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The 1971 Questor Grand Prix was a non-championship Grand Prix, held on the road course at the brand new Ontario Motor Speedway, in Ontario, California on March 28, 1971. It was staged as a possible dry run for a second grand prix in the United States. The race was won by Mario Andretti in a Ferrari, who quickly passed polesitter Jackie Stewart in a Tyrrell-Ford, and won both heats convincingly. Stewart was second in both heats, and Denny Hulme in a McLaren-Ford managed to snag third place on aggregate, by virtue of a tiebreaker over Chris Amon in a Matra. Unfortunately, financial problems by the parent corporation meant that this was the only time the race was run. Formula One did eventually come back to California, but five years later, at Long Beach.

BackgroundEdit

Ontario Motor Speedway was designed as 'Indianapolis West', and the oval track matched Indianapolis Motor Speedway right down to the track measurements and the 9° 11' banking in the corners. But that's where the similarities ended. Where the grandstands in Indianapolis had to be squeezed into the available space, Ontario's were wide and open. Instead of the short and narrow pits at Indy, the pit lane ran the entire length of the front straight, and was wide enough that it was used as a competition drag strip. The builders also created a road course in the infield, running almost 3.2 miles, and designed to keep as much of the action close to the grandstands as possible. The course used the entire main straight and one of the banked turns, before turning into the infield and negotiating several switchbacks. It was also built to the latest FIA specifications, and the Formula One cars were invited in the spring after the track opened.

The race was the non-championship 'dry run' before a proposed Grand Prix, starting in 1972, but the sponsoring Questor Corporation ran into financial problems after this event, and had to withdraw their involvement. Formula One never ran at Ontario again. But the idea of Formula One on the west coast of the United States finally came to fruition, five years later at Long Beach.

The race was run in two heats of 32 laps, with a point system based on finishing position of each heat determining the final placing. Ties were broken by distance covered or elapsed time. Each heat awarded points by 40-35-32-30-28-26-24, then one point less for each spot down to one point for 30th. The field of Formula One cars was supplemented by a group of Formula A (Formula 5000 with fuel injection and other minor differences) entries. Despite the fact that the track was 6,000 miles from England, a huge prize fund of $278,400 (even larger than that posted by Watkins Glen) ensured a large entry.

The teams:

  • Brabham: The team returned with what would be the standard entry for 1971, with Graham Hill in the lone BT34 "lobster claw" (in which he had set fastest lap the week before at Brands Hatch), and Tim Schenken in a 1970 BT33.
  • BRM: The Bourne team showed up with three cars. Pedro Rodríguez and Jo Siffert were in P160s, and Howden Ganley was in the P153. BRM made out quite well financially with three cars in the top 10.
  • Ferrari: The Scuderia had originally entered three cars, but that was later reduced to two, as Clay Regazzoni stayed behind for testing. The decision to run Mario Andretti was rewarded with his second victory in less than a month.
  • Lotus: The 56B turbine was supposed to be used, as its higher top speed would presumably be an advantage on the oval section that it had originally been designed for. But the team took a more conservative approach, due to the possible financial rewards of the event.
  • March: The factory only had one completed 711 for Ronnie Peterson, and declined to run any of their remaining 701s.
    • Frank Williams entered the latest 711, for Henri Pescarolo, and also entered a 701 with rebuilt suspension for Derek Bell.
    • The US-based STP Racing entered the 701 that Andretti had used in 1970 for John Cannon.
  • Matra: Jean-Pierre Beltoise was still suspended from racing for his role in the death of Ignazio Giunti, so the team only ran one car for Chris Amon.
  • McLaren: McLaren had the usual entry, with no changes.
  • Surtees: Surprisingly, the team skipped this event, saying the trip would be too expensive, despite the enormous prize fund.
  • Tyrrell: Both drivers had been entered, but the team wound up keeping François Cevert in Europe for tire testing and shaking down the 003 car. This would be the last time that the 001 model would be raced until Watkins Glen.

Entry ListEdit

The entry list for the 1971 Questor Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 72C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
3 Sweden Reine Wisell United Kingdom Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 72C Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Italy S.p.a. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B Ferrari 001 F12 3.0 F
5 United States Mario Andretti Italy S.p.a. Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312B Ferrari 001 F12 3.0 F
6 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M19A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
7 United Kingdom Peter Gethin United Kingdom Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M14A Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
8 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 001 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
9 United Kingdom François Cevert United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 002 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
10 New Zealand Chris Amon France Equipe Matra Matra MS120B Matra MS71 V12 3.0 G
12 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez United Kingdom Yardley Team BRM BRM P160 BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
14 Switzerland Jo Siffert United Kingdom Yardley Team BRM BRM P160 BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
15 New Zealand Howden Ganley United Kingdom Yardley Team BRM BRM P153 BRM P142 V12 3.0 F
17 United Kingdom Derek Bell United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars March 701 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
18 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars March 711 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
19 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT34 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
20 Australia Tim Schenken United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Brabham BT33 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 G
21 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom STP-March March 711 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
23 United States Pete Lovely* United States Pete Lovely Volkswagen Lotus 49/69 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
25 Canada John Cannon United States STP Racing March 701 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 3.0 F
26 United States Mark Donohue United States Sunoco Penske Racing Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0 F
27 United States George Follmer United States Brian O'Neil Racing Lotus 70B Ford V8 5.0 F
28 United States A. J. Foyt United States Agapiou Brothers/Young American Racing Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0
29 United States Ron Grable United States Charlie Hayes Racing Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0
30 United States Sam Posey United States Champ Carr Inc Surtees TS8 Chevrolet V8 5.0
31 United States Peter Revson United States Milestone Racing Team Surtees TS8 Chevrolet V8 5.0
32 United States Swede Savage United States All-American Racing Eagle Mk 5 Plymouth V8 5.0
33 United States Al Unser United States Kas Kastner Brophy Racing Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0
34 United States Tony Adamowicz United States American Racing Associates Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0
35 United States Bob Bondurant United States Competition Developments Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0
36 United States Gus Hutchison United States Aero Structure Developments ASD Mk 1 Chevrolet V8 5.0 G
37 United States Lou Sell United States Smothers Brothers Racing Team Lola T192 Chevrolet V8 5.0
38 United States Bobby Unser United States Charlie Hayes Racing Lola T190 Chevrolet V8 5.0
39 United States Jack Byers* United States Competition Developments Lola T190 Chevrolet V8 5.0
40 United Kingdom David Hobbs* United States Carl Hogan Racing McLaren M10B Chevrolet V8 5.0
  • Reserve entries.

PracticeEdit

ResultsEdit

This was the first Formula One race to time to thousandths of a second.

Pos No. Driver Constructor Lap Gap
1 8 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 1:41.257
2 10 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 1:41.275 +0.018
3 4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 1:41.531 +0.274
4 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 1:42.458 +1.201
5 14 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez BRM 1:42.473 +1.216
6 19 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 1:42.763 +1.506
7 26 United States Mark Donohue Lola-Chevrolet 1:43.211 +1.954
8 14 Switzerland Jo Siffert BRM 1:43.350 +2.093
9 2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 1:43.358 +2.101
10 27 United States George Follmer Lotus-Ford 1:43.474 +2.217
11 2 Sweden Reine Wisell Lotus-Ford 1:43.535 +2.278
12 5 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 1:43.542 +2.285
13 18 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 1:43.709 +2.452
14 20 Australia Tim Schenken Brabham-Ford 1:43.772 +2.515
15 30 United States Sam Posey Surtees-Chevrolet 1:44.128 +2.871
16 23 Canada John Cannon March-Ford 1:44.231 +2.974
17 21 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 1:44.360 +3.103
18 15 Australia Howden Ganley BRM 1:44.379 +3.122
19 17 United Kingdom Derek Bell March-Ford 1:44.977 +3.720
20 7 United Kingdom Peter Gethin McLaren-Ford 1:45.310 +4.053
21 37 United States Lou Sell Lola-Chevrolet 1:45.397 +4.140
22 29 United States Ron Grable Lola-Chevrolet 1:45.402 +4.145
23 35 United States Bob Bondurant Lola-Chevrolet 1:45.528 +4.271
24 31 United States Peter Revson Surtees-Chevrolet 1:45.668 +4.411
25 34 United States Tony Adamowicz Lola-Chevrolet 1:47.831 +6.574
26 33 United States Al Unser Lola-Chevrolet 1:48.172 +6.915
27 38 United States Bobby Unser Lola-Chevrolet 1:48.512 +7.255
28 36 United States Gus Hutchison ASD-Chevrolet 1:50.954 +9.697
29 32 United States Swede Savage Eagle-Chevrolet 1:51.509 +10.252
30 28 United States A. J. Foyt McLaren-Chevrolet 1:52.229 +10.972
Res 1 United Kingdom David Hobbs McLaren-Chevrolet 1:45.331 +4.074
Res 40 United States Pete Lovely Lotus-Ford 1:47.269 +6.012
Res 39 United States Jack Byers Lola-Chevrolet 1:54.468 +13.211

Heat OneEdit

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 32 56:03.052 12 40
2 8 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 32 +3.000 1 35
3 14 Switzerland Jo Siffert BRM 32 +44.329 8 32
4 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 32 4 30
5 4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 32 3 28
6 10 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 32 2 26
7 20 Australia Tim Schenken Brabham-Ford 31 +1 Lap 14 24
8 15 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 31 +1 Lap 18 23
9 26 United States Mark Donohue Lola-Chevrolet 31 +1 Lap 7 22
10 29 United States Ron Grable Lola-Chevrolet 31 +1 Lap 22 21
11 7 United Kingdom Peter Gethin McLaren-Ford 31 +1 Lap 20 20
12 38 United States Bobby Unser Lola-Chevrolet 31 +1 Lap 27 19
13 17 United Kingdom Derek Bell March-Ford 31 +1 Lap 19 18
14 37 United States Lou Sell Lola-Chevrolet 30 +2 Laps 21 17
15 23 Canada John Cannon March-Ford 30 Throttle 16 16
16 21 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 26 Suspension 17 15
17 2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 25 Engine 9 14
18 30 United States Sam Posey Lola-Chevrolet 25 Overheating 15 13
19 36 United States Gus Hutchison ASD-Chevrolet 25 Electrics 28 12
20 12 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez BRM 21 +11 Laps 5 11
21 3 Sweden Reine Wisell Lotus-Ford 17 Ignition 11 10
22 18 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 16 Cross member 13 9
23 33 United States Al Unser Lola-Chevrolet 16 Oil Pressure 26 8
24 35 United States Bob Bondurant Lola-Chevrolet 15 Engine 23 7
25 34 United States Tony Adamowicz Lola-Chevrolet 12 Engine 25 6
26 31 United States Peter Revson Surtees-Chevrolet 11 Gearbox 24 5
27 32 United States Swede Savage Eagle-Chevrolet 10 Accident 29 4
28 19 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 8 Oil pressure 6 3
29 28 United States A. J. Foyt Lola-Chevrolet 6 Suspension 30 2
30 27 United States George Follmer Lotus-Ford 3 Engine 10 1

Heat TwoEdit

ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 32 55:45.358 1 40
2 8 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 32 +12.300 2 35
3 10 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 32 +12.583 6 32
4 12 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez BRM 32 20 30
5 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 32 4 28
6 20 Australia Tim Schenken Brabham-Ford 32 7 26
7 29 United States Ron Grable Lola-Chevrolet 32 10 24
8 7 United Kingdom Peter Gethin McLaren-Ford 32 11 23
9 23 Canada John Cannon March-Ford 31 +1 Lap 15 22
10 34 United States Tony Adamowicz Lola-Chevrolet 31 +1 Lap 25 21
11 15 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 30 +2 Laps 8 20
12 37 United States Lou Sell Lola-Chevrolet 29 +3 Laps 14 19
13 14 Switzerland Jo Siffert BRM 28 +4 Laps 3 18
14 36 United States Gus Hutchison ASD-Chevrolet 27 +5 Laps 19 17
15 18 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 24 Suspension 22 16
16 21 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 17 +15 Laps 16 15
17 17 United Kingdom Derek Bell March-Ford 15 Suspension 13 14
18 30 United States Sam Posey Surtees-Chevrolet 13 Engine 18 13
19 2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 10 Gear linkage 17 12
20 38 United States Bobby Unser Lola-Chevrolet 9 Engine 12 11
21 26 United States Mark Donohue Lola-Chevrolet 5 Oil pressure 9 10
22 28 United States A. J. Foyt McLaren-Chevrolet 2 Engine 23 9
23 4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 2 Suspension 5 8
DNS 3 Sweden Reine Wisell Lotus-Ford 7
DNS 33 United States Al Unser Lola-Chevrolet 6
DNS 35 United States Bob Bondurant Lola-Chevrolet 5
DNS 31 United States Peter Revson Surtees-Chevrolet 4
DNS 32 United States Swede Savage Eagle-Chevrolet 3
DNS 19 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 2
DNS 27 United States George Follmer Lotus-Ford 1

Results on aggregateEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 United States Mario Andretti Ferrari 64 1:51:48.410 12 80
2 8 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 64 1:52:04.324 1 70
3 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 64 1:53:16.982 4 58
4 10 New Zealand Chris Amon Matra 64 1:53:29.684 2 58
5 20 Australia Tim Schenken Brabham-Ford 63 +1 Lap 14 50
6 14 Switzerland Jo Siffert BRM 60 +4 Laps 8 50
7 29 United States Ron Grable Lola-Chevrolet 63 +1 Lap 22 45
8 7 United Kingdom Peter Gethin McLaren-Ford 63 +1 Lap 20 43
9 15 New Zealand Howden Ganley BRM 61 +3 Laps 18 43
10 12 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez BRM 53 +11 Laps 5 41
11 4 Belgium Jacky Ickx Ferrari 34 Accident 3 39
12 25 Canada John Cannon March-Ford 60 +4 Laps 16 38
13 37 United States Lou Sell Lola-Chevrolet 59 +5 Laps 21 36
14 26 United States Mark Donohue Lola-Chevrolet 36 Mechanical 7 36
15 17 United Kingdom Derek Bell March-Ford 46 Suspension 19 32
16 26 United States Bobby Unser Lola-Chevrolet 40 Engine 27 32
17 34 United States Tony Adamowicz Lola-Chevrolet 43 Mechanical 25 30
18 21 Sweden Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 43 Mechanical 17 30
19 26 United States Gus Hutchison ASD-Chevrolet 52 +12 Laps 28 29
20 2 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 35 Gear linkage 9 26
21 30 United States Sam Posey Surtees-Chevrolet 38 Engine 15 26
22 18 France Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 40 Suspension 13 25
23 3 Sweden Reine Wisell Lotus-Ford 17 Ignition 11 17
24 33 United States Al Unser Lola-Chevrolet 16 Oil pressure 26 14
25 35 United States Bob Bondurant Lola-Chevrolet 15 Engine 23 12
26 28 United States A. J. Foyt McLaren-Chevrolet 10 Engine 30 11
27 31 United States Peter Revson Surtees-Chevrolet 11 Gearbox 24 9
28 32 United States Swede Savage Eagle-Plymouth 11 Accident 29 7
29 19 United Kingdom Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 8 Oil line 6 5
30 27 United States George Follmer Lotus-Ford 3 Rocker arm 10 2

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