INTRODUCTION: Motor racing -- and in the first Formula One event of the 1977 season South African Jody Scheckter drove his brand new Canadian-owned Wolf-Ford to victory in the Argentine Grand Prix on Sunday (9 January).
GV Crowd and start of 1977 Argentine Motor Racing Grand Prix in Buenos Aires (2 shots)
MV James Hunt of Britain in McLaren leading field round bend
MV Carlos Pace of Brazil in Brabham through bends
MV Jody Scheckter of South Africa in Wolf-Ford among cars through bend
MV Elf Tyrrell car through bend
MV Pace leading from Hunt and Niki Lauda of Austria in Ferrari down straight
MV Ronnie Petersen in Elf Tyrrell through bend
MV Pace through bend
MVs James Hunt round bend and crashes, race marshals run to car
MV Ian Scheckter in new Rothmans car through bend
MV Spectators -- and Hunt being driven back to pits on motorcycle
MV Niki Lauda leads cars down straight as crowd watch (2 shots)
MV Jody Scheckter leading cars down straight
MV Carlos Reutemann driving Ferrari down straight
GV Jody Scheckter takes winner's stand
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Standings in the 1977 World Drivers' Championship after the Argentine Grand Prix are as follows:
1) Jody Scheckter, South Africa, Wolf-Ford 9 points
2) Carlos Pace, Brazil, Brabham 6 points
3) Carlos Reutemann, Argentina, Ferrari 4 points
4) Emerson Fittipaldi, Brazil, Copersucar 3 points
5) Mario Andretti, United States, Lotus 2 points
6) Clay Regazzoni, Switzerland, Ensign 1 points
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Motor racing -- and in the first Formula One event of the 1977 season South African Jody Scheckter drove his brand new Canadian-owned Wolf-Ford to victory in the Argentine Grand Prix on Sunday (9 January).
SYNOPSIS: Despite the intense heat of the summer afternoon an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the San Martin autodrome in Buenos Aires to see Britain's John Watson take the lead at the start of the race. But defending World Champion James Hunt, also of Britain, was close behind -- and so too was Niki Lauda of Austria in a Ferrari. Brazilian Carlos Pace was also among the leaders, but Scheckter started well down from 10th position on the grid.
Both the six-wheeled Elf-Tyrrella were forced out of the race, with Ronnie Petersen of Sweden leaving the action in the 29th lap when his car spun off the track. Carlos Pace's Brabham held the lead for a while -- and so too did James Hunt in a McLaren. But in the 32nd lap the reigning world champion came unstuck -- a dramatic moment in a race full of surprises.
After the crash Hunt said "I really don't know what happened - I don't know if it was me or the car". So it was back to the pits in less glamorous transport for the champion, while the race continued with Watson's Brabham leading, until he too dropped out.
Niki Lauda's Ferrari was another casualty. The lead changed hands five times before Jody Scheckter forged ahead in the Wolf-Ford, after moving up steadily through the field and finally overtaking Pace. And that was the way it stayed to the end, with Argentinian Carlos Reutemann third in a Ferrari and Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil fourth in a Copersucar.
Afterwards Scheckter said his victory had been a miracle -- and it was undoubtedly a morale booster for the Wolf team in their first Grand Prix.