First ever Official Formula 1 Pace Car - 1973 Porsche 914




As a Formula 1 fan and a Porsche enthusiast we are pleased to share this project.  

The first Formula 1 Safety Car was a Porsche 914 On September 23, 1973, Canadian Grand Prix saw the use of safety car in Formula 1 for the first time.

Eppie Wietzes in a Porsche 914 along with his co passenger and FOCA representative Peter Macintosh.

The race ended up as the most controversial race in the history of Formula 1.

The introduction of the safety car also referred to as the “Official Race Neutralizing Car” was enforced by the number of crashes in the beginning of the 1973 season. In multiple incidents, the rescue measures were hampered by the speeding cars on the track. So, something was needed to slow down the cars. It was a rainy Sunday at Mosport Park in Canada when twenty five cars lined up behind the pole position man, Ronnie Peterson, for the second to last race of the 1973 Formula 1 season. With Jackie Stewart having won the Drivers' World Championship in Italy two weeks earlier, all eyes were on Tyrrell and Lotus who were fighting for the Constructors' title. By lap 24, the track started to dry resulting into heavy traffic in pit lane for tire changes. Things became more complicated when Jody Scheckter collided with Francoise Cevert on lap 33. This accident led to the first ever Safety Car in Formula 1 out on track. Safety car driver Eppie Wietzes was looking for the leader Jackie Stewart who dived into the pits as the safety car started its lap. As Tyrrell’s mechanics struggled to release Stewart after messing up the stop, the confusion prevailed over the race leader. It was Howden Ganley's Iso-Marlboro which came out of the pits just ahead of Jackie Stewart. It was a surprise for Ganley himself, (he was a lap down going into the pits.) Those were the days when the lap charts were done by hand and it was a nightmare situation. Wietzes’s drive as the first ever safety car driver ended after five laps, leaving the race charts in chaos. Finally the race ended but the confusion did not. Late in the evening that day, the results were confirmed. Peter Revson, who was believed to be a lap down, was declared the winner. Fittipaldi who lost a lap in the chaos officially finished second. Fittipaldi believed that he was the actual winner of the race as no car overtook him on the track. Many believed it was Jackie Oliver who had actually won the race and should have been declared the winner. Eppie Wietzes was told what to do by the two way radio from the control tower “stay ahead of no. 25” (Howden Ganley’s Iso-Marlboro)’. Nowadays race charts, timing and scoring are all electronic. Pace cars were not used again that season and not reintroduced again for 20 years in 1993

                                  








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