South African GP 1970

MARCH 7, 1970

South African GP, 1970

The first race of the new decade took place at Kyalami and there were some major changes in the entry list for the new season. The big news was that the March company had been established by Max Mosley, Robin Herd, Alan Rees and Graham Coaker. This had built a Formula 3 car in 1969 but entered F1 in 1970 with major sponsorship from the STP oil treatment company. March had hired Chris Amon from Ferrari and Jo Siffert from the Walker-Durlacher team. Ferrari had hired Jacky Ickx from Brabham and would expand its F1 operations during the year as Enzo Ferrari no longer had to worry about running his car company, which had been taken over by Fiat. Pedro Rodriguez had decided to go back to BRM (which had landed money from the Yardley cosmetics company and had a completely new technical team which had produced the old new P153), where he replaced John Surtees, the 1964 World Champion having decided to build his own F1 cars. He bought (and modified) a McLaren for the early races. Jack Brabham built his first monocoque chassis, the BT33, and ran his car in unusual turquoise and yellow while the second Brabham appeared in Auto Moto und Sport colors for German Rolf Stommlen. Team Lotus was busy building the new Lotus 72 but began the year with the old 49s for Jochen Rindt and John Miles, while Graham Hill (now recovered from his leg-breaking accident at Watkins Glen the previous year) was shunted sideways into the Walker team, which had landed sponsorship from Brooke Bond Oxo.

McLaren continued to run Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme but had a new M14A, while Ken Tyrrell had fallen out with Matra over the use of the French company's V12 engines and so became a March customer with backing from Elf for Jackie Stewart and Johnny Servoz-Gavin. Matra returned with its own team, fielding Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo in its V12-engined cars. Frank Williams retained Piers Courage but switched to a new Dallara-designed De Tomaso chassis, fitted with a Cosworth engine.

For the South African GP there was a fifth March, entered for Mario Andretti by the STP Corporation.

The March presence was impressive at Kyalami and after qualifying the World Champion Jackie Stewart was on pole position in his Tyrrell car, while Amon was alongside side him in a factory car. The front row was completed by Jack Brabham. Rindt and Ickx shared the second row while the third featured Hulme, Surtees and Beltoise.

The race began with Stewart getting into the lead while Rindt tangled with Amon at the first corner and spun across into Brabham. This enabled Ickx, Beltoise, Oliver and McLaren to get ahead of Brabham, while Amon and Rindt dropped right down the order. Brabham quickly recovered and overtook all four drivers ahead of him by the end of lap six. he then chased after Stewart and took the lead on lap 20. Eighteen laps later Hulme (who had worked his way through to third) moved ahead of Stewart. The order remained unchanged to the finish with Beltoise being the only other driver unlapped in fourth place after McLaren and then Surtees had gone out with engine trouble. Ickx suffered a similar fate while Oliver went out with gearbox trouble.

12 Jack Brabham Brabham-Cosworth BT33 80 1h49m34.600s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M14A 80 1h49m42.700s  
Jackie Stewart March-Cosworth 701 80 1h49m51.700s  
Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra Simca-Matra MS120 80 1h50m47.700s  
10 John Miles Lotus-Cosworth 49C 79  14 
11 Graham Hill Lotus-Cosworth 49C 79  19 
Henri Pescarolo Marta Simca-Matra MS120 78  18 
23 John Love Lotus-Cosworth 49 78  22 
20 Pedro Rodriguez BRM P153 76  16 
10 16 Jo Siffert March-Cosworth 701 75  
11 24 Peter de Klerk Brabham-Cosworth BT26A 75  21 
12r 25 Dave Charlton Lotus-Cosworth 49C 73 Ignition 13 
13r Jochen Rindt Lotus-Cosworth 49C 72 Engine 
John Surtees McLaren-Cosworth M7C 60 Engine 
17 Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B 60 Engine 
21 George Eaton BRM P139 58 Engine 23 
Johnny Servoz-Gavin March-Cosworth 701 57 Engine 17 
22 Piers Courage De Tomaso-Cosworth 505 39 Suspension/ Accident 20 
Bruce McLaren McLaren-Cosworth M14A 39 Engine 10 
Mario Andretti March-Cosworth 701 26 Overheating 11 
14 Rolf Stommelen Brabham-Cosworth BT33 23 Engine 15 
19 Jackie Oliver BRM P153 22 Gearbox 12 
15 Chris Amon March-Cosworth 701 14 Overheating