Held on the traditional liberation day national holiday, the 1,000 kilometre sports/ prototype and GT race at Monza proved to be a complete walk-over for the Autodelta Alfa Romeo team, after the two challenging Matras had both broken their engines. While finishing first, second and third, it was not a simple thing for Alfa Romeo, for in the uncertain weather conditions Jacky Ickx made the wrong choice of tyres at the start and lost a lot of ground, and then even more when he stopped to change to more suitable ones, while Carlo Facetti had a tyre burst and in the ensuing spin he damaged the nose of his Alfa Romeo, and was nearly caught by the Bell/Hailwood Gulf GR7 powered by a Cosworth V8 engine, at the end of the race. Of the three works 12-cylinder Alfa Romeos the winning car, driven by Merzario and Mario Andretti, was the least troubled and it finished a clear four laps ahead of the Stommelen/Ickx car. Pescarolo in one of the Matras challenged strongly until a connecting rod came out through the block, failing due to loss of oil pressure, and then Beltoise took over the challenge in the second car until that disappeared when a timing gear broke up due to incorrect heat-treatment in manufacture. The French team’s co-drivers had been Larrousse and Jarier. The Gulf car had run well, only delayed by gearchange trouble in its Hewland gearbox, which caused Bell to enter the Curva Parabolica in the wrong gear, and spin off into the sand, losing a lot of time getting back onto the track, and at the end of the 174 laps, the British car was only 23 seconds behind the ailing third place Alfa Romeo, whose damaged front was causing some peculiar handling characteristics. On engine reliability, as well as speed the 12
cylinder Alfa Romeos came through with flying colours in a race that was run at a lower speed than in past years due to the use of artificial corners introduced on the back leg of the circuit, but not the Grand Prix “chicane” on the front straight.
Apart from the works turbo-charged Porsche Carrera of Muller/van Lennep, the rest of the 39 competitors comprised private amateur teams or small manufacturers, such as Ligier and Abarth, with a preponderance of Porsche Carrera RSR 3-litres in the GT category, John Fitzpatrick being the mainstay of the George Loos team in bringing their 1974 model home ahead of all the opposition.
While race day was damp and dull and the overall scene was on a pretty low key, it was nothing compared to practice when heavy rain fell most of the time, and was so bad at one point that the session was abandoned early.
The Monza 1,000 Kilometres—Sports-Prototypes and GT-174 laps with one “chicane”-1,003.98 kilometres—Damp and dull
1st : A. Merzario / M. Andretti (Alfa Romeo 33TT12 – 3-litre 12-cylinder) 4 hr. 45 min. 47.4 sec. – 210.657 k.p.h.
2nd: J. Ickx / R. Stommelen (Alfa Romeo 33TT12 3-litre 12-cylinder) 4 laps behind
3rd: C. Facetti / A. de Adamich (Alfa Romeo 33TT12 3-litre 12-cylinder) 8 laps behind
4th: M. Hailwood / D. Bell (Gulf GR7-Cosworth V8-3litre) 8 laps behind
5th: H. Muller / G. van Lennep (Porsche Carrera T/C 2.2-litre 6-cylinder) 9 laps behind
6th: P. Pica / G. Pianta (Lola T282-Cosworth V8 3-litre) 13 laps behind
7th: R. Joest / M. Casoni (Porsche 908/3 3-litre 8-cylinder) 13 laps behind
8th: J. Laffitte / A. Serpaggi (Ligier-Maserati 2.8-litre V6) 17 laps behind
9th:J. Fitzpatrick / G. Loos / J. Neuhaus (Porsche Carrera RSR 3-litre 6-cylinder) 24 laps behind
10th: P. Monti / P. Smith (Chevron B23-Ford FVC 1.9-litre 4-cylinder) 24 laps behind
11th: P. Keller / H. Heyer (Porsche Carrera RSR 3-litre 6-cylinder) 25 laps behind
12th: J. Neuhaus / F. Pesch (Porsche Carrera RSR 3-litre 6-cylinder) 27 laps behind
13th: F. Bonomelli / M. Keyser (Porsche Carrera RSR 3-litre 6-cylinder) 28 laps behind
14th: W. Kauhsen / C. Schickentanz (Porsche Carrera RSR 3-litre 6-cylinder) 29 laps behind
15th: H. Leguellec / R. Heavens (Lola T294-Ford FVC 2.0-litre 4-cylinder) 30 laps behind
A taste of the old days
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