DRIVERS: CARLOS PACE
Name: Carlos Pace
Date of birth: October 6, 1944 - Sao Paulo
Date of death: March 18, 1977 - Sao Paulo
The Brazilian Grand Prix is often held in Sao Paulo at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, but few fans today remember the man after whom Interlagos is named.
A debonair and charming man, Pace - who was known to his friends as Moco - was a school friend of Wilson Fittipaldi and started racing in 1963 at the wheel of a Renault Dauphine. He went on to become Brazilian champion in 1967, 1968 and 1969 with an Alfa Romeo T33.
In 1970 he headed for Europe to race in the British Formula 3 Championship and won the Forward Trust Championship that year in a Lotus. He also finished third in the more prestigious Lombank series. His 1971 season was disrupted by problems at home but he signed up to drive for Frank Williams in Formula 2 and ended his year with a victory in a race at Imola.
In 1972 he graduated to Formula 1 with Williams but had a frustrating season with only two finishes in the points. He drove a Ferrari in the Osterreichring 1000, finishing second, and was third at the wheel of a Gulf Mirage sportscar at Watkins Glen. In 1973 he moved to Surtees and scored his first podium in Austria. He also continued to race Ferrari sportscars and finished second at Le Mans with Arturo Merzario. In 1974 he stayed with Surtees until an invitation arrived for him to join Brabham, alongside Carlos Reutemann.
In 1975 Pace scored his first (and as it turned out only) Grand Prix victory in front of his home crowd at Interlagos after a stirring battle with Fittipaldi but a series of other places meant that he ended the season sixth in the World Championship. Alas, Brabham then decided to embark on an adventure with Alfa Romeo engines and the 1976 season was a frustrating one with only a few placings. The Brabham-Alfa seemed to be a lot better in 1977 but after four races Pace was killed in a light aeroplane accident at Mairipora, near Sao Paulo, along with his friend and fellow racer Marivaldo Fernandes, on his way back to the city from Fernandes's farm.