Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1974 South African Grand Prix

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Date  30 March 1974
Driver  Niki Lauda
Course length  4.1 km (2.5 mi)
Time  1:16.58
1974 South African Grand Prix
Location  Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa
Course  Permanent racing facility

The 1974 South African Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Kyalami on 30 March 1974.


Race summary

It was initially uncertain that the South African Grand Prix would go ahead due to the 1973 oil crisis, but it did so, albeit at the end of March rather than in its traditional date in the first week of March. Lotus stunned the paddock with an innovative car which used four pedals and an electric clutch.

However, practice was overshadowed by an accident which killed Peter Revson. While driving the Ford UOP Shadow-Ford DN3 in a test session before the race, Revson suffered a front suspension failure, and crashed heavily into the Armco barrier on the outside of Barbecue Bend (Turn 2), and was killed. Denny Hulme tried to save his life, but to no avail. Revson's team Shadow withdrew as a result

Niki Lauda took pole by a fraction of a second from Carlos Pace. The two Lotus cars tangled shortly after the start, the incident also involving Jochen Mass and Henri Pescarolo whilst Tom Belsø's race lasted no more than a few hundred yards due to clutch failure. Lauda led a train of cars consisting of Carlos Reutemann, Clay Regazzoni, Jody Scheckter and James Hunt, whose Hesketh was suffering vibration problems.

Mike Hailwood caught and passed Scheckter when he missed a gear, and then passed Reutemann on lap 9. On lap 75, nearly at the finish, Lauda was forced to retire with ignition problems and low oil pressure, handing the lead to Reutemann. This was Reutemann's first win, the first for an Argentinian driver since Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1957 German Grand Prix, and Brabham's first since the 1970 South African Grand Prix. Jean-Pierre Beltoise fought his way up through the field to 2nd, holding off a determined challenge from Mike Hailwood who took the final podium place.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
  • References

    1974 South African Grand Prix Wikipedia

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