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The 1974 South African Grand Prix, otherwise known as the VIII South African Grand Prix, was the third round of the 1974 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Kyalami Circuit on the 30th March, 1974.[1] The race meeting would be overshadowed by the death of Peter Revson in the build-up to the weekend, who had crashed his Shadow during testing.[1]

Shadow withdrew from the weekend before practice began, although their absence was made up for by additional entries by South African privateers.[1] The best of the locals would be Ian Scheckter, down in twenty-second, although brother Jody would start up in eighth.[1] Pole had gone to the Ferrari of Niki Lauda, sharing the front row with an equally impressive Carlos Pace, while Arturo Merzario stunned the field by claiming third.[1]

At the start it would be Lauda who sprinted into the lead, with Carlos Reutemann elbowing his way past Pace and Merzario to claim second into turn one.[1] Another man to make a stunning start would be the younger Scheckter brother, as Jody surged into fourth behind Clay Regazzoni.[1] Further back there was to be a catastrophe for Lotus, with Ronnie Peterson suffering a throttle jam and slamming into the sister car of Jacky Ickx, effectively forcing both cars to the pits for repairs as the rest of the field swept into the distance.[1]

Lauda and Reutemann managed to pull away from the field over the following laps, with the Argentine pushing his way past the Austrian on lap ten.[1] Behind, Regazzoni was being harassed by Jody Scheckter, while James Hunt and Emerson Fittipaldi duelled for fifth a few yards behind.[1] Unfortunately for Hunt, his race ended prematurely with a driveshaft failure, while the home fans were dismayed when Jody Scheckter began to fall down the order after picking up a vibration.[1]

For the majority of the race the order remained stable, the only notable change coming when Fittipaldi was relegated to fifth by Mike Hailwood, whose McLaren got stronger as the race wore on.[1] They, however, were being drawn in by another hard charging driver, with Jean-Pierre Beltoise taking the pair of them a few laps later in the new BRM, which already seemed a huge step-up from their old P160s.[1]

Into the closing stages and the two Ferraris were out within nine laps of each other, both Lauda and Regazzoni suffering from identical engine failures.[1] That left Reutemann with a cruise to the finish, while Beltoise claimed second in the new BRM, much to the delight of the experienced British crew, while Hailwood just avoided a late charge from Patrick Depailler to claim the final podium spot.[1] Hans-Joachim Stuck had a quiet race to fifth, ahead of Merzario, while Jody Scheckter ended the day in eighth, just keeping on the lead lap.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Two months after the last World Championship round in Brazil, which had seen the Race of Champions race staged, the field gathered at the Kyalami Circuit to battle in South Africa's biggest sporting event.[2] The circuit, and indeed the event, had been spared from the South African government's ban on motor racing after quick work by Alex Blignaut, who steered the South African authorities away from turning the Kyalami circuit into a housing estate.[2] The late victory for Blignaut and his team also prompted him to enter his own team, fielding two cars in association with Embassy Cigarettes.[2]

Before the race an unofficial test session was staged at Kyalami, part of a display to the local authorities that the circuit was viable, although the entire week would end in tragedy.[2] In the closing stages of the final day, Peter Revson crashed heavily at Barbeque and suffered fatal injuries, in spite of efforts of Denny Hulme, Emerson Fittipaldi, Graham Hill and local racer Eddie Keizan to get him out of the ruined Shadow.[2] The accident was attributed to a suspension failure, which had caused the car to suddenly shoot sideways and slam into the barriers, with Shadow deciding to withdraw their second entry for Jean-Pierre Jarier as a mark of respect.[2]

Catch fences were installed at the point where Revson crashed at the request of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, with President Graham Hill in action for the Embassy Racing Lola effort.[2] The second car of Guy Edwards was not in attendance at either the test or the race after his issues in Brazil.[2] The other entry that failed to arrive was that of Rikky von Opel, whose Ensign was still proving problematic.[2]

Elsewhere, Lotus arrived with two of their new 76s for Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx, the latter arriving fresh from winning the Race of Champions.[2] The first of the 76s would be handed to Peterson, having been unveiled at a big-budget press event staged by sponsors John Player in February, while Ickx had the newer of the pair fresh out of the Norfolk factory.[2] The two cars also arrived with electronic clutches, although Ickx decided to have his replaced by a more conventional design ahead of the first practice session, while Colin Chapman held a single 72E in reserve.[2]

At Tyrrell the South African Grand Prix arrived just too early for them to debut the new 007, leaving Patrick Depailler and home hero Jody Scheckter with the older pair of 005 and 006 respectively.[2] The McLaren effort had some minor revisions for their trio of M23s, with Fittipaldi and Hulme on hand in the two "Team Texaco Marlboro" cars, while Mike Hailwood continued to use the "Yardley" car.[2] Surtees also had some minor revisions for their pair of TS16s, after a major deal with Bang and Olufsen was signed, with Carlos Pace and Jochen Mass in action.[2]

Brabham arrived with optimistic hopes of a strong result, particularly as lead designer Gordon Murray had his two BT44s on home soil.[2] Those two cars appeared completely blank in the paddock, matched by the pristine race suits of drivers Carlos Reutemann and Richard Robarts, although after practice both sported small Texaco logos.[2] This was not the sign for a big money deal by the oil firm, merely a spot of free advertising after Brabham boss Bernie Eccelstone lost a game of gin rummy to Texaco's PR man in the paddock.[2]

A pair of Marchs arrived in the paddock for Hans-Joachim Stuck and Vittorio Brambilla, the latter making his debut in Formula One after an aborted effort to race for Tecno in 1973.[2] Brambilla came in to replace Howden Ganley, who had left to join the new Maki project from Japan, while the familiar older car of James Hunt and Hesketh Racing failed to appear.[2] Indeed, Lord Hesketh's team had finally finished work on their own charger, the Harvey Postlethwaite designed Hesketh 308, which followed well established trends in F1 car design.[2] Hunt had impressed on the car's debut at the Race of Champions, taking pole, although many were quick to note similarities between it and the McLaren M23, cited as the best car in the current F1 field.[3]

Early season leaders Ferrari headed to South Africa with their pair of 312B3-74s for Clay Regazzoni and Niki Lauda to use, both of which would sport new cockpit designs, which provided some more cooling to the drivers in the South African sun.[2] BRM had their new P201 in action for Jean-Pierre Beltoise to use, the new car sporting all new body work and chassis design, but followed the "old faithful" P160's trend for excellent road holding.[2] Budget restrictions meant that only one P201 was available for the race, meaning Henri Pescarolo and François Migault would use two of the old P160Es as usual, with all three cars awaiting the newest BRM V12 engine.[2]

An expanded Iso-Marlboro effort run by Frank Williams Racing Cars arrived in South Africa, with Tom Belsø joining Arturo Merzario for the weekend in the newest of the FWs.[2] The locals then completed the rest of the field, with Blignaut fielding a Tyrrell 004 for friend Eddie Keizan, while Rhodesian veteran John Love fielded a pair of Lotus 72Es for Ian Schectker, older brother of Jody, and Paddy Driver in Team Gunston colours.[2] A final pair of cars were sported by Scribante Lucky Strike Racing for Dave Charlton and John McNicol, the former using a McLaren M23, while the latter was set to use a Lotus 72A.[2]

A home victory for Fittipaldi had kick started his season and put him ahead of teammate Hulme after the Brazilian Grand Prix, although it was not enough for the Brazilian to leave Brazil in the lead of the World Championship. Indeed, it was Regazzoni who led the charge into South Africa after scoring two podiums at the opening two rounds, although the Swiss racer only had a single point in hand. Lauda slipped to fourth ahead of Hailwood, while Ickx, Pace and Peterson had added their names to the scorers list.

McLaren-Ford Cosworth had two wins from two races in 1974, and therefore headed to South Africa in the lead of the International Cup for Manufacturers on eighteen points. Second place was occupied by Ferrari, who had already matched their tally from 1973 after two second place finishes, while Lotus-Ford Cosworth were up to third. Surtees-Ford Cosworth had also got on the board, with BRM and Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth completing the top six.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 1974 South African Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Sweden Ronnie Peterson United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 76 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
2 Belgium Jacky Ickx United Kingdom John Player Team Lotus Lotus 76 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
3 South Africa Jody Scheckter United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 006 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
4 France Patrick Depailler United Kingdom Elf Team Tyrrell Tyrrell 005 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi United Kingdom Marlboro Team Texaco McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
6 New Zealand Denny Hulme United Kingdom Marlboro Team Texaco McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT44 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
8 United Kingdom Richard Robarts United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd. Brabham BT44 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck United Kingdom March Engineering March 741 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
10 Italy Vittorio Brambilla United Kingdom March Engineering March 741 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B3-74 Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12 G
12 Austria Niki Lauda Italy Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312B3-74 Ferrari 001/11 3.0 F12 G
14 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise United Kingdom Team Motul BRM BRM P201 BRM P142 3.0 V12 F
15 France Henri Pescarolo United Kingdom Team Motul BRM BRM P160E BRM P142 3.0 V12 F
16 United States Peter Revson United States UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN3 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier United States UOP Shadow Racing Team Shadow DN3 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
18 Brazil Carlos Pace United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS16 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
19 West Germany Jochen Mass United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees TS16 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
20 Italy Arutro Merzario United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars Iso-Marlboro FW Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
21 Denmark Tom Belsø United Kingdom Frank Williams Racing Cars Iso-Marlboro FW Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
22 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel United Kingdom Team Ensign Ensign N174 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
23 South Africa Dave Charlton South Africa Scribante Lucky Strike Racing McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
24 United Kingdom James Hunt United Kingdom Hesketh Racing Hesketh 308 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
25 South Africa John McNicol South Africa Scribante Lucky Strike Racing Lotus 72A Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
26 United Kingdom Graham Hill United Kingdom Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
27 United Kingdom Guy Edwards United Kingdom Embassy Racing with Graham Hill Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
28 United Kingdom John Watson United Kingdom John Goldie Racing with Hexagon Brabham BT42 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
29 South Africa Ian Scheckter South Africa Team Gunston Lotus 72E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
30 South Africa Paddy Driver South Africa Team Gunston Lotus 72E Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
32 South Africa Eddie Keizan South Africa Blignaut Embassy Racing SA Tyrrell 004 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 F
33 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood United Kingdom Yardley Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G
37 France François Migault United Kingdom Team Motul BRM BRM P160E BRM P142 3.0 V12 F
Source:[4]


QualifyingEdit

Practice/qualifying in Kyalami would be staged over Thursday and Friday afternoons, with just the two sessions held, albeit lasting for almost three hours apiece to allow for six hours of running.[2] This was a hastily rearranged scheduled after some crossed communications during the build up to the race, with the all important marshals arriving too late on Wednesday, the first scheduled day, for any running to take place.[2] The new timetable was therefore hastily created that evening, meaning the drivers would have to wait until Thursday for the chance to hunt down Denny Hulme's circuit record of 1:16.28, set by the Kiwi on his way to pole in 1973.[2]

ReportEdit

When the field hit the circuit on Thursday afternoon the biggest intrigue would be the performance of the reignited Firestone tyre effort, particularly as everyone was familiar with the circuit after the recent week's testing.[2] The earliest man to set a quick time proved to be Carlos Pace, who spent almost the entire day sat at the top of the timesheets with a 1:16.63.[2] Unfortunately for him this was a time that he himself could not match, causing many to question whether the timekeepers had recorded the wrong time for the Brazilian.[2]

Ultimately, Pace would be denied provisional pole by someone on track rather than a protest from the pits, and by a man who looked consistently quick.[2] That man was Niki Lauda, whose Ferrari quickly got up to speed at Kyalami, with the Austrian instead focusing on race setup until the late afternoon.[2] When he did push the result was a 1:16.58, fifth hundredths faster than the Brazilian, while teammate Clay Regazzoni looked marginally slower with a 1:17.20.[2]

Things were less healthy in the Lotus pit box, where Ronnie Peterson set a faster time in his old 72E than he managed in the new 76, although it was later circulated that the new car had an issue.[2] This was in stark contrast to teammate Jacky Ickx, who seemed to have instantly bonded with his new car and would end the day with a 1:17.18, without any issues at all.[2] Indeed, Peterson was an anomaly in the fact he had suffered a major issue across the board, with everyone, including the locals, completing over half the race distance before the end of Thursday.[2]

Things did not improve on Friday for the Norfolk squad, as Ickx's car developed a misfire, while Peterson's refused to leave the garage with a clutch issue, which was then solved before it developed its own misfire.[2] Both cars spent most of the afternoon in the pits to have various ailments cured, with Peterson failing to break into the 1:17.00s at all, and recording just nineteen timed laps in the 76.[2] They were joined in the back of the garages by Tom Belsø, whose new Iso-Marlboro was suffering from gearbox and electrical gremlins throughout.[2]

Elsewhere, Carlos Reutemann and Emerson Fittipaldi entered the fight for pole, but it quickly became clear that Lauda's time was not to be displaced, with Fittipaldi far happier after an overnight fight to sort his suspension.[2] Indeed, the only man to seriously threaten the Austrian was a shock, for Arturo Merzario and his older Iso-Marlboro were flying in Kyalami, with the Italian sweeping into third overall after an excellent lap.[2] Everyone, including Frank Williams' team were surprised by the effort, regardless of the fact that he had nicked a set of Belsø's "quali" tyres to set the time.[2]

Elsewhere, Jody Scheckter was the best of the South African contingent up in eighth, having spent both days drifting sideways around every corner in the Tyrrell.[2] Best of the "locals" would be Dave Charlton, who qualified alongside a few of the full time efforts, albeit down on the tenth row.[2] He, like the rest of the locals were affected by the six month ban on motorsport in South Africa, meaning they took most of the practice session to just get familiar with their cars, let alone go for broke.[2]

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 1974 South African Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Time Gap
P1 P2
1 12 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 1:16.58 1:16.66
2 18 Brazil Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:16.63 1:18.38 +0.05s
3 20 Italy Arturo Merzario Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1:17.85 1:16.79 +0.21s
4 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:16.80 1:17.15 +0.22s
5 5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:16.82 1:17.39 +0.24s
6 11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 1:17.20 1:16.85 +0.27s
7 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Ford Cosworth 1:17.60 1:16.98 +0.40s
8 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:16.99 1:17.17 +0.41s
9 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:17.43 1:17.11 +0.53s
10 2 Belgium Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:17.18 1:18.22 +0.60s
11 14 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 1:17.34 1:18.38 +0.76s
12 33 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:17.38 1:17.34 +0.76s
13 28 United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:17.53 1:17.39 +0.83s
14 24 United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 1:17.74 1:17.61 +1.03s
15 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:17.91 1:17.75 +1.17s
16 1 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:17.46T 1:18.00 +1.42s
17 19 West Germany Jochen Mass Surtees-Ford Cosworth 1:18.75 1:18.23 +1.65s
18 26 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lola-Ford Cosworth 1:18.25 1:18.94 +1.67s
19 10 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Cosworth 1:19.39 1:18.29 +1.71s
20 23 South Africa Dave Charlton McLaren-Ford Cosworth 1:18.37 1:19.20 +1.79s
21 15 France Henri Pescarolo BRM 1:18.46 1:18.39 +1.81s
22 29 South Africa Ian Scheckter Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:18.56 1:20.07 +1.98s
23 8 United Kingdom Richard Robarts Brabham-Ford Cosworth 1:18.80 1:18.60 +2.02s
24 32 South Africa Eddie Keizan Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 1:19.00 1:20.07 +2.42s
25 37 France François Migault BRM 1:19.14 1:19.24 +2.56s
26 30 South Africa Paddy Driver Lotus-Ford Cosworth 1:19.49 1:20.98 +2.91s
27 21 Denmark Tom Belsø Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1:20.63 1:19.80 +3.22s
WD 16 United States Peter Revson Shadow-Ford Cosworth Fatal accident
WD 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
WD 22 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
WD 25 South Africa John McNicol Lotus-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
WD 27 United Kingdom Guy Edwards Lola-Ford Cosworth Withdrawn
Source:[2][5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Niki Lauda 2
______________ Carlos Pace
Row 2 3 ______________
Arturo Merzario 4
______________ Carlos Reutemann
Row 3 5 ______________
Emerson Fittipaldi 6
______________ Clay Regazzoni
Row 4 7 ______________
Hans-Joachim Stuck 8
______________ Jody Scheckter
Row 5 9 ______________
Denny Hulme 10
______________ Jacky Ickx
Row 6 11 ______________
Jean-Pierre Beltoise 12
______________ Mike Hailwood
Row 7 13 ______________
John Watson 14
______________ James Hunt
Row 8 15 ______________
Patrick Depailler 16
______________ Ronnie Peterson
Row 9 17 ______________
Jochen Mass 18
______________ Graham Hill
Row 10 19 ______________
Vittorio Brambilla 20
______________ Dave Charlton
Row 11 21 ______________
Henri Pescarolo 22
______________ Ian Scheckter
Row 12 23 ______________
Richard Robarts 24
______________ Eddie Keizan
Row 13 25 ______________
François Migault 26
______________ Paddy Driver
Row 14 27 ______________
Tom Belsø 28
______________

RaceEdit

92,000 people came to watch the South African Grand Prix of 1974, in spite of the South African government's ban on the sale of petrol from Friday to Monday each week.[2] There would also be a unique sighting lap ahead of the race, during which the drivers were trusted to go around on their own, without a safety car to control the pace.[2] Whether or not their had been swapping positions around the back of the circuit, the field did manage to line-up on the correct grid slots for the start.[2]

ReportEdit

After a long pause the starter released the field, with pole sitter Niki Lauda flying off the line and into Crowthorne Corner.[2] Carlos Reutemann challenged the Austrian into the first corner, having ducked past a slow starting Carlos Pace, while Clay Regazzoni and home hero Jody Scheckter followed the former pair through.[2] Further back, meanwhile, Ronnie Peterson found his throttle stuck open, and as he ran wider and wider through Crowthorne he collected teammate Jacky Ickx.[2]

With the two Lotus cars trying to untangle themselves from the catch fencing, the rest of the field shot away in pursuit of Lauda.[2] Other casualties from Peterson's throttle recovered quickly, Henri Pescarolo having jinked out of the path of Peterson, and removed most of the nose from Jochen Mass' car.[2] Pace had then tried to avoid that accident and suffered a half spin, causing Denny Hulme to slam on the brakes, destroying his tyres in the process.[2]

By the time the rest of the field came charging past the pits the damaged cars were gone, Peterson having been the last of those to escape and make his way back for repairs.[2] Ferrari fans were overjoyed at the sight of Lauda and Regazzoni running one-three, with Reutemann just managing to keep the pair from running together through the opening tour.[2] Scheckter was next, and keeping hopes of a home win very much alive, while James Hunt led the rest of the pack through.[2]

Despite causing the first corner collisions, Peterson charged past the pits trying to catch the back of pack, where Ickx was carrying on minus his nose.[2] Tom Belsø, meanwhile, had been push started back into the race after an issue on the grid, but would only complete the opening lap before he was disqualified for having received outside assistance.[2] The other casualties were in the pits for repairs, with Hulme quickly sprinting back into action and catching Peterson.[2]

Back with the leaders and Reutemann was trying everything he could to get past Lauda over the first few laps, with an increasing sense that the Austrian was on the limit.[2] On lap nine the #12 Ferrari's resistance faltered, as the Brabham got a good exit out of Leeukop Corner, pulled past the Ferrari, and snatched the inside line into Crowthorne, taking the lead.[2] The Argentine racer then established a small advantage over the Austrian over the rest of that lap, with the pair pulling clear of third placed Regazzoni.[2]

By this stage, Scheckter's hopes of a home win were fading in the Tyrrell, the South African finding himself slipping away from the second Ferrari, and under intense pressure from Hunt.[2] The Brit himself was having to fight on two fronts, with Emerson Fittipaldi and Mike Hailwood right on his tail, while Arturo Merzario drifted away from them.[2] Elsewhere, Hans-Joachim Stuck battled clear of the backmarkers, taking Graham Hill and Dave Charlton with a sensational double move at Crowthorne, while Peterson limped out of the race with broken steering.[2]

Scheckter's resistance from Hunt and co. appeared to be fading as the race hit lap thirteen, with Hunt getting the new Hesketh alongside the Tyrrell down the start/finish straight.[2] Fortunately for the South African, the Brit was on the outside line for the upcoming Crowthorne, although Hunt tried to hang on around the wrong side of the Tyrrell.[2] Yet, on the exit, the Brit began to lose drive, and by the time the group came to Clubhouse Corner the Hesketh was out with a driveshaft failure.[2]

Yet, Scheckter's fourth was still not secure, with Fittipaldi taking over Hunt's pursuit and duly launching a series of attacks at the South African, all of which were resisted.[2] Yet, all was not well with the Tyrrell, for Scheckter had picked up a vibration on a rear wheel, and it was getting worse as the race wore on.[2] Ultimately, on lap 21, the combination of Fittipaldi pressure and vibration caused Scheckter to relent, with the Brazilian and teammate Hailwood flashing past.[2] Fortunately for Scheckter the threat from behind was now very minimal, as Merzario was running on his own and lapping slower than the wounded Tyrrell.[2]

At the back of the field, meanwhile, there were interesting tussels between locals and regulars, with the Hill/Charlton fight rather stealing the show, the latter ducking and diving around the Lola, but with little success.[2] John Watson, meanwhile, was fighting with Ian Scheckter and Vittorio Brambilla until his Brabham suffered a bearing failure on the front wheel, leaving the Italian to elbow his way past the South African a few laps later.[2] Patrick Depailler, meanwhile, had leapt past Merzario and was hunting down the younger Scheckter, Jody, while Hulme finally cleared the back markers.[2]

Then, Jean-Pierre Beltoise became the start of the show, the Frenchman suddenly starting to climb the order after an excellent dive past Hulme, just before the Kiwi caught the back of Merzario.[2] The new BRM seemed to have excellent race pace, and it was not long before Beltoise went charging past Merzario and began to hunt down the two Tyrrells.[2] It was not long before Depailler fell to the BRM, which was avoiding the slipstream effect after fears of overheating, with Scheckter falling a lap later.[2]

Next in the Frenchman's sights were the scrapping McLarens of Fittipaldi and Hailwood, both of which were struggling with vibrations.[2] The Brit was being held up by the former Champion, and on the 48th tour managed to barge past his teammate, moments before Beltoise tagged onto the back of the them.[2] Fittipaldi would resist the BRM for a couple of laps before finally giving up on fifth place, a battle which had lasted just long enough for Hailwood to pull a few seconds up the road.[2]

Back with the leaders and Reutemann had long since established himself in the lead, with Lauda working incredibly hard just to keep the Argentine in sight.[2] A few seconds behind ran Regazzoni in the sister car looking set to extend his Championship lead, with a huge gap back to Hailwood, who was just about to be pounced on by Beltoise.[2] On lap 63 the BRM surged past the best of the McLarens and into fourth, although it seemed as if the Ferraris and Reutemann were simply too far ahead for the Frenchman to gain a podium finish.[2]

Yet, on lap 66 the picture dramatically changed, for Regazzoni suddenly lost oil pressure as he exited Leeukop Corner, leading him to switch off the engine.[2] The Swiss racer was out, cruising to a stop in the pits to find nothing could be done to get him back in action, leaving all hopes of a Ferrari podium in the hands of Lauda.[2] Yet, the Austrian's pace was suddenly falling, an engine issue becoming more and more noticeable as the leaders came charging past the pits as the race entered its final throes.[2]

With three laps to go, the Austrian was seen shaking his head as he passed the pits, the Ferrari now sounding very sick, with Beltoise belting past just a few seconds later.[2] Next time through and the BRM was second, with a long wait before Hailwood limped past in third, a surprise to most of the observers.[2] The reason for this was that Lauda's engine had expired around the back of the circuit, the Austrian having suffered an identical issue to teammate Regazzoni, although Lauda had completely trashed his engine by trying to battle on.[2]

With that, the race was run, as Reutemann cruised home to record his first Grand Prix triumph, having been so close in the first two rounds.[2] Beltoise was delighted with second, providing BRM with a huge boost in confidence, while Hailwood claimed a lonely third for McLaren.[2] Fittipaldi's pace had collapsed during the second half of the race, leaving him to join Scheckter in a tumble out of the points, meaning Depailler, Stuck and Merzario completed the points.[2]

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 1974 South African Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford Cosworth 78 1:42:40.96 4 9
2 14 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 78 +33.94s 11 6
3 33 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood McLaren-Ford Cosworth 78 +42.16s 12 4
4 4 France Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 78 +44.19s 15 3
5 9 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Ford Cosworth 78 +46.23s 7 2
6 20 Italy Arturo Merzario Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 78 +56.04s 3 1
7 5 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford Cosworth 78 +1:08.39 5
8 3 South Africa Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 78 +1:10.54 8
9 6 New Zealand Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford Cosworth 77 +1 Lap 9
10 10 Italy Vittorio Brambilla March-Ford Cosworth 77 +1 Lap 19
11 18 Brazil Carlos Pace Surtees-Ford Cosworth 77 +1 Lap 2
12 26 United Kingdom Graham Hill Lola-Ford Cosworth 77 +1 Lap 18
13 29 South Africa Ian Scheckter Lotus-Ford Cosworth 76 +2 Laps 22
14 32 South Africa Eddie Keizan Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 76 +2 Laps 24
15 37 France François Migault BRM 75 +3 Laps 25
16* 12 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari 74 Ignition 1
17 8 United Kingdom Richard Robarts Brabham-Ford Cosworth 74 +4 Laps 23
18 15 France Henri Pescarolo BRM 72 +6 Laps 21
19 23 South Africa Dave Charlton McLaren-Ford Cosworth 71 +7 Laps 20
Ret 11 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 65 Oil pressure 6
Ret 28 United Kingdom John Watson Brabham-Ford Cosworth 54 Fuel line 13
Ret 2 Belgium Jacky Ickx Lotus-Ford Cosworth 31 Brakes 10
Ret 24 United Kingdom James Hunt Hesketh-Ford Cosworth 13 Transmission 14
Ret 19 West Germany Jochen Mass Surtees-Ford Cosworth 11 Suspension 17
Ret 30 South Africa Paddy Driver Lotus-Ford Cosworth 6 Clutch 26
Ret 1 Sweden Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Ford Cosworth 2 Steering 16
Ret 21 Denmark Tom Belsø Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 0 Clutch 27
WD 16 United States Peter Revson Shadow-Ford Cosworth
WD 17 France Jean-Pierre Jarier Shadow-Ford Cosworth
WD 22 Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel Ensign-Ford Cosworth
WD 25 South Africa John McNicol Lotus-Ford Cosworth
WD 27 United Kingdom Guy Edwards Lola-Ford Cosworth
Source:[6]
  • * Lauda was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.
  • Some sources state Belsø as having been disqualified for receiving a push start.[2]

MilestonesEdit

  • Denny Hulme started a World Championship race for the 100th time.
  • 50th Grand Prix start for Ronnie Peterson.
  • Maiden Grand Prix start for Vittorio Brambilla.
  • Hesketh entered a race as a constructor for the first time.
  • Niki Lauda claimed a maiden pole position.
  • Maiden victory for Carlos Reutemann.
    • Reutemann also set his first fastest lap.
  • Brabham claimed their fourteenth victory.
  • Jean-Pierre Beltoise claimed his eighth and final podium finish.
  • BRM earned their 61st and final podium as a constructor.
    • It would also be the last of BRM's 65 visits to the rostrum as an engine supplier.
  • Second and final podium for Mike Hailwood.

StandingsEdit

Despite failing to score, and yet to claim a win, Clay Regazzoni would head into Europe leading the World Championship, and was the only driver in double figures after the opening three rounds. Victory for Carlos Reutemann put the Argentine racer in second, level on points with Emerson Fittipaldi and Denny Hulme, each three having a win apiece, while Mike Hailwood completed the quartet on nine with his podium finish. Jean-Pierre Beltoise remained in sixth after his best finish of the season, while Hans-Joachim Stuck and Arturo Merzario added their names to the board.

In the International Cup for Manufacturers it was another successful afternoon for McLaren-Ford Cosworth, as they pulled ten points clear of nearest challengers Ferrari at the top of the table. Brabham-Ford Cosworth were up to third thanks to Reutemann, Beltoise kept BRM in the game after his podium, while Lotus-Ford Cosworth just held onto a top five place after their double DNF. Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth were now level on points with their arch-rivals, while Surtees-Ford Cosworth and Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth were also on the board, either-side of March-Ford Cosworth.

Drivers' World Championship
Pos. Driver Pts +/-
1 Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 10
2 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 9 ▲9
3 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 9 ▼1
4 New Zealand Denny Hulme 9 ▼1
5 United Kingdom Mike Hailwood 9
6 France Jean-Pierre Beltoise 8 ▲2
7 Austria Niki Lauda 6 ▼3
8 Belgium Jacky Ickx 4 ▼2
9 France Patrick Depailler 4
10 Brazil Carlos Pace 3 ▼3
11 West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck 2 ▲1
12 Sweden Ronnie Peterson 1 ▼2
13 Italy Arturo Merzario 1 ▲1
International Cup for Manufacturers
Pos. Team Pts +/-
1 United Kingdom McLaren-Ford Cosworth 22
2 Italy Ferrari 12
3 United Kingdom Brabham-Ford Cosworth 9 ▲4
4 United Kingdom BRM 8 ▲1
5 United Kingdom Lotus-Ford Cosworth 4 ▼2
6 United Kingdom Tyrrell-Ford Cosworth 4
7 United Kingdom Surtees-Ford Cosworth 3 ▼3
8 United Kingdom March-Ford Cosworth 2 ▲1
9 United Kingdom Iso-Marlboro-Ford Cosworth 1 ▲1

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: SOUTH AFRICAN GP, 1974', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr238.html, (Accessed 16/03/2017)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.60 2.61 2.62 2.63 2.64 2.65 2.66 2.67 2.68 2.69 2.70 2.71 2.72 2.73 2.74 2.75 2.76 2.77 2.78 2.79 2.80 2.81 2.82 2.83 2.84 2.85 2.86 2.87 2.88 2.89 2.90 2.91 2.92 2.93 2.94 2.95 2.96 2.97 2.98 A.H., '8th South African Grand Prix: A popular win for Reutemann', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/05/1974), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/may-1974/25/8th-south-african-grand-prix, (Accessed 16/03/2017)
  3. D.S.J., 'New Formula One cars', motorsportmagazine.com, (Motor Sport, 01/04/1974), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/april-1974/33/new-formula-one-cars, (Accessed 16/03/2017)
  4. 'South Africa 1974: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1974/afrique-du-sud/engages.aspx, (Accessed 16/03/2017)
  5. 'South Africa 1974: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1974/afrique-du-sud/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 16/03/2017)
  6. 'South Africa 1974: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1974/afrique-du-sud/classement.aspx, (Accessed 16/03/2017)

Images and VideosEdit

V T E 1974 Formula One Season
Constructors Amon • Brabham • BRM • Ensign • Ferrari • Hesketh • Iso-Marlboro • Lola • Lotus • Lyncar • Maki • March • McLaren • Parnelli • Penske • Shadow • Surtees • Token • Trojan • Tyrrell
Engines BRM • Ferrari • Ford Cosworth
Drivers Amon • Andretti • Ashley • Bell • Belsø • Beltoise • Brambilla • Charlton • Depailler • Dolhem • Donohue • Driver • Edwards • Facetti • E. Fittipaldi • Ganley • Gethin • Hailwood • Hill • Hobbs • Hulme • Hunt • Ickx • Jabouille • Jarier • Keizan • Kinnunen • Koinigg • Laffite • Larrousse • Lauda • van Lennep • Lombardi • Mass • Merzario • Migault • Nicholson • von Opel • Pace • Perkins • Pescarolo • Peterson • Pillette • Purley • Pryce • Quester • Redman • Regazzoni • Reutemann • Revson • Robarts • Roos • I. Scheckter • J. Scheckter • Schenken • Schuppan • Stommelen • Stuck • Watson • Wietzes • Wilds • Wisell
Cars Amon AF101 • Brabham BT42 • Brabham BT44 • BRM P160 • BRM P201 • Ensign N174 • Ferrari 312B • Hesketh 308 • Lola T370 • Lotus 72 • Lotus 76 • Lyncar 006 • Maki F101 • March 731 • March 741 • McLaren M23 • Parnelli VPJ4 • Penske PC1 • Shadow DN1 • Shadow DN3 • Surtees TS16 • Token RJ02 • Trojan T103 • Tyrrell 004 • Tyrrell 005 • Tyrrell 006 • Tyrrell 007 • Williams FW03
Tyres Firestone • Goodyear
Races Argentina • Brazil • South Africa • Spain • Belgium • Monaco • Sweden • Netherlands • France • Britain • Germany • Austria • Italy • Canada • United States
See also 1973 Formula One Season • 1975 Formula One Season • Category
V T E South Africa South Africa South African Grand Prix
Circuits Prince George Circuit (1934–1963), Kyalami Circuit (1965-1993)
Rsa 1066372-k5
Championship Races 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986–1991 • 1992 • 1993
Non-championship races 1934 • 1936 • 1937 • 1938 • 1939 • 1960 • 1960 • 1961 • 1966 • 1981
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