Track back -- 50/30/20/10 years ago

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1975– Listing Lauda takes Trophy win

Hunt leads but Lauda claims the spoils in International Trophy thriller

Niki Lauda came out on top in the International Trophy after withstanding tremendous pressure from Emerson Fittipaldi throughout all 40 laps. Ferrari had brought along a brand new 312B3 to Silverstone which Lauda complained was ‘listing’ in the fast corners. Even so the Austrian was blisteringly fast in practice, but not quick enough to keep James Hunt’s Hesketh 308/3 from gaining the pole.

Team Lotus, meanwhile, had been given special dispensation to enter two cars, Ronnie Peterson being joined by Formula Atlantic star Jim Crawford, for whom it was to be a tough F1 baptism: on his first lap in the second practice session the Scot only got as far as Club Corner before leaving the road in his JPS 72/R5. He didn’t make the race.

Keen to repeat his success of the previous year’s race, Hunt led for the first 15 tours but couldn’t shake off Lauda, who in turn was being hounded by Fittipaldi. A lap later the Hesketh’s DFV detonated, leaving the Ferrari out front. Fittipaldi finally managed to get alongside Lauda on the approach to Woodcote for the final time and attempted an ambitious manoeuvre on the outside of the corner only to back out as the Ferrari became very wide.

Of the other front runners, Mario Andretti drove a determined race to get the last spot on the podium with his Parnelli VPJ4, while John Watson was a delighted fourth in his Surtees TS16 after demoting Patrick Depailler to fifth with 10 laps to go. Mark Donohue was sixth for Penske. Among the minnows, the embattled Lella Lombardi finished a disappointed 12th in her March 751, heading home John Nicholson’s Lyncar 006 and last-place finisher Tony Trimmer’s Safir RJ02-2.

***

Also this month in ’75:

Scott in front

Richard Scott wins the F5000 race supporting the International Trophy, with second-place man and fellow Lola driver Vern Schuppan heading home Tony Dean’s Chevron B28. Tony Brise is top dog in the Formula Atlantic encounter in the works Modus M1, with Jim Crawford second in his Chevron B29.

— Alfa’s seven up

Arturo Merzario and Jacques Laffite come out on top in the third round of the World Championship for Makes at Dijon. Their Alfa Romeo 33TT 12 finishes seven laps ahead of the Joest/Casoni Porsche 908/4 in the 1000km race. The plucky Hine/Grob Chevron B31 entry comes home in third.

— Mass tragedy

Jochen Mass wins a tragic Spanish GP at Montjuich Park. The McLaren driver is leading on lap 29 (of 75) when the event is stopped, four spectators and a fire marshal having been killed following a horrific crash between Rolf Stommelen’s Hill and Carlos Pace’s Brabham.

***

1995:

Indycar

Robby Gordon scores maiden Indycar win at Phoenix, April 2.

***

1985:

Mugello

Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass win the Mugello 1000km, April 14.

***

1955

Pau

Jean Behra wins the Pau GP in his Maserati 250F in front of a partisan crowd, April 11.

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