Autosport (UK) - - INSIGHT -


Af­ter a trou­bled qual­i­fy­ing Peter­son started 10th and he held that po­si­tion in the early stages, but then the Lo­tus started pick­ing off its ri­vals.

When the fly­ing Peter­son came up to lap Jochen Mass there was con­tact that dam­aged the 72’s front wing, which made life harder. “Ev­ery time I tried to ap­ply full power, the front wheels seemed to lift off the deck – very ex­cit­ing,” said Peter­son, but he still charged for­ward.

He was aided by prob­lems for oth­ers, in­clud­ing Jody Scheck­ter’s Tyrrell suf­fer­ing a brake fail­ure, which put the Lo­tus up to fifth on lap 49 of 80. Peter­son’s charge brought him to the tail of James Hunt’s Hes­keth and the duo also closed on Clay Regaz­zoni’s third-placed Fer­rari.

“Peter­son was fight­ing the op­po­si­tion with a tenac­ity that even he had rarely ex­hib­ited be­fore,” said Alan Henry in his book Ron­nie

Peter­son – Su­per­swede, writ­ten in as­so­ci­a­tion with Peter­son. “With the odds loaded heav­ily against him, his progress to­wards the lead­ers was ter­rific. It seemed that no­body would stop him on this par­tic­u­lar day.”

On lap 60, Peter­son breached Hunt’s de­fences and then, with less than 13 laps to go, leader Niki Lauda crashed out af­ter slid­ing on dirt and de­bris brought onto the cir­cuit.

Peter­son caught Regaz­zoni in the clos­ing laps, but was de­layed in traf­fic on the fi­nal tour, miss­ing out on sec­ond by 1.5s.

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