Frenchmen Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Rene Arnoux dominated the first official practice session on Thursday (28 February) for the South African Grand Prix.
SCU Jodi Scheckter ZOOM OUT to mechanics working on his car
SCU A. Jones ZOOM OUT Jones sitting in car, No.27
SCU J. Laffitte in car
SCU J.P. Jarier sitting in car
SCU PAN Rene Arnoux sitting in car
SV PAN J.P. Jabouille No. 15, driving out of pits
GV Grand Prix and trainers and mechanics in pits and B. Giacomelli drives out followed by NO. 11, M. Andretti then No. 1. Scheckter, then followed by No. 7, J. Watson, then A. Jones in No. 27, then followed by No. 6, R. Zunino
LV & SV PAN Scheckter driving up straight
LV No. 15, Jabouille going round the bend and down hill
SV No. 4, D. Daly and No. 9, M. Surer round bend
LV No. 3, Jarier over-taking No. 5, M. Piquet, on bend
LV No. 2, G. Villeneuve driving round bend
LV No. 5, N. Piquet, spins on track
SV No. 9, M. Surer in crash and being helped out of car
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: Frenchmen Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Rene Arnoux dominated the first official practice session on Thursday (28 February) for the South African Grand Prix. They ended the day more than a second clear of their nearest rivals, with Jabouille just ahead of his team mate. The Renaults continued to lead throughout the final practice session and start on the front row of the grid at Kyalami.
SYNOPSIS: Jody Scheckter, last year's world champion, will have to improve on his practice time to achieve victory in front of his home crowd. He and Alan Jones, the current championship leader, only managed eighth and ninth fastest times respectively. All but the turbocharged Renault engines struggled to breathe on the Kyalami circuit, 6,000 feet (18,000 kilometres) above sea level. Arnoux's Renault cut more than two seconds from the official lap record. But his team mate, Jabouille, secured pole position on the grid with a time of one minute 10 - an average speed of 131 miles per hour (211 kmph). Although their unique engines have only half the capacity of normal formula one cars, their turbochargers provide a more consistent rate of power at this altitude.
This was the last time that "stickies" - special practice tyres - will be used in formula one racing. Their special soft compound allows faster lap times than the "slicks" used during the race proper, but wear rapidly.
The Grand Prix Drivers Association has called for a reduction in cornering speeds to minimise risks during Grand Prix. Their president, Jody Scheckter, welcomed the announcement before practice that ground effect skirts will be banned from formula one next year.
Skirts are said to make the cars too quick for the circuits. Switzerland's Marc Surer was trapped by the legs for thirty minutes after a brake failure.