1975 German Grand Prix: Carlos Reutemann's Jewel

The Santa Fe registered his name on one of the most dangerous circuits in the world: the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring.

Toyota Hilux

The circuit Nordschleife, the longest variant of the German Nürburgring racetrack, was the jewel of the calendar of the F1 during the first 25 years of the category's life. It was not for less. The 22,8 kilometers of extension of its narrow track were a challenge for runners who had to do their 160 curves and even hold your breath when the cars took off from the ground on the slope of Flugplatz ...

Located around the medieval castle of Nurburg, in the Eifel Mountains, the racetrack was opened in 1927 and became the headquarters of the German Grand Prix of F.1 in 1951, one year after the start of the championship.

Before entering the World Championship, the track was dominated by the German drivers. Of thirteen competitions held since its inauguration until 1950 (the route had no action in 1930 and 1933 or throughout the 1940s), on nine occasions the glory was for the locals with Rudolf caracciola as its greatest exponent thanks to his five triumphs with Mercedes (1928, 1931, 1932, 1937 and 1939).

However, that supremacy changed after the arrival of the Nordschleife to the Maximum and, on the contrary, never a Teuton again celebrated from the highest step of the podium leaving that satisfaction to representatives of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand , Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and, of course, Argentina.

That honorary title of Ringmaister (Circuit Master) who looked proud Caracciola thus passed into the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio thanks to its three consecutive successes in 1954, 1956 and 1957 (the German GP took a break in 1955).

Juan Manuel Fangio.

Thanks to those Chueco victories and especially to the last of '57 -to win, he discounted the Ferraris from the English Mike hawthorn y Petter collins a 49 second difference - the Nürburgring Nordschleife track was always special for the Argentines. That affection increased in 1969 when the Torinos shone in the Route Marathon and took hold in 1975 when Carlos Alberto Reutemann achieved a memorable victory with to that Brabham BT44B with the number 7. 45 years have already passed from that joy ...

Lole was in his fourth season in F.1 and was already a division graduate after a 1974 with three wins (South Africa, Austria and the United States) and sixth place in the championship. All thanks to the good performance of the Brabham BT44-Ford. However, he had started the '75 tournament with some uncertainty due to the lack of sponsors, something that stood out in the immaculate white of the creation of the South African coach Gordon Murray. "I felt like I was on a tight rope"He once recalled not having financial backing. Fortunately they appeared on the scene Martini and Brazilian Jose Carlos Pace, something that oxygenated the difficult financial situation that the team owned by Bernie Ecclestone.

As usual at that time, the calendar started in Buenos Aires. The BT44B, the revamped version of the car that had given Brabham so much satisfaction the year before, was born right. Reutemann came to lead the Argentine GP and finished third behind the Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi and English James Hunt, both from McLaren. But the potential of that vehicle was demonstrated in Brazil with the triumph of Pace, the only one in his campaign. Excessive tire overheating left Reutemann in a pale eighth place. Although the anger of Interlagos disappeared with second place in South Africa and third in Spain, in a race that was stopped with a red flag due to the German's mistake Rolf Stommelen (Hill-Ford) that left four spectators dead.

In Monaco rain and brake problems were not a good combination and the Argentine finished ninth, but the good results quickly returned: he was third in Belgium, second in Sweden and fourth in the Netherlands. That allowed Lole to climb to second place in the tournament and place himself 13 points behind Austrian Niki Lauda (Ferrari), who at that point in the year already has three wins. Emerson Fittipaldi and Pace complete the trio of South Americans who undermined Lauda's aspirations to win his first crown.

But Reutemann's clean and jerk was stopped with two bad runs. In France he finished 14th suffering with the lack of speed of his car and in Great Britain he left prematurely due to the failure of the engine injection pump. Those two pointless dates caused Lole to drop to fourth place in the tournament, 22 points behind Lauda ...

How to recover from the slump? Nothing less than a victory in the German Grand Prix, marked as the eleventh date on the calendar. Friday wasn't all that good for Lole. First he had had problems with the relationships of the box. Then he suffered a puncture far from the pits and lost most of the time getting back to the pits. The practice finished tenth, the same position he achieved in qualifying after turning with his car with a lot of gasoline as in the race. Pace, on the other hand, managed to place second behind Lauda. On a track like the Nordschleife, anything could happen that is why Reutemann faced the competition with his usual behavior, that which defined him throughout his sporting campaign.

After the start he spent the first two laps in fourth place and then gave up a place to the Swiss Clay regazzoni (Ferrari). But Pace's delay on the fifth lap due to suspension problems brought him back to fourth. With nine rounds still to go, Lauda seemed unshakable from first place followed by the French. Patrick Depailler (Tyrrell). However, everything changed towards the end. Reutemann completed the ninth circuit third after Depailler's delay due to a broken tire and, as Fangio had done 18 years earlier, battled for victory against two Scuderia cars. But the dispute was short-lived as Regazzoni quickly abandoned due to engine problems and Lauda, ​​with an already unstable car due to the pace of the first laps, did not put up much resistance.

Reutemann crossed the tenth lap as leader and once in the forefront his only concern was to take care of the left front tire to hold the final kilometers. With french Jacques laffite (Williams) after almost two minutes, Lole took the necessary precautions to reach the checkered flag first without taking too many risks on a circuit that he always described as "handsome". The victory allowed the Argentine to regain second place in the contest. But in the final races he did not do all that well (after being 14th in Austria, he finished fourth in Italy and left in the United States) and finished third in the tournament that had Lauda at the top of the positions.

The Italian journalist Franco Lini covered that race for STROKE and he complimented Lole with a series of words that serve as an epilogue for this feat that occurred four and a half decades ago. “Every time Reutemann wins, the joy is general. He is a pilot of enormous qualities who must always fight to his heart to achieve a victory, and that general feeling was visible at the Nürburgring in the face of the success of the great Argentine pilot, so it is easy to suppose with how much enthusiasm he will have been received. the news in your country. Reutemann, many times postponed, was compensated with a victory of excellent workmanship and although everyone held their breath until the end, fearing an agonizing Brabham arrest, the arrival of the winner was greeted with great excitement, especially by the people of his team. Also for the first time since Reutemann was the winner, luck was on his side and he was able to win from behind, taking advantage of some other people's misfortunes, making up for precisely the number of times that, dominating everyone, he had to stay on one side of the track to see triumph over another ... Reutemann is now in a select group. Winning the German GP at the Nürburgring is in itself a rare achievement and reserved only for those who do not lose respect for this circuit considered to be the most demanding in the world ”.

1975 GERMANY GRAND PRIZE CLASSIFICATION

pos. No. pilot auto laps. time / diff. length
1 7 Carlos Reutemann BRABHAM FORD 14 1:41:14.100 10
2 21 Jacques Laffite FRANK WILLIAMS RACING CARS / WILLIAMS 14 +97.700s 15
3 12 Niki Lauda FERRARI 14 +143.300s 1
4 16 Tom Office Series Pryce SHADOW FORD 14 +211.400s 16
5 22 Alan Jones HILL FORD 14 +230.300s 21
6 19 Gijs van Lennep ENSIGN FORD 14 +305.500s 24
7 29 Lella Lombardi MARCH FORD 14 +450.400s 25
8 25 Harald Ertl HESKETH FORD 14 +460.900s 23
9 4 Patrick Depailler TYRRELL FORD 13 +1 lap 7
10 27 Mario Andretti PARNELLI FORD 12 DNF 13
NC 24 James Hunt HESKETH FORD 10 DNF 9
NC 11 Clay Regazzoni FERRARI 9 DNF 5
NC 23 Tony Breeze HILL FORD 9 DNF 17
NC 3 Jody Scheckter TYRRELL FORD 7 DNF 3
NC 17 Jean-Pierre Jarier SHADOW FORD 7 DNF 12
NC 8 Carlos Peace BRABHAM FORD 5 DNF 2
NC 30 Wilson Fittipaldi FITTIPALDI FORD 4 DNF 22
NC 1 Emerson Fittipaldi MCLAREN FORD 3 DNF 7
NC 10 Hans-Joachim Stucco MARCH FORD 3 DNF 8
NC 9 Vittorio Brambilla MARCH FORD 3 DNF 11
NC 6 John Watson LOTUS FORD 2 DNF 14
NC 5 Ronnie Peterson LOTUS FORD 1 DNF 18
NC 28 Mark Donohue MARCH FORD 1 DNF 19
NC 2 Jochen Mass MCLAREN FORD 0 DNF 6

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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