José Carlos Pace (PASCH-see; October 6, 1944 – March 18, 1977) was a Brazilian racing driver, who competed in 73 Grands Prix between 1972 and 1977, winning the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Autódromo José Carlos Pace at Interlagos, the scene of said victory, is named in his honour.
Pace was killed in a light aircraft accident on March 18, 1977, just over a week after the tragic events of the 1977 South African Grand Prix, which saw promising young Welshman Tom Pryce killed after Jansen van Vuuren's extinguisher struck his face. March 1977 was turning out to be a bad month for the Formula One community.
Before Formula OneEdit
Pace began his racing career in Brazil during the 1960s. He later went to Britain to compete in the British Formula Three championship. He then won the Forward Trust championship with Lotus.
He was called up to Formula Two in 1971, to race for Frank Williams. His Formula Two career was not as successful as his Formula Three career, as he was unable to score any points in his six races.
Williams believed that Pace had a bright future, despite his unsuccessful Formula Two experience. For the 1972 season, Pace raced for Williams' Formula One team. He scored a total of three points in his debut season.
While racing in Formula One, Pace also competed in multiple Formula Two and Can-Am events.
For the 1973 season, Pace joined the Surtees team. His season began poorly, retiring from the first four races for the season. The highlight of his season was when he scored his first Formula One podium finish in Austria.
Surtees renewed Pace's contract for the 1974 season. He completed his first Brazilian Grand Prix after retiring the previous year. He had earned a fourth place finish in the race. After the Swedish Grand Prix, Pace and John Surtees had a falling out. Pace then left the team, leaving him without a ride for the Dutch Grand Prix.
During the season, Brabham had made many improvements to the car which allowed Pace to earn his first and only pole position in South Africa. This would be his strongest season in his career, placing him in sixth position for the World Championship.
He finished in fourteenth position in the championship.
Now teamed with John Watson, Pace stuck with Brabham. He had an amazing start to the season, placing second in the opening race. During the next race in Brazil, things were looking good for Pace as he led the race. However, contact with James Hunt took Pace out of the race.
It looked like there would be another strong finish for Pace, as he managed to earn second position on the grid for the South African Grand Prix. However, Pace was passed right off of the grid and finished two laps down. This would be his last race.
After the South African Grand Prix, Pace would travel home to Brazil. He would be tragically killed in an aircraft accident near São Paulo. Along with the deaths of British Formula One driver Tom Pryce and track marshall Jansen Van Vuuren in the South African Grand Prix, the month of March would be forever labeled as one of the most tragic months of Formula One.
To remember his only victory, the Brazilian race track previously called Interlagos was renamed the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit
Formula One RecordEdit
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1973||Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||7||11th||Report|
|1974||Team Surtees||Surtees-Ford Cosworth||11||12th||Report|
|Bang & Olufsen Team Surtees|
|Goldie Hexagon Racing||Brabham-Ford Cosworth|
|Motor Racing Developments|
|1975||Martini Racing||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||24||6th||Report|
|1976||Martini Racing||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||7||14th||Report|
|1977||Martini Racing||Brabham-Alfa Romeo||6||15th||Report|
|Front Row Starts||7|
|Distance Raced||15759 km|
|Distance Led||294 km|
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||1975 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
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