So, Voigt finally got his big break. Only to royally blow it. On track at least. As out of the car, he seems to have hit a jackpot of sorts.
Extensive lobbying from Marcelo, who finally earned some of all that money we’re throwing at him, and Shumway yielded us a drive in a Gene Mason Racing entered March 711. It was the very same car that Austin Johnson had brilliantly steered to a silver medal in Monaco.
Expecting such excellence from Voigt would obviously be as rash as only fools can be.
In a vain effort to compensate for Voigt’s lack of recent practice, we arrived in Zandvoort early. Voigt immediately set out to test his car with a dedication that, in a better world, should earn him some recognition. Were it not that, in this world, he was part of a team that would never be big on such frivolities.
Pretty soon, the apparently unavoidable whining however started. The car felt brutal. The steering wheel jolting almost out of control over the many bumps in the circuit. Straining Voigt’s arms and shoulders. A complaint that kind of puzzled me. Was Jon P-daddy not supposed to be an athlete? Capable to cope with much worse strains?
Then, it was that the bulges made the rear of the car unpredictable. Voigt would manage a series of successive laps, improving his times, convincing all of us in the pit that we were getting there. And then, painful screeches of tires somewhere in the back of the circuit annihilated our hopes.
Either Voigt stumbled back to the pit some ten minutes later, needing all his wit to guide a dusty and crippled car back to the pit. Or Marcelo had to go ploughing through the dunes with tractor and trailer. Trying to find Voigt and the March. And repatriate the both of them back to the garage. Where the team then indulged in a lackluster effort to repair the car as good as possible.
Voigt was now solemnly convincing Marcelo that the old March 701, the one we had secured for Kyalami, felt more stable and more predictable than this brand new 711, equipped with all the latest technology. The idiot, devoid of any spunk, clearly lacked even the slightest notion as to the effort and money we had spent to get him into this car.
Marcelo suggested giving one of John Love’s mechanics a call to ask that the exact settings of Voigt’s Kyalami 701 would be telegrammed over. I objected obviously, feigning the cost of a telegram as a pure waste of money. But, in fact, I refused because the mere conception of that brainless burp Marcelo thinking of something that I had not thought of, was rather unbearable. It just took some hours of Guzik talking me in to the idea, with that typical coaxing trite fawning that the Hymies always lay on you to get it their way.
Once arrived, the telegram soon proved worth its weight in gold. As soon as the piece of paper arrived, Marcelo set about instructing and insulting the mechanics. Who were bolting some kind of revolutionary servo onto the steering system. Making it softer, filtering the bumps.
Then the rear of the car was slightly raised. Giving it more travel.
I shammed everyone into believing that I was fully with the program but thought it was all just more shambles. Until Voigt turned thirty straight laps without as much as a wheel locking. His times improving.
Every night, during the half hour drive back to the Amstel-hotel, J.P. would be in the back of the car discussing the tiniest details of the March’s behavior with Marcelo. The old Spaniard had insisted that we stayed in the Amsterdam landmark. Because this was the hotel where Michel Vaillant –a former racing star I understand- would stay whenever he was in Amsterdam.
The Amstel submerged in the typical grandeur of lost times. With a hall covered in thick sulky red carpet that always looked perfectly trimmed. Even when it was raining cats and dogs and hordes of muddy shoes were dragged in. The fact that most people frequenting this kind of hotel were commonly chauffeured up to the entrance, probably helped.
One evening, as we were walking from the hotel to a restaurant, we stopped to behold a small score of ladies closing of public toilets with ribbons. There were some television cameras around. One of the ladies was explaining to a reporter that they denounced the public sanitary installations only being equipped to cater for the male population.
Meanwhile, some other ladies were gaudily caressing the buttocks of every man walking by unaccompanied. Or treated them to whistled lullabies. This, they said, only returned the favors bestowed on them when walking past building sites and other venues marked by male predominance.
Voigt was accosted by one of them, who wore an elegant long blond hairdo. The beauty of natural daintiness was only marred by an overly pronounced assertiveness in her bearing. Trust Void however, to majestically fail at managing even the weakest retort. The idiot just wearily swaying as his entire buttocks were sized up.
For a brief while, I felt I had to step in… once again. Then wondered why on earth I would, and just continued my way towards some food, rest and shelter from all this madness.
The next day, Voigt showed up at the racetrack with the dainty hoyden by his side. The colleen obviously displaying sufficient insolence to stay put in the garage box during the entire race weekend.
Explaining to Shumway that about a year ago she and her friends had stormed and successfully occupied an old schloss converted into a business school. Simply because the board only allowed male students to attend tuition.
“This here,” she added, while flashing deep blue glances of contempt with eyes glistening like sapphires, “will be the next male fastness to conquer.”
Filling me with a deep fear that more of her hellion friends would soon show up. Then again, just a bit of our H Tea Plus, by now refined to near perfection by old Hoffmann, would suffice to soothe the deepest passions of these floozies in the making.
Whatever the maiden meant to Voigt, she certainly did not inspire him to much greatness on the track. Patrich only qualified the March 711 in 23rd spot with a time just north of 1 minute 21 seconds. About two seconds a lap faster than Jason Fitch in a similar car.
I made sure that Frank Williams made a mental note of this. Vaguely mentioning some strings we could pull at Honda… And that this Ronnis guy from Woking, who is barely able to pay Tauranac the rent on a Formula 2-car, made it clear that he would forever be in our debt, should we pull such strings for his team.
Voigt was however also still over 2 seconds a lap slower than Fredriksson in a factory entered March 711. The Spanish oracle serving as our crew chief tried to convince me that Fredriksson had a Cosworth S10 engine in the back. While as we only had an older S9 version of the engine. Producing about 15 less brake horsepower. Which left me pondering on an effective manner to get it into this Costa del Sol’s sunburnt brain that I could not possibly be bothered with such futilities.
Championship leader Riddall secured the pole again. Sharing the front row with Lotus driver Wilks and Ferrari-man Michal Janak. The second was for Mikula, who had secured a Lotus one-off drive, and Coxon.
Just prior to the race, the admins had required the different teams to change a part in the gearbox, helping the drivers to manage a clean get-go. When following the instructions that came with the part, successfully installing the part required two minutes at the very most.
The Alfa Romeo mechanics working on Lacina’s car had however, obviously almost, felt that abiding to instructions from some Dutch admins was far beneath them. And had gone about changing the part their way.
Resulting in disgruntled marshals disqualifying Lacina as soon as just an inch of his March’s wheel entered the track surface; kindling a fierce Italo-Czech indignation. To me, the matter was simple enough. They choose to omit the instructions, so, even if tough on them, let them sweat it out.
Time for the admins to show their saint side however. Moving for a restart and a short delay to allow the Italian Alfa-March crew to adequately fit the part. One would expect these guys to grab that change in fortune with both hands and carefully install the part as indicated in the instructions. Showing some gratitude, making the most of this lucky break.
But not the Italians over at March. Allegedly, they could no longer find the official instructions. One of the Guido’s pointed at another claiming that he had used the instructions to drain his pasta. The latter denied the whole thing and professed that one of the March principals had been pleasuring himself with it. While dressed in World War II-memorabilia.
In a rather vain effort to somewhat soothe the discontent of the other teams and the public, the Dutch marshals decided to blare some music through the loudspeakers. It sounded much like a flock of seagulls crying into the North Sea wind.
It would take the Italian Salvation Army deserters about thirty-one attempts before the Dutch marshals where convinced to let them start. Throughout all the mayhem to get the gearbox part installed, the March mechanics had however somehow managed to bolt a set of rear wheels with completely worn out tires onto the car.
The tattered tires caused Lacina, supposedly a professional racecar driver, to spin off in Tarzan on the warm-up lap. Those who expected some serenity from the Czech driver in dealing with that twist of fate, after everyone attending had basically waited 30 minutes to allow his team resolving their proper sloppiness, were in for a surprise.
The March-driver jumped out of his car and ran across the track, wildly waiving his arms and yelling for a restart. Was he lucky that that Smoke character only just turned one month old, I thought.
There would be no restart however. Luckily for Lacina, the Italian mechanics were suddenly enlightened with new energetic enthusiasm. And they managed to pull the car across the dunes back into the pits, clamp a new set of rear wheels onto it and get it ready at the pit exit by the time the last starting car would speed by. Allowing their driver to start from the pit lane.
To avoid additional disputes with the Dutch marshals, the series administrators also decided that, exceptionally, a reduced set of regulations would govern the Dutch Grand Prix.
As the starting flag finally dropped, Grant Riddall seemed to have a rare moment of inattentiveness. Wilks shot into the lead. But the man making the best start was Coxon, rushing straight to second from his fifth starting position.
Riddall had to offer the best he had to keep in front of a hard charging Mikula, who passed Janak. The Ferrari-driver had a horrible start falling back to 8th before turn one was even rounded.
As they came over the start-finish line for the first time, Riddall was back to Grant the Great-form… If not Grant the Greater. While Coxon tried to get a draft from Wilks’ Lotus on the long front straight of Zandvoort, Riddall pulled along side Coxon. Filling the mirrors on Wilks’ Lotus with nothing but Surtees. Riddall’s hunger seemed insatiable in these opening stages as he continued his effort drawing level with the number three Lotus.
The Surtees man tempted a pass around the outside of Tarzan. Wilks defended the corner with verve. There was even more verve in Riddall’s driving however, as he continued his effort into Gerlach. A second attempt that also failed at yielding success.
The Briton settled down a bit.
Wilks and Riddall edged out a bit from Coxon. With barely one lap run, the fourth running car was already over 3 seconds down on the leaders.
That fourth car was a second Lotus 72 driven by Pascal Mikula, who was closely followed by Brian Janik in his lobster claw Brabham, Austin Johnson in an old March 701, Yves Plaçais on Matra and Janak in the first of the Ferrari’s. Ray Riddall and Petr Hlavac rounded out the top 10.
Two cars had already abandoned: François Remmen and Philippe Martinelli. The former lost some traction out of Bos Uit, making him slow onto the main straight, and got more or less punted off by Jundt. The ensuing spin disintegrated his entire front train. The latter just pulled into the pit at the end of the first lap, disheartened by a qualification session marred by several technical issues.
Voigt completely flunked his start. Applying to much power at once nearly loosing the rear. He held on to it but only after ending up with both left wheels on the grass. All momentum was gone and, except for Hackman, who had stepped in for Goissen, and Martinelli, all cars went by. With Lacina starting from the pits, Voigt was down to 25th.
He rapidly regained one spot though, when Marc Florkin had a half off in Scheivlak on lap 1. Marcelo had offered the Liègeois some help with setting up his McLaren and Florkin had qualified his car for the first time this season.
The misfortune of Remmen moved Voigt up one additional spot and by the end of lap one, he was running 23rd again. From there, he gently started reeling in Acerclinth, who was trying hard to get passed Jason Fitch.
“I guess he really is the stroking type, rather than the hard charging type,” Marcelo offered.
I looked at the blond siren following her boy wonder from the pitwall with those magnificent never ending blue eyes. And wondered which of her chords Voigt was stroking?
Johnson was getting into his strides, passing Brian Janik out of Bos Uit in his jalopy March 701. But he did not leave it at that. In the twisty back part, he easily closed the gap to Mikula whose Lotus had about twice the power of the old March.
Starting lap 3, Riddall was back to full offense mode, right on Wilks’ tail. He was so close to the Lotus now that the smallest mistake of one of them drivers would end in tears. Over the Hunserug, towards Zijn Veld, there was an initial light contact between both cars.
Starting lap 4, Riddall had an optimal slipstream from the Lotus on the approach to Tarzan. Wilks however defended the inside line, forcing Grant onto the outside. That did not stop the Surtees-driver, who managed to be almost an entire car length ahead as they entered Tarzan.
Riddall kept it together and was about to pull ahead of the Lotus around the outside. Wilks seemed unable to stick to the inside line, maybe carrying to much speed with the aim of keeping the Surtees behind. The front of the Lotus broke slightly loose under the strain of the bend and slid wide. Touching the Surtees a first time, accidentally it seemed.
Through the incident, the Surtees had somehow managed to maintain much more momentum than the Lotus, and Grant seemed to be grabbing the lead on his way to Gerlach. When Richard moved back from the left to the right. Bumping into the Surtees a second time in a maneuver that looked much less unintentional.
Truth be said, both these drivers were on the ragged edge at this point. Both determined to not give in. Within the heat of all that blustering action, it is not even certain that the one clearly knew where the other was about. It were racing incidents as they occur every race.
Riddall seemed to cool it a tad nevertheless and there was a bit less drama during the following laps. Yet, Wilks had no other option but keeping an inside line every time they approached Tarzan. And the pressure was clearly mounting in the Lotus cockpit. The Portuguese driver entered Bos Uit very hot and nearly lost it. Then went wide in Tarzan.
Riddall behind did not capitalize on these small errors. Would the Lion from Surtees be settling into second? Or did he expect that, at this rate, it was only a matter of time before the Lotus would ruin its own chances?
Behind, Frederiksson moved out of Ray Riddall’s slipstream and overtook the BRM. Then completely missed his braking point into Tarzan, shooting straight ahead and almost taking off Hlavac’s front wing. The factory March slammed into the wire fencing. Race over.
Starting lap 8, Riddall caught a perfect tow from Wilks onto the main straight. Even with the Lotus defending the inside line, it looked as if the Surtees was going to slip by before they even entered Tarzan. Until the Lotus pulled back to the left, bumping into the Surtees. Were the defensive lines of the Lotus getting questionable?
Behind a small train was running behind fourth placed Mikula, who had already fell back a few oceans of time. Johnson ran wide trying an overtaking maneuver through Tarzan. This left Janik by, who was now back in fifth behind Mikula. The Can-Am race at Mid-Ohio still on their minds, there still was not much love lost between those two.
Janik had a modest look on the inside entering Tarzan, but soon thought the better of it. The Detroiter seemed to have sufficient wits on him to keep a cool head this early in the race.
Lovebirds Mikula and Janik then had Plaçais between them. The French driver was using all the might of the V12 Matra on his ascension to the front. Johnson tried to slip passed Janik in Plaçais’ wake through Hugenholtz, but Janik used the power of his Cosworth to pull away over Hunserug.
One lap further, Plaçais also dispensed with Mikula, and the old Mid-Ohio friends could go at it again.
Another one to not sit still was our Pat. He simply flew by Jason Fitch’s equal car on the front straight, gaining a place, and seemed to find a rhythm. I send a messenger to Frank Williams, ensuring that a second mental note registered.
David Jaques was having a serious argument over 16th spot with Jari Bruppacher. On lap 9 the Ferrari, leading the BRM, skid sideways into Scheivlak. An onstorming Jaques could not avoid him and pierced into a scarlet quarter-panel. Bruppacher continued but was forced to take a lengthy stop for a new front wheel. The BRM suffered even more damage and retired. The Swiss Ferrari-driver withdrew shortly after.
Blom went wide onto the grass out of the very fast Hondenvlak. He crashed the third Surtees backwards into the fencing, completely destroying it. Hondenvlak can be understood as meaning dog’s ass in Dutch. We thus all hoped that Blom did not have to dodge too much turds on his walk back to the pits.
With ten entire laps on the scoreboards, Wilks was still in the lead. But an increasing number of bystanders wondered how much longer he would be able to keep it up. Surtees’ boys Riddall and Coxon followed in second and third. Running fourth was Plaçais, with two best friends Mikula and Janik running 5th and 6th. Janak, Johnson, Hlavac and Ray Riddall rounded out the top 10. While as Voigt had made it back into the top 20.
At the forefront, Riddall had now adopted a pattern of putting some pressure on Wilks in the swaying rollercoaster section between Hugenholtz and Scheivlak. Then taking a wait and see pattern through the remaining lap. Coxon had let himself fall back a bit from the two scrappers. And that seemed a wise decision.
In lap 14, fate inevitably caught up with the two roosters. Riddall went wide into Panorama bend. His four wheels careened on the grass but Grant kept it straight, coming almost to a standstill however. Coxon graciously sailed by.
At almost exactly the same moment, Wilks seemed to loose the rear of the Lotus in that same Panorama bend. The Portuguese driver was less fortunate as his car slammed hard into the wire-fencing, got launched and disintegrated upon return to earth. Another race prematurely ended for the Portuguese driver.
The race thus returned to circumstances we by now grew accustomed to. Namely, two Surtees well in front, out of reach of all other contestants. With now third placed Plaçais over 13 seconds behind them, it seemed only their own doing could keep the Surtees from another one-two.
It was only a matter of a few bends, before Riddall was on his teammate’s tail. And his ambition had not flustered one bit, as he immediately started charging with undiminished fierceness. The Sunday still had no peaceful afternoon in store for John Surtees.
Coxon however decided to spare his team owner more aggravation. Starting lap 18 he did not thoroughly insist on defending the top spot and let Riddall go. Many wondered whether Wilks had not been better off going down the same path?
The two leaders were now preparing to lap our car. Which caused some stress to Voigt. As the admins had decided to cut down on some of the rules, it was unclear whether the trackside marshals would be waving blue flags or not. Luckily, the Dutch can never entirely deny their Calvinistic roots and as soon as the two Surtees got close enough, blue flags were frantically waving all over the place.
In the interlude, Janik had somehow managed to overhaul Mikula. Those two were now disputing 4th and the understanding between them was still scarce. Mikula used the power of the Lotus to draw level with the Brabham coming out of Huzaren Vlak and went by on the main straight.
Janak was still holding on the last points paying position, but was coming under ever increasing pressure from Hlavac. With the power deficit of the McLaren versus the Ferrari, this was yet another laudable performance from the Czech driver. What was even more impressive, was that Austin Johnson managed to keep up with both these cars in a March 701 that was not only way down on power, but also struggled with a by now ageing chassis.
In the twisty parts, both the McLaren and the March were all over the Ferrari. Should Kirdy Stevens have been watching, he would surely have gotten inspiration for some of his scenes. On the main straight, the two Cosworths however lacked the breath to keep up with the 12-cylinder boxer engine. Nasty gossip has it that the Ferrari engine is actually nothing but two bolted together flat sixes out of Zuffenhausen. A rumor denied as fiercely by Stuttgart as by Maranello.
On lap 20, Hlavac finally got a perfect pull from the Ferrari and took the inside to brake late into Tarzan. Janak, trying to preserve his turf, also went on the brakes very late. Too late, as it turned out. The Ferrari slid onto the grass and lost three spots.
Lap 22. Juha Bos, who had been running a discrete race till now, enters Rob Slotenmaker. The rear of the Lotus seems to step out slightly. Next thing we knew, Bos was spinning wildly and ended up in the fencing. He had written off yet another Lotus.
While we were planning our participation to this, primarily European series, I had done some reading about, among others, Colin Chapman. He had struck me as quiet a capable bloke. There is something irresistibly romantic about the story of the young engineer, at the start of his career, using the money from his first job to buy a modest car. Then using his skill to improve that same car and race it. Winning price-money, using that to build a better car. Ending up selling some of the cars he designed. Gradually moving up the ladder, till he fielded his own team in Formula 1. Finally winning the supreme class of the sport with Clark behind the wheel.
Now, merely three years following the regretted driver’s passing, this incredible entente Chapman and Clark shared, seems something of ages long gone. Just as the US having leaders like the Kennedies and MLK seems entirely improbable in today’s tricky Dicky-era.
It did not stop Chapman from brewing up visionary concepts like the monocoque chassis and pioneering with aerodynamics in racing.
Only truly great men combine such levels of both scientific and emotional intelligence. And even if he remained, in essence, a slightly pedantic Limey, the man had earned some of my appreciation.
This season however, he seemed to have gone bananas. First of all, when we had a drink, he preferred Scotch over Bourbon. And then his drivers…
Kyalami: Wilks allows Fredriksson into his nerves and crashes out. Monaco: Wilks smacks his Lotus into oblivion out of the chicane. Zandvoort: Wilks, under pressure from Riddall, launches for the moon in Panorama. Four races into the season and all his fastest driver has to show for was a fifth at Montjuich. And a pole at Kyalami. But poles do not score points.
As to Bos. Up to this point, he wrecked every car handed to him and yet has to manage a top 10.
Looking at Mick Chapman’s performance at Monaco and Mikula’s at Zandvoort, it is hard to blame the car. So why is Chapman so adamant on loyalty to his drivers? If one of my runners fails to deliver the goods once, that can be condoned. We are human after all. But loosing a cargo twice? Services no longer required and measures to guarantee eternal silence ordered.
Just over one third of the race had been dispensed with and the running order was now: first and second, the Surtees duo Riddall and Coxon proceeding in their own galaxy. Plaçais in his Matra, first of the mere mortals, held a lonely third. Mikula, defending the Hethel colors in the last remaining Lotus, in fourth. The German still had Detroiter Janik hot on his heels though. Hlavac was earning the last point in his McLaren.
Behind the Czech followed Johnson, Ray Riddall in a BRM, and the two Ferraris of Janak and Ryon.
Valiant Voigt was by now up to a brilliant 17th. Such a pity that alcohol wise, the Netherlands were just a vast dessert. Celebrations would thus be somewhat… stiff.
Further up, Hlavac had a real eye out for Janik’s fifth spot. On lap 26, he timidly made his car large in Janik’s mirrors on the approach of Tarzan. But wisely rejoined the ranks.
Slotenmaker bend almost claimed a second Lotus. Mikula hit the inside kerb of the turn quiet hard, forcing him onto a wide line and slightly onto the grass. That prevented him from slowing sufficiently for Scheivlak and round went the Lotus. The German could continue, be it 3 spots down. And with Janak’s Ferrari now having closed in.
Scheivlak seemed to be a tricky corner as fatigue started entering the equation. Ray Riddall spun off backwards but rejoined without damage.
Mikula’s off moved Janik and Hlavac into fourth and fifth. While as the ever impressive California tanned Johnson was now earning points with his destitute March 701. Jundt had managed the same feat at Monaco, but this was a power track. Making the Californian’s achievement probably even more stunning.
It was however not to last. Mikula closed back in fast and then used the power of his last generation Cosworth to pull ahead on the main straight. Through Tarzan, Gerlach and Hugenholtz, Johnson gave the German a taste of real driving, almost sucking up the exhaust system of the Lotus.
But over the Hunserug knoll, the poor March did not stand a chance.
Lacina lost his engine and was out of the race.
Hlavac finally managed to get a sufficient pull out of Janik’s Brabham and went by into Tarzan. Janik choose to not risk it all, and settled into fifth.
Steve Parker and Michal Janak were now deciding between them who would hold 8th position. With the V12-nobility in both the Ferrari and BRM, it almost seemed like a royal duel. Janak went wide in Tarzan, allowing Parker to almost slip by. But then the door got firmly shut. Parker had a second look at Gerlach but, for now, had to content himself with 9th. And had to watch out for the other Ferrari of Gerard Ryon looming reddish and devilish in his mirrors.
Austin Johnson meanwhile added Brian Janik to his tally of more powerful cars unable to keep up with him.
Parker spun his BRM out of Tarzan, the heavy V12 in the BRM serving as a perfect pendulum. He calmly pointed the car in the right direction on the stripe of grass bordering the track. Making sure to hinder none of the other drivers. And was on his way again.
The old Cosworth in Johnson’s car then called it a day. The brilliant display of near unearthly talent was over.
Another BRM versus Ferrari match was brewing. Ray Riddall, running 8th, was catching up with Gerard Ryon. As the beast from Bourne grew menacing in the prancing horse’s mirrors, Ryon’s back went slightly loose through Rob Slotemaker. The Ferrari careened of the track and hit the barriers. The left front wheel was lost in the incident. A second Ferrari-race was shelved.
Voigt had climbed up to 14th, a more than decent result. Not only was his engine as down on power as the old March 701’s, but he moreover had to deal with the unruly 711 chassis. The latter off course only being Voigt’s opinion.
Jonny however felt the time ripe for some Patsy daddy goofiness. His blond zany Lolita stood on the pitwall, showing him large carton boards with clot knows what information. This every time he thundered over the start finish straight. At one point, he got so caught up in the cardboards that he did not notice the car speeding straight onto the grass. At least, that is what the hick would declare post race. I am, honestly, convinced that it was the braless blouse on the pitwall that distracted him. Maybe, we should let the boy enjoy it before gravity sets in.
As soon as Voigt was back to his senses, he hit the brakes. But it was too late. There was no way to sufficiently slow the car for Tarzan. It went straight into the fencing, bending the entire front suspension.
Voigt crippled back to the pits but the damage was too serious to repair. Still, now that all seemed lost, the bonehead insisted on displaying some zeal. So he left the pits, the car erratically teetering over the track and almost took out the BRM of Ray Riddall. Old Marcelo felt compelled to send a box of vintage port over to the Owen Organization’s garage with extensive apologies.
Jon Patrich attracted attention of race control who, with good reason, ordered him back to the pit to get the car fixed. As the car could not be adequately fixed, the team had no option but to retire the car. What a bloody waste of effort over mere subcutaneous fat destined to sag anyway. Maybe we should really consider to replace the shit bag. Dump him in the blond vixens ass and let him perish in tit’s heaven while it lasted.
With over 50 laps done away with, and the race well into the final third, the two Surtees were still solidly in the lead; Riddall ahead of Coxon. Plaçais was running a lonely race in third, as was Hlavac in fourth. Mikula was down to fifth in the last remaining Lotus with Janak about ten seconds behind him in sixth. Ray Riddall, Thiago Canola, running the now last of the 711’s, Brian Janik and Steve Parker completed the top ten.
Coxon had been eating into his deficit to Riddall for several laps. And many started wondering whether we would still get treated to an actual race for the lead. It would not be however.
Ray Riddall was back to dogging every turn of Janak’s wheel. The BRM seemed faster than the Ferrari, the Italian car throwing up large smokescreens from its tires on almost every corner entry. The BRM was equally on the edge, often clipping inside curbstones in turns.
With barely more than 10 laps to go, it was time for the Matra-engine behind Plaçais to blow its last puff. The Frenchman was forced to end another race prematurely. Everyone save the Surtees moved one spot up.
Ray Riddall made it past Janak. And the earlier roles reversed. The BRM now smoked its tires into the turns. The English car however slowly inched away from the Ferrari.
The hottest action on track was now Jundt and Sabre dicing for ninth position. Sabre had a huge power advantage over Jundt’s March jalopy. Jundt however used every ounce of his extensive driving ability to keep up. The pressure seemed to get to Sabre who, at one stage, went almost entirely sideways through Zijn Veld.
The Brit put everything he had into driving the Matra, hampered by some minor suspension damage, but in the end had to give way and let the Swiss ace go.
In front of them, everything remained as it was. And the race turned out to be another episode in the Rule of Riddall. The Surtees driver taking his third victory in a row. His teammate Coxon took second. Hlavac impressively steered his McLaren to third. One-off driver Pascal Mikula saved the honors for Lotus coming home fourth. Ray Riddall and Michal Janak took the last points.
Championship-wise, Riddall strengthens his position and now already has a 12 points lead over Richard Coxon. The second Surtees driver already needs one victory and one fourth with Riddall scoring no points, just to catch up.
Hlavac’s second podium finish, the Czech already ending on the podium at Montjuich, puts him third in the standings with 8 points. 25 points down on Riddall. Even at this early stage of the season, it seems near inconceivable that a Surtees would not take the top spot at the end of the season.
A large contingent of these drivers now ships across the pond to run the Indianapolis 500, before returning to Europe for the French Grand Prix. The fifth round of the championship to be held at the brand new Paul Ricard track in the deep South of France.