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1972 South African Grand Prix

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Title: 1972 South African Grand Prix  
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Subject: McLaren, Niki Lauda, Matra, Jacky Ickx, John Surtees, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jody Scheckter, Graham Hill, List of Formula One constructors, Denny Hulme
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1972 South African Grand Prix

  1972 South African Grand Prix
Race details
Race 2 of 12 in the 1972 Formula One season

The Kyalami Circuit (1967-1985)
Date 4 March 1972
Official name XVIII South African Grand Prix
Location Kyalami, Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa
Course Permanent racing facility
4.104 km (2.550 mi)
Distance 79 laps, 324.216 km (201.458 mi)
Weather Sunny, Hot, Dry

Pole position
Driver Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford
Time 1:17.0
Fastest lap
Driver Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford
Time 1:18.9
First Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford
Second Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford
Third Peter Revson McLaren-Ford

The 1972 South African Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Kyalami on 4 March 1972, six weeks after the opening round of the 1972 season.



A total of 27 F1 cars were entered for this event. Although this time gap, between the Argentine Grand Prix and South Africa, most cars were transported direct to Kyalami from Buenos Aires, and therefore few changes in the entry. [1]

Having missed the trip to Argentina due to clashing Formula 5000 race, Mike Hailwood returned to Team Surtees. Jean-Pierre Beltoise also missed Buenos Aires, however, this was due to legal problems following an accident that claimed the life of Ignazio Giunti back in January 1971. Team Williams ran a second March-Cosworth for raising star, Carlos Pace alongside their regular driver, Henri Pescarolo. A new team arrived in South Africa, the Team Eifelland Caravans outfit made its first appearance with Rolf Stommelen down to drive. As usual for Kyalami, the field was bolstered by some local cars; Dave Charlton in a Lucky Strike sponsored Lotus 72D, and pair of cars from Team Gunston for John Love (Surtees TS9) and Willie Ferguson (Brabham BT33). [1]


The reigning World Champion, and winner of the opening round, Jackie Stewart secured pole position, for Elf Team Tyrrell, averaging a speed of 119.221mph. Stewart beat Clay Regazzoni (Ferrari) and Emerson Fittipaldi (Lotus) by a few tenth of a second. Mike Hailwood was next up on the second row, joined by Denny Hulme in his McLaren M19A. A pair of Ferrari 312B2 were on row three, with Mario Andretti ahead of Jacky Ickx. They were joined by François Cevert in the second Tyrrell. [1][2]


The race was held over 79 laps of the Kyalami circuit. At the start, Denny Hulme briefly held the lead before Jackie Stewart moved ahead, meanwhile Clay Regazzoni had a bad get away and was back in the midfield. The Tyrrell 003 of Stewart quickly built a lead while the battle for second between Hulme, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mike Hailwood detached itself from the rest of the field. The Yardley Team McLaren of Hulme began to overheat and this saw him dropped behind his rivals. Hailwood, a few laps later, was able to pass Fittipaldi to move up to second and began to challenge Stewart for the lead. On lap 28, the rear suspension of Hailwood’s Surtees TS9B and he retired from the race. Although this left Fittipaldi to attack Stewart, the Tyrrell driver stayed ahead, only to suffer a gearbox failure on lap 45. Fittipaldi inherited the lead, with Hulme right on his tail. The Brazilian now ran into handling problems and this enable Hulme to regain the lead on lap 57, from which he would go to win. Fittipaldi was still in a strong second place as the gap between him and the third place, Chris Amon was large. The gap became even bigger where Amon’s Matra MS120C developed a serious vibration. This saw him drop down the order and finish 3 laps adrift in 15th. Third place thus went to the second McLaren, of Peter Revson. [1][2]

Hulme won in a time of 1hr 45.49.1mins., averaging a speed of 114.898mph, and was over 14 seconds ahead of Fititpaldi. Revson was a further 12.7 seconds behind. Only other drivers to complete the full race distance were Mario Andretti (Ferrari) and Ronnie Peterson (March). This victory gave Hulme a six point the lead in the World Championship. [1][3][4]


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 12 Denny Hulme McLaren-Ford 79 1:45:49.1 5 9
2 8 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford 79 + 14.1 3 6
3 14 Peter Revson McLaren-Ford 79 + 25.8 12 4
4 7 Mario Andretti Ferrari 79 + 38.5 6 3
5 3 Ronnie Peterson March-Ford 79 + 49.0 9 2
6 19 Graham Hill Brabham-Ford 78 + 1 Lap 14 1
7 4 Niki Lauda March-Ford 78 + 1 Lap 21  
8 5 Jacky Ickx Ferrari 78 + 1 Lap 7  
9 2 François Cevert Tyrrell-Ford 78 + 1 Lap 8  
10 9 Dave Walker Lotus-Ford 78 + 1 Lap 19  
11 21 Henri Pescarolo March-Ford 78 + 1 Lap 22  
12 6 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 77 + 2 Laps 2  
13 25 Rolf Stommelen March-Ford 77 + 2 Laps 25  
14 24 Helmut Marko BRM 76 + 3 Laps 23  
15 15 Chris Amon Matra 76 + 3 Laps 13  
16 27 John Love Surtees-Ford 73 Puncture / Accident 26  
17 22 Carlos Pace March-Ford 73 + 6 Laps 24  
NC 23 Howden Ganley BRM 70 Not Classified 16  
NC 18 Andrea de Adamich Surtees-Ford 69 Not Classified 20  
NC 11 Peter Gethin BRM 65 Not Classified 18  
Ret 10 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM 61 Engine 11  
Ret 1 Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford 45 Gearbox 1  
Ret 17 Mike Hailwood Surtees-Ford 28 Suspension 4  
Ret 20 Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Ford 27 Fuel System 15  
Ret 16 Tim Schenken Surtees-Ford 9 Engine 10  
Ret 26 Dave Charlton Lotus-Ford 2 Fuel Pump 17  
DNS 28 William Ferguson Brabham-Ford Engine


Championship standings after the race

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


  1. ^ a b c d e f "South African GP, 1972 Race Report - GP Encyclopedia - F1 History on". Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "1972 South African Grand Prix". 1972-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b "Formula 1® - The Official F1® Website". 1972-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "1972 Grand Prix of South Africa". 1972-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  • "The Official Formula 1 website". Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
Previous race:
1972 Argentine Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
1972 season
Next race:
1972 Spanish Grand Prix
Previous race:
1971 South African Grand Prix
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1973 South African Grand Prix
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