I enjoyed the letter from Christian Frederiksen (Denmark) about Jacky Ickx in your October issue. As a young boy I was a great fan of Ickx. I saw him participate in several GP’s and long-distance sportscar races, like the 1972 Spa 1000Km.
This race has some special memories for me. Ickx seemed to move like a fish in the water, taking a dominant lead right from the start. But there was more to it. From my grandstand (opposite the old pitlane coming from La Source) I could actually hear the fans scream as far away as the grandstand at the top of Eau Rouge. Why? Because not only did he climb that hill incredibly fast, but he also used every inch of the track. Before turning left near the top he ensured his right wheels touched the right curve of the track. Masterly.
It was not to be his day, however: co-driver Clay Regazzoni suffered a blow-out of the left-rear. And though Ickx took the wheel and let all his demons out, the car was laps down on the other Ferrari of Ronnie Peterson and Tim Schenken. But every spectator knew that Ickx, and nobody else, was the moral winner. He was indeed a driver to be reckoned among the greatest.
I am, Yours etc,
Gert Van Gelder,Antwerp ,Belgium