6 February 2015

The 14th Kyalami 9 Hours, 6th November 1971

The Jacky Ickx/ Mario Andretti car was brand new and built to conform to the new FIA regulations regarding width. It suffered from early problems; Andretti, who had won the Grand Prix on this circuit back in March, lost time at the start when he knocked the fuel pump switch off and then the car was delayed for almost 45 minutes when it stopped out on the circuit due to the battery coming loose. After that it pulled rapidly up the field and snatched second place near the end from the David Piper Porsche 917 driven by Tony Adamowicz and Italian Mario Casoni.
The eventual winners were Clay Regazzoni and Brian Redman who led most of the way in the older 312P 'B' (the B designation was given to the car to differentiate it from the earlier 1969 car of the same name), but were delayed first by damaged bodywork and were then docked two laps for having more than the allowed number of mechanics working on the car.
The race also marked a new first, as it was the first time that the winning speed of this event exceeded 160km/h. Top speed at the track was also over 200mph, a level only beaten years later by the turbo-era F1 racers.

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