Watkins Glen, N.Y., October 6th
Two weeks after the Canadian Grand Prix held in the ski country north of Montreal the Grand Prix "circus" moved south-west into the holiday area of Upper New York State. The village of Watkins Glen gave open-armed welcome to all race-goers, as it does every year, and, as usual, organisation was of the high standard set in previous years. The technical building had been doubled in size, which gave the teams all the space they needed to work under one roof. This year the pits had been lengthened, adding six more pits, and the pit road was considerably wider.
In the week preceding the race, work on the cars at the technical centre went on apace. Lotus had the same three cars for Hill, Oliver and Andretti. Hill's car had been repaired and the upper engine mounting plates had been changed from alloy to steel. The mounting points on the monocoque had been strengthened and repaired, and all three cars were now fitted with constant velocity drive-shafts, slightly more robust than those used at Monaco earlier in the year. Oliver's car was now fitted with wider wings making it the same as the number 1 car. Andretti's first Formula One drive was in a car with narrower wings and using the older, more flexible, exhaust system, whereas the other two works cars were using the new exhausts. The other Lotus/Cosworth, in the hands of Siffert, was entered by the Walker/Durlacher team. To start with, the drive-shafts on this car were those used by Hill at Mont Tremblant, but new shafts identical to the works cars were on their way.