- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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MANDEL: There were not very many people around the Gasoline Alley fence when Revson came walking in after his car hit the wall, and those who were there were craning to see if the cars were on the backstraight. Revson shut the door of his garage behind him. He got out of his driver's suit with resignation, clearly unhappy with himself, and walked over to turn on the radio to the station that was carrying the race. His girl friend Marji Wallace sat by herself in the corner, crying.
Suddenly there was an unearthly wail, then screams. And then there came a babble from the radio. Revson rushed outside to see a billow of smoke rising from the top of the front straightaway. He waited only long enough to be sure it was smoke from an alcohol fire, watched it turn white as the fire crew turned their equipment on the flames, then dropped his head and walked wearily back into the garage to slump against the far end benches near the radio. He held up his hand as someone began to ask questions until he heard teammate Johnny Rutherford's name mentioned as not having been involved. Then slowly, dispiritedly, he began packing his helmet bag.
REVSON: After Indy came Monaco—and Monaco was not the best for me. I had arrived late from Indiana and only gotten in that brief practice, so I started 16th on the grid. After some determined driving on my part I managed to finish fifth. Jackie Stewart won it, which placed me fourth in the World Driving Championship behind Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart and his teammate, Fran�ois Cevert.
A critical four weeks lies ahead for me. Jody Scheckter is definitely going to be included on our McLaren Formula I team next year—which means that one of us is going to have to go. I have every intention of keeping my job, so for the next month I'm going to have to produce and that's all there is to it.
England and the British Grand Prix were next. When the race started at Silverstone, I got a pretty bad line into the first turn because Denny Hulme, with new tires, was a little hesitant. As a result I got blocked out of a line into the first turn and about three or four cars got underneath me. At the end of the first lap, Scheckter, driving the third of our cars, lost it coming through Woodcote and crashed into the inside retaining wall, blocking half the track to the inside. I just managed to squeeze through alongside Cevert, knocking a chip of metal out of my rear wing, which was no problem at that point.
But nine cars were involved in the resulting accident and the race was stopped and not restarted for more than an hour.
On the restart I did somewhat better, but again I was blocked out. Emerson somehow got through ahead of Denny and me, and as we came out of the first lap Denny was fifth and I was sixth. I quickly got by Denny to a position behind Emerson. I was some seven seconds back of Ronnie Peterson, who was the leader at that point. From then on, for a large part of the race, all I did was stay very close to Emerson. I wasn't able to get by him comfortably and I didn't want to strain the motor until I absolutely had to, perhaps toward the end of the race.
Still, we were steadily catching up. Then Emerson broke his drive shaft, and I quickly moved up behind Ronnie. With a few sprinkles of rain coming down, I was able to move by him and take the lead. Behind me, Wilson Fittipaldi's Brabham blew its motor and dropped oil all the way from the entrance through Woodcote to Copse.
While the oil was on the track, I managed to easily maintain my five-second lead. I think being able to do that lulled me into a sense of security. Even after the oil dried up I was still maintaining a very careful pace, until I realized that Ronnie was in hot pursuit—very closely pushed by Denny. In turn, Denny was being pushed by a new fellow, James Hunt. I'd driven against Hunt at Monte Carlo. He was good and coming along very rapidly. The three of them were making up time on me and I began to feel the pressure. But I was able to open up a bit and maintain the interval. I crossed the finish line 2.8 seconds ahead.
I'd won my first Grand Prix.