Carlos Reutemann of Argentina drove his Brabham Ford to a clear and confident victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg on Sunday (18 August) after leading from start to finish.
GV Start of race.
GV Race in progress led by No. 7 and cars going over hill. (2 shots)
GV No. 7 round bend followed by other cars.
GV No. 11 in pit for wheel change.
SV Driver starts car while wheel is being put on. Mechanic tries to tell him to cut engine. Wheel spins off and hits mechanic. Wheel is secured and car drives off.
GV No. 1 out of action on side of track with other vehicles. (2 shots)
CU AND GV Winner round track and across finishing line.
Initials VS 22.25 VS 22.44
SPORT: CAR RACING
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Carlos Reutemann of Argentina drove his Brabham Ford to a clear and confident victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg on Sunday (18 August) after leading from start to finish.
Reutemann was hotly tailed for the first half of the race but one by one his rivals dropped out, leaving the Argentinian with a comfortable lead over Denny Hulme, who took second place in his MacLaren.
First South Africa Jody Scheckter (Tyrell Ford), then the local hero Niki Lauda of Austria (Ferrari), Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi (MacLaren) Ronnie Petersen of Sweden (JPS Lotus) and Carlos Pace of Brazil (Brabham Ford) were forced out. At the end of the 54-lap race the verges of the circuit looked like a battlefield, with abandoned Formula One cars dotting the grass.
The withdrawal of so many drivers who figure in the World Drivers Championship table meant that the Austrian Grand Prix had little effect on the top of the list. Of the leading five drivers in the hunt for this year's title, only Ferrari's Clay Reggazzoni at the top added to his total. His fifth place gained him two points to give him a 5 point lead over Scheckter - with three Grand Prix left.
Only ten out of the 24 starters finished the race - perhaps because of the sizzling temperature on the track - 43 centigrade (109 Fahrenheit).
Clay Regazzoni broke the official lap record for the circuit with a speed of 218.88 kilometres (135.92 miles) per hour.
SYNOPSIS: Managing to outpace Austrian Niki Lauda's Ferrari away from the front row of the starting grid, Carlos Reutemann of Argentina in a Brabham Ford found himself leading the Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg on Sunday. Reutemann -- in car number seven - was just ahead of a tightly-knit group of cars, including the Ferraris of the local hero Lauda and Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni. Also in the leading pack were Carlos Pace in a Brabham, Jody Scheckter's Tyrrell, James Hunt's Hesketh, Fittipaldi's MacLaren and Petersen's Lotus.
A hundred and fifty thousand people watched the drivers competing with each other under sustained pressure in scorching sunshine. The heat soon took its toll and by lap seventeen the leading group was reduced to five cars.
On lap forty-four Regazzoni called at his pit for new rear tyres...and inadvertently re-started his Ferrari before the mechanics had finished bolting on the second wheel - a rare blunder on the part of the normally super-efficient and experienced Ferrari team. After one of them had been hit by the wheel as it spun off its mountings, the mechanics eventually secured it and Regazzoni roared off back into the race. But he had lost valuable seconds and dropped into seventh place.
With Reutemann still leading at a relentless pace one by one cars began to suffer under the strain. Emerson Fittipaldi's MacLaren gave out on the thirty eight lap with engine trouble and only ten of the twenty-four starters finished the race. Reutemann was forty-five seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Denny Hulme in a MacLaren, at the finish. James Hunt of Britain in a Hesketh Ford was third, followed by John Watson and Clay Regazzoni.