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German Grand Prix 1968

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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 12 November 2000 - 17:45

Everyone knows that Jackie Stewart won this one by four minutes in rain, fog and mist, but according to the great Dan Gurney's own words on the AAR website, his team told him afterwards that he was lapping faster than Jackie after stopping to change a flat tyre. He climbed from 19th to 9th.

I sold my Autocourses (Iknow, I know.....) a couple of years back, so can anyone enlighten me on this one ?


#2 jarama

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Posted 12 November 2000 - 21:35


I've checked the french Sport-Auto magazine reporting the race, and the fastst lap was credited to JYS -9'36"0 @ 142.7 kmh-.

About DG, after suffering a puncture and changing the wheel,
only says he was charging hard through the field from 17th to 9th.

Gurney's lap-by-lap was as follows:
5th, 5th, 12th -pitting-, 17th -while in pits-, 15th, 14th, 13th, 13th, 11th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 9th, 9th.

#3 Felix Muelas

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Posted 12 November 2000 - 22:46


I read a similar statement on Ludvigsen´s book on Gurney.

It is not impossible, but it sounds a bit weird. Stewart´s average lap times in the race was very close to his practice time (let’s not forget he got that grid time on Sunday morning, exactly on the same conditions that the race was held) so something around 9 minutes 55 seconds.
If one takes that time and multiplies it by 14 laps, we end up with a similar time to the one he took to drive the whole race.
Now, his best lap of the race was an incredible 9.36 and it was obtained on lap eight, just after half of the race had elapsed, so we might think that conditions somehow improved slightly at around that time...or Stewart did!
By then, he was reported to be 90 seconds in front of Hill and Amon and, if we "ignore" the minute Hill was to lose later on lap 12 by spinning and stalling, that would have meant that he would increase his "pure" racing advantage by another 90 seconds in the rest of the race.
That would have meant that he was consistently taking about at least 12 seconds per lap to the rest of the field. We know that after the first lap, he had 9 seconds advantage and, after the second, an amazing 34! By the end of lap 4, his advantage was 1 minute. In three more laps his advantage climbed to 90 seconds and on the next lap he broke the lap record. So, excluding the amazing second lap (where he took 25 seconds away from everybody else) we might conclude that the best of the rest might have been lapping around 10minutes 8 seconds-)
The rest of the known factors seem to imply that, in order for Stewart to comply his 14 laps in 2hours 19 minutes (after having complied the first half at an -guessed- average of let’s say around 9m40secs per lap, the following 7 laps (excluding the 8th lap, that we know was the fastest) might have been around 10minutes 10 seconds.

Now, with Gurney having his problem on lap 3, we have to wonder if, once returned, he was able to run on a "faster" pace than Stewart. That he never run on 9.36 is obvious, as he did not make the fastest lap of the race. That he might have lapped some of the remaining laps at a faster pace than Stewart might be true, and, by exaggeration, the above statement might have originated.

Actually the key (apart, obviously, from a look at the lap charts) to all this is to know how much time did Gurney spent overall on his incident (time lost on the track and time lost on the pit).

But I think I will stop my "fantasia" exercise here, as I hope someone will appear with the lap chart and put the things in its place...


Felix (having fun, thanks Barry)

#4 Felix Muelas

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Posted 12 November 2000 - 22:49


Thanks for the info!

Buenas noches


#5 fines

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Posted 12 November 2000 - 23:10

From "autodrom", published by Axel Morenno in 1969:

- Gurney left the road, damaging his tyre
- Stewart increased his advantage at the beginning by 10-15"
- his lap times were ca. 9'40"
- lap 5: 139.2 kph (ca. 9'50.6")
- lap 6: 141.4 kph (ca. 9'41.4")
- lap 7: 139.8 kph (ca. 9'48.0")
- lap 8: 142.7 kph (9'36.0")
- the weather got worse in the second half of the race[p][Edited by fines on 11-12-2000]

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 12 November 2000 - 23:13

Felix, thanks for the interesting assessment of the race. Dan got his puncture about halfway around the lap so he drove 7 miles with a flat. I don't think anyone is suggesting that he actually drove quicker than Stewart, that much is clear. But what I think will come to light when someone with a lap chart gets onto this, is that in the latter half of the race when maybe Stewart was easing off a tad, perhaps Dan, going all out to gain ground, actually put in a couple of laps that were quicker than Jackie had managed on the same lap - if you see what I mean.

I don't care anyway - to me Dan was, is and always will be the GREATEST.

#7 Mickey

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Posted 14 November 2000 - 17:14

Although it doesn't really add anything to the discussion above, I'll point out that there is a 5MB MPEG with highlights of that race here. Get it if you've got the spare bandwidth.

#8 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 14 November 2000 - 18:24

I was at that race and will tell you that Stewart was very impressive indeed. But they were all heroes that day. The weather was the worst I have ever seen. It wasn't just the rain. It was very dark all day long and the fog was intense. It wasn't for nothing that they were calling Stewart "the second coming of the Nebelmeister"!