Austrian GP flashback: Peterson’s last win, 1978 (VIDEO)

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With the Austrian Grand Prix set to return to the Formula One calendar next year we’re taking a look back at some of the memorable moments in F1 history seen in the country.

Tomorrow marks 35 years since Ronnie Peterson’s tenth and final victory at the wheel of a Formula One car. The spectacularly fast Swedish driver lost his life a few weeks later following a crash at Monza.

Rain hit the Osterreichring ahead of the 12th round of the 1978 season. Expecting conditions to improve, the field was unanimous in opting for slick tyres. But the slippery track caught out world championship leader Mario Andretti, Peterson’s team mate, on the first lap.

Peterson also spun on the eighth lap as the rain came down more heavily and the race was red-flagged. Once it resumed he pulled away to score a comfortable win by over three-quarters of a minute over Patrick Depailler.

Gilles Villeneuve was a similar gap behind in third. Tragically, within four years all three had lost their lives at the wheel of F1 cars.

This was Lotus’s seventh win of the year. The 79s had regularly enjoyed such a performance advantage over their rivals that they clinched the constructors’ championship with four races to spare.

Even so, team owner Colin Chapman would not let his drivers sort out the destiny of the title between themselves. Peterson’s Austria win moved him within nine points of Andretti but in the next race at Zandvoort he obeyed team orders and followed Andretti home.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.