1976 ITAL­IAN GP

Autosport (UK) - - INSIGHT -

MONZA MARCH 761 (1ST)

Peter­son’s 1976 sea­son with March was largely a frus­tra­tion. De­spite pole at Zand­voort and hav­ing also led in Aus­tria, he ar­rived at Monza for round 13 with just a single point to his name – and on his way to Tyrrell for ’77.

Things didn’t look that much bet­ter in prac­tice, with Peter­son qual­i­fy­ing eighth, 1.29s off Jac­ques Laf­fite’s pole time.

But come the race, Peter­son was un­stop­pable. He jumped to fourth on lap one and quickly over­came Laf­fite’s Ligier and the Tyrrell of Pa­trick De­pailler to run sec­ond af­ter four laps. He then chased af­ter early leader Jody Scheck­ter’s Tyrrell.

“Peter­son made a rush onto Scheck­ter start­ing the 11th lap and pulled off a neat out­brak­ing ma­noeu­vre on the in­side go­ing into the first chi­cane,” said our re­port.

Peter­son never lost the lead, but he never got away from the chas­ing pack ei­ther. And he reck­oned the ar­rival of light rain in the mid­dle of the race was cru­cial.

“That win was re­ally lucky be­cause that rain shower just came at the right time to keep the tyres cool enough,” he said in Alan Henry’s book Ron­nie Peter­son – Su­per­swede. “It was a cool af­ter­noon and I equalled the pole po­si­tion time on the very last lap of the race.”

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