1970 United States Grand Prix

Watkins Glen, USA October 4th

Transport from Canada for 24 of the 26 Formula One cars which had been seen at St. Jovite was provided by communal trucks, making quite a change from the gaily-painted transporters in which they are normally carried in Europe. The Ferraris, as always, came on their own lorry, but the 26 arrived safely in the pleasant town of Watkins Glen, situated in the colourful Finger Lakes region of New York State, where the Grand Prix of the United States has now firmly made its home. The race was the tenth in the series to be held at Watkins Glen.

All the teams except the Ferraris were to be housed in the Kendall Tech Center, protected by security guards from the crush of eager Americans anxious to make the most of their only opportunity to see Formula One cars on US territory. Attendances at Watkins Glen have risen steadily over the past decade and this year it reached 100,000 for the first time ever, though this included “hangers-on” such as guests and the press. American track safety regulations and the fact that the crowds tend to come early and camp within the grounds of the circuit present quite a task for the local officials, who cope firmly but fairly without having to resort too often to the help of the unpopular police. Those drivers who had raced in Canada were all due to take part in the Grand Prix, with the addition of several more. The most important additions to the race were the two Lotus 72s of Gold Leaf Team Lotus, returning to the scene after a one-race respite to rally and recover from the sad events at Monza. They brought 72C/R5 for the young Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, this now repaired after the practice accident at Monza (its first appearance), plus 72C/R3, the car which has until now been driven by John Miles. Having asked for time to reconsider his position with the team, however, Miles found himself without the drive and in his place was the 29-year-old Swede Reine Wisell. It appears that WiseII will be Fittipaldi’s regular team-mate in future, so the slogan “Gold Leaf Team Lotus, racing for Britain”, which is emblazoned on the side of the Lotus transporter, may well have to be reconsidered.

Race Results


Circuit - Watkins Glen


United States


Watkins Glen, New York State


Permanent road course


2.35 (Miles)


Jacky Ickx (Ferrari 312B), 1m02.74, 134.843 mph, F1, 1970