South African GP 1972

South African GP, 1972

Although there were six weeks between the Argentine GP and South Africa, most of the cars were sent directly to Kyalami from Buenos Aires and so there were few changes in the entry. Mike Hailwood joined Surtees, having missed the first race because of clashing Formula 5000 event, while BRM ran Jean-Pierre Beltoise for the first time as he had decided not to race in Argentina because of his legal problems left over from the accident a year earlier which had claimed the life of Ignazio Giunti. The Williams team ran a new Brazilian rising star called Carlos Pace alongside regular driver Henri Pescarolo and Rolf Stommelen made his first appearance in the privately-run Eifelland March. The field was bolstered as usual by some local cars, including Dave Charlton in a Lucky Strike Lotus and Rhodesian driver John Love in a Team Gunston Surtees.

Jackie Stewart had won the opening race of the World Championship for Tyrrell and he took pole in Kyalami, beating Clay Regazzoni (FerrarI) and Emerson Fittipaldi (Lotus) by a few tenths. Hailwood was on the second row with Denny Hulme (McLaren), while Mario Andretti (Ferrari) shared the third row with his team mate Jacky Ickx and Francois Cevert in the second Tyrrell. The top 10 was completed by Ronnie Peterson (March) and Tim Schenken (Surtees).

At the start Hulme was briefly in the lead before Stewart moved ahead, while Fittipaldi, Hailwood, Cevert, Peterson and Andretti gave chase. Regazzoni made a bad start and was in the midfield. Stewart quickly built a lead while the battle for second between Hulme, Fittipaldi and Hailwood detached itself from the rest of the field. When Hulme's car began to overheat he dropped behind both his rivals and a few laps later Hailwood was also able to pass Fittipaldi to move up to second and began to challenge Stewart for the lead. Five laps later Hailwood was stopped by a rear suspension failure. This left Fittipaldi to attack Stewart. The Tyrrell driver stayed ahead but on lap 45 he suffered a gearbox failure and was out, leaving Fittipaldi in the lead with Hulme right on his tail. Fittipaldi now ran into handling problems and on lap 57 Hulme was able to take the lead and go on to win. Fittipaldi was in a strong second place as there was a big gap back to third place and it became even bigger when Chris Amon's Matra developed a serious vibration which dropped him down the order. Third place thus went to Peter Revson in the second McLaren.

12 Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M19A 79 1h45m49.100s  
Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Cosworth 72D 79 1h46m03.200s  
14 Peter Revson McLaren-Cosworth M19A 79 1h46m14.900s  12 
Mario Andretti Ferrari 312B2 79 1h46m27.600s  
Ronnie Peterson March-Cosworth 721 79 1h46m38.100s  
19 Graham Hill Brabham-Cosworth BT33 78  14 
Niki Lauda March-Cosworth 721 78  21 
Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B2 78  
Francois Cevert Tyrrell-Cosworth 002 78  
10 David Walker Lotus-Cosworth 72D 78  19 
11 21 Henri Pescarolo March-Cosworth 721 77  22 
12 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B2 77  
13 25 Rolf Stommelen Eifelland March-Cosworth 721 77  25 
14 24 Helmut Marko BRM P153 76  23 
15 15 Chris Amon Matra Simca-Matra MS120C 76  13 
16r 27 John Love Surtees-Cosworth TS9 73 Puncture/ Accident 26 
17 22 Carlos Pace March-Cosworth 711 73  24 
nc 23 Howden Ganley BRM P160B 70  16 
nc 18 Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 69  20 
nc 11 Peter Gethin BRM P160B 65  18 
10 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P160B 60 Engine 11 
Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Cosworth 003 45 Gearbox 
17 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Cosworth TS9B 28 Suspension 
20 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT34 27 Fuel Line 15 
16 Tim Schenken Surtees-Cosworth TS9B Engine 10 
26 Dave Charlton Lotus-Cosworth 72D Fuel Pump 17 
ns 28 Willie Ferguson Brabham-Cosworth BT33  Engine 27