Moments In Motorsport (23): Andretti – Schenken – Peterson – Regazzoni

Motorsport enthusiasts are often accused of wishing that nothing would change in the world of automobile racing and that the sport was always somehow better in days gone by. In many respects they have a valid point as photographs such as that above will testify; a time when the very top drivers from the world of grand prix and world championship sports car racing were happy to be seen and interact in public instead of disappearing into air-conditioned motor homes or intensive debriefing sessions. Almost anything seems better than associating with the spectators who take time out to travel to race circuits and pay to watch, thus ensuring the continuity of motorsport.

Moments In Motorsport (23): Andretti - Schenken - Peterson - Regazzoni

During the 1972 BOAC 1000km, six-hour world championship sports car race at Brands Hatch, both Mario Andretti (left) and Clay Regazzoni (right) drove their respective Ferrari 312P cars from the pits to the paddock, passing through crowds of spectators before meeting with their co-drivers Tim Schenken and Ronnie Peterson. All that kept them from the public was a thin length of rope. This was considered quite normal in the 1970s, unlike today, but it made the experience all the more enjoyable for the average spectator. And the interaction was one to be  remembered since while I was concentrating on taking photographs of the cars and drivers I failed to realise that another 312P was right behind me and Clay Regazzoni was impatient to park. Rather than wait for me to wake up and move he simply drove his Ferrari into the back of my ankles; I got the message and luckily was still able to walk after my close encounter. Such one-to-one contact would never happen today.

From ‘Moments in Motorsport’ by Trevor Legate.


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