Regazzoni Wins in France
Despairing of being allowed to hold motor racing in their own country, the Automobile Clubs of Switzerland hired the Dijon-Prenois circuit in France and with the financial aid of the Marlboro cigarette company they organised a Swiss Grand Prix for Formula One cars. The Ecclestone-Mosley Formula One Road Show allowed 16 of their members to take part, one from each team and two from Marlboro’s own team, McLaren. Lasting just over one hour the outcome was a satisfactory one for everyone, as Regazzoni, a Marlboro-sponsored driver (and a Swiss national), was first in a works Ferrari, Depailler of ELF Team Tyrrell was second (a nice gesture to the French circuit owners), Mass was third in one of the Marlboro-sponsored McLarens, and Peterson was fourth in a rival cigarette sponsor’s car (we are all friends!). Hero of the day to keep the French spectators enthused was Jarier (the French motor-racing idol) in a Shadow with Cosworth power, in case the Matra V12 could not prove equal to the situation (embarrassing for France). He was on pole-position at the start and led for 34 of the 60 laps before coasting to a stop in front of the stands with a sheared shaft in the transmission, inside the gearbox. However, he was awarded the fastest lap and was the moral victor even though Regazzoni finished first. Of interest was the first race appearance of the new C-type Hesketh. World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi also took part but cooked his clutch at the start and retired.