrell 006) . . . . . 1 hr. 43 min. 11.07 sec.—188.526 k.p.h.
2nd: P. Revson (McLaren M19C/2) . . . . . 1 hr. 43 min. 35.62 sec.
3rd: E. Fittipaldi (Lotus 721-R7) . . . . 1 hr. 43 min. 36.12 sec.
4th: A. Merzario (Ferrari 312B2 No. 5) . . . . 1 lap behind
5th: D. Hulme (McLaren M23/1) . . . . 2 laps behind
6th: G. Follmer (Shadow DN1/2A) . . . . 2 laps behind
7th: C. Reutemann (Brabham BT37/2) . . . . 2 laps behind
8th: A. de Adamich (Surtees TS9B 004) . . . . 2 laps behind
9th: J. Scheckter (McLarenM19C/1) . . . . 4 laps behind
10th: H. Ganley (Williams FX3-2) . . . . 6 laps behind
11th: R. Peterson (Lotus 72D R8) . . . . 6 laps behind
NC: E. Keizan (Tyrell 004) . . . . 12 laps behind
NC: J. P. Jarier (March 721G/4) . . . . 13 laps behind
NC: P. Cevert (Tyrell 008) . . . . 13 laps behind
NC: M. Beuttler (March 721G/1) . . . . 14 laps behind
Fastest lap: E. Fittipaldi (Lotus 721-R7) on lap 76, in 1 min. 17.10 sec.–191.626 k.p.h. (new outright circuit record)