Just a couple of lines, that’s all it took.
Just a couple of lines in your ‘This Month’ feature in the March edition — This Month in 1974. I quote: ‘Jacky Ickx pulls off a legendary passing move on Nild Lauda’s Ferrari to win the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in his Lotus 72’.
Those three lines and I was back there, back on the outside of Paddock Hill Bend at Brands Hatch on a bitterly cold, wet day in March witnessing one of the greatest moments ever in motorsport.
A couple of pals and I travelled down to Brands Hatch from Cheshire, staying on the campsite ‘twixt the circuit and The Rising Sun in Fawkham.
The race developed into a two-car battle between Lauda and Ickx with nothing between the pair, although we did comment on the unconventional line that Ickx was taking through Paddock. For lap after lap, he would go through high and wide, keeping off the conventional racing line kissing the apex.
Suddenly, his strategy became apparent as he drove around the outside of Lauda’s Ferrari and into the lead. I don’t remember applause from the sodden crowd — more of a gasp of disbelief. In fact, it was probably a couple of laps before we took in exactly what we’d seen and then the crowd started to cheer Jacky home. For a few fleeting seconds I forgot how cold and wet I was. Alan W Mottram, Cheshire
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