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Jacky Ickx at Kyalami 1982


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#1 COUGAR508

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 20:15

Reading Christopher Hilton's book "1982", and particularly the section concerning the drivers' strike in South Africa, I was somewhat startled to see the name of Jacky Ickx mentioned. He was named as one of those who did not get involved in the strike, and I assumed at first that this was an error, confusing this with this actions in Spain 1975. However, the book then states that he was standing by to replace the injured Marc Surer at Arrows.

The record books seem to show that Brian Henton, present as a spectator, eventually partnered Baldi at Arrows. I must confess that this is the first I have heard of this. Why would Ickx, out of F1 since 1979, be in South Africa as a spectator?


The book simply states that once the strike had been resolved, Tambay opted out and "Superhen" was hired. Can anyone shed any light on this? I would find it surprising if Ickx was touting for an F1 comeback in '82.

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#2 fines

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 20:29

Never heard the Ickx story, but Henton subbing for Tambay is correct!

#3 Rob G

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 23:31

That's new to me too. As I understood it, Tambay was tapped to be Surer's replacement but backed out in disgust over the politics of F1. Henton was there looking for a job and got the ride.

#4 COUGAR508

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 00:04

Originally posted by Rob G
That's new to me too. As I understood it, Tambay was tapped to be Surer's replacement but backed out in disgust over the politics of F1. Henton was there looking for a job and got the ride.



Yes, that was my understanding before reading Hilton's book. There are some quotes from, I think, Derek Warwick about Jochen Mass and Ickx being the ones who did not board the bus to the hotel in Johannesburg, which was organised by Lauda and Pironi.

#5 ghinzani

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 18:12

Yes, that was my understanding before reading Hilton's book. There are some quotes from, I think, Derek Warwick about Jochen Mass and Ickx being the ones who did not board the bus to the hotel in Johannesburg, which was organised by Lauda and Pironi.



Mass didnt board the bus because he was staying with friends locally (as he often did) and arrived late at the track after the bus had left, as far as I know.

#6 Direct Drive

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 20:17

Didn't Teo Fabi "cross the line?"


#7 Speedy27

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 23:49

Didn't Teo Fabi "cross the line?"


Fabi broke ranks by leaving the drivers' room at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, claiming that he was going to the toilet and then 'escaping'. From what I recall reading somewhere, this left his relationship with many of the other drivers enduringly damaged.

Edited by Speedy27, 17 May 2009 - 23:50.


#8 RStock

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 00:48

Jackie participated in the Paris to Dakar rally in 1982 . It was over just a few days before the Kyalami race . So he was "in the area" anyway . I have no idea of the situation with Arrows and subing for Marc Surer , but Mattijs Diepraam mentioned it in his story on the 1982 season at 8W also . I don't know where he received his info , or if it was made before or after the Chris Hilton book .

Arranged by GPDA secretary Trevor Rowe it was meant to transport all the drivers to the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Johannesburg for a crisis meeting. As they arrived in the paddock one after the other was picked up by Pironi and Lauda and invited to join them in the bus. Some joined voluntarily, others needed some persuasion to agree on the arguments put forward by the GPDA. Rosberg, for example, was eager to make his mark with Williams, in what he considered his big breakthrough opportunity – and rightfully so, as it turned out later. The promise of a meeting pulled him in but he later confessed that he thought it was Niki Lauda’s one-man show, suspecting that the Austrian used the superlicense row to instantly become top dog among the drivers again, right after his comeback.

In the end, only Mass and Ickx weren’t present – the Belgian as he was only going to sub for the injured Surer, and the German because he stayed with friends of his South African wife and didn’t know about the bus


Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 18 May 2009 - 00:48.


#9 Roger39

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 14:25

Jackie participated in the Paris to Dakar rally in 1982 . It was over just a few days before the Kyalami race . So he was "in the area" anyway . I have no idea of the situation with Arrows and subing for Marc Surer , but Mattijs Diepraam mentioned it in his story on the 1982 season at 8W also . I don't know where he received his info , or if it was made before or after the Chris Hilton book .


Dakar is as "in the area" to Kyalami as New York is in the area to Seattle. I'm thinking more along the lines of a Porsche test at Kyalami for the 9 hour race later in the year?

#10 RStock

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 22:00

Dakar is as "in the area" to Kyalami as New York is in the area to Seattle. I'm thinking more along the lines of a Porsche test at Kyalami for the 9 hour race later in the year?



Hence "in the area" in parenthesis . But the Dakar race ended just a few days before the Kyalami race , if I'm not mistaken . Perhaps Jackie was requested as a stop gap measure in case another driver hadn't been found .

#11 ghinzani

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:44

My theory is he heard there was a good party going on at Jochens friends house so he came down for that, and when a journo asked what he was doing there he fed them some mischief. Either that or he was still drunk from the party! Mass always had things in perspective, and I think by this time of his career so would have Ickx.

#12 ivandjj

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:19

ickx tested a brabham in 1982. iirc, that was pre season test with some other unlikely people driving same car, like hans stuck.

i guess that ickx tested the brabham just for the fun of it. and that he was prepared to drive any offered shitbox at kyalami for the same reason.


story might be as ghinzani said, only replace mischief with with announcement to mr oliver that he is available and willing to drive.

#13 Formula Once

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:43

Tambay had a difficult time getting flights to Kyalami and only arrived very late after a long and complicated journey involving several transfers. Maybe it wasn't sure until he actually got there that he was going to make it in time for first practice (no mobile phones in those days...) and with Ickx being around, Jacky might have been asked to be on stand-by just in case. I can imagine Oliver trying to get some publicity out of the situation (remember that at the end of 1981 he also tried hard to sign Lauda, who ended up making his comeback for McLaren that same Kyalami-weekend). Period Autosport or Motorsport reports may provide additional information on Ickx-Arrows, but I don't have the time to dig 'm up, sorry! As for the strike, with Ickx being famously a-political (remember Zolder 1973 and Barcelona two years later) it would have been very unlikely that he would have got on that bus, while by then Tambay had possibly arrived already anyway.

As for Mass, the Rothmans-brand was, in 1982, still owned by the South-African Rembrandt Group and I've always understood that Jochen, through his South-African connections i.e. his wife, played an instrumental role in the Rothmans-March deal. As Kyalami was the first race of this new partnership - in South-Africa of all places - I can imagine that for Mass it would have been pretty difficult to join the strike anyway.

Edited by Formula Once, 19 May 2009 - 09:48.


#14 ghinzani

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:56

ickx tested a brabham in 1982. iirc, that was pre season test with some other unlikely people driving same car, like hans stuck.

i guess that ickx tested the brabham just for the fun of it. and that he was prepared to drive any offered shitbox at kyalami for the same reason.


story might be as ghinzani said, only replace mischief with with announcement to mr oliver that he is available and willing to drive.


Oh yes Ickx tested the Brabham, I think more so that BMW would give his protege Boutsen a run too.