Friday, 15 July 2016 09:00

Brands Hatch 1972: The fight with the tractors

Written by

Translated by Ioannis Binas

 

The 1970s decade possesses its own special place in the Formula 1 history chest.


Date of 1st publication: 20/05/13

More than a few incidents took place during that period to justify the designation as a “crazy”, but also, a “romantic” era.
Characteristic and unrepeatable to this day example, is Ford’s arvertising campaign in the context of the 1972 British GP; advertising so original and most importantly enjoyable, both for the participating drivers and the spectators at the grandstands!

 

Brands Hatch 1972 Tractors 5

 

Let’s start from the beginning, though.
From the 60s already, the British market was a privileged territory for Ford’s tractors.
In 1972, Ford presented its new model, for which the most suitable ground to promote was the Formula 1 race at Brands Hatch.
This is because the majority of the spectators were farmers, therefore potential buyers.

 

Brands Hatch 1972 Tractors 3

 

Thus, on Sunday morning before the race, Ford organised a 10 lap race, in which 10 drivers competed, not in their single-seaters’ cockpits but in those of the firm’s new “weapon”.
The grid was covered by the following: Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart, Francois Cevert, Jody Scheckter, Carlos Pace, Denny Hulme, Chris Amon, Peter Revson, Dave Walker and Jean Pierre Beltoise.

Unfortunately, no video is preserved from that special race, apart from tractor footage during the parade lap (3:35 onwards):

 

Fortunately though, the race was captured through photographs.
Here, Carlos Reutemann proved that at times the escape exit is the “quickest way” from the track’s tarmac to victory.

 

Brands Hatch 1972 Tractors 6

 

Genuine gaucho, the Argentinean prevailed in the tractor fight.
The Brazilian Fittipaldi provided the strongest opposition, but confined to 2nd position.
When the single-seaters took the place of the tractors however, Emmo had no problem being crowned the winner.

 

Emerson-Chapman Brands Hatch 1972

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