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James Hunt Appreciation Page

Hunt's best races

Rush movie
Hunt's best races
Hunt biography
1976 Season Review
Miscellaneous stuff

I've picked a few of James' finest races. You may have other faves.


1975 Dutch Grand Prix

It was wet at the beginning of the race, but within a few laps, a dry line started to go down on the track. James was the first to pit for slick tyres, and as all the other drivers went in for a tyre change, James found himself in the lead. The Hesketh team had set the car up for dry weather, so Hunt had an advantage, but soon the Ferrari of Niki Lauda was swarming all over the back of the McLaren. For 60 laps, James managed to keep Niki at bay, and crossed the line 1.06 seconds ahead. It was his first and Hesketh's only win.

1st James Hunt GB Hesketh Ford
2nd Niki Lauda AUT Ferrari
3rd Clay Regazzoni SWI Ferrari
4th Carlos Reutermann ARG Brabham Ford
5th Carlos Pace BRA Brabham Ford
6th Tom Pryce GB Shadow Ford

1976 Dutch Grand Prix

Niki Lauda was recovering well from his Nurburgring injuries, but wasn't fit to race yet. James was second on the grid, and at the start was passed by John Watson in the Penske. Both Watson and Hunt passed Ronnie Peterson for the lead, and then James got past Wattie. Hunt's front wing had come loose which was slowing him, and for lap after lap, Watson tried to get past. Then on lap 47, Watson's gearbox failed and James was left to fend off Regazzoni and Andretti to the flag.

1st James Hunt GB McLaren Ford
2nd Clay Regazzoni SWI Ferrari
3rd Mario Andretti USA Lotus Ford
4th Tom Pryce GB Shadow Ford
5th Jody Scheckter ZA Tyrrell Ford
6th Ronnie Peterson SWE March Ford


1976 American Grand Prix East

Niki Lauda was now back on the pace after his Italian Grand Prix comeback. James was on pole with Jody Scheckter in the 6 wheeled Tyrrell next to him. Jody got the jump on Hunt at the start and led for the first 20 laps until Hunt outbraked him at the end of Watkins Glen's main straight. James started to pull away until he was held up by a backmarker which allowed Scheckter back into the lead. James fought back and for a while sat right under the Tyrrell's rear wing. With 8 laps to go, James pulled out from the Tyrrell's slipstream and went into the lead, which he was not to lose and set a new lap record just before the finish.

1st James Hunt GB McLaren Ford
2nd Jody Scheckter ZA Tyrrell Ford
3rd Niki Lauda AUT Ferrari
4th Jochen Mass GER McLaren Ford
5th Ronnie Peterson SWE March Ford
6th John Watson GB Penske Ford

1976 Japanese Grand Prix

It was torrentially wet on race day, and most of the drivers were in agreement for the race to be postponed, but for the Japanese for who the race would be their first ever, were desperate for the race to start. After a 2 hour delay the race began, and James jumped into the lead. Niki Lauda did 2 laps and then pulled out of the race saying 'My life is more important than the World Championship.' James went on, and the track started to dry. But such was the speed he was going, his tyres were starting to shred on the dry track, and with 5 laps left, James had a double puncture. The pitstop was agonisingly slow, and James was fuming as he went out again. The McLaren pit crew started to give him mixed pit signals, and when the race ended James was furious and confused. He felt he'd lost the title and it was his team's fault, and let his feelings be known by shouting and swearing at Teddy Mayer. Mayer told him quietly that James had one just enough and had won the world championship.

1st Mario Andretti USA Lotus Ford
2nd Patrick Depailler FRA Tyrrell Ford
3rd James Hunt GB McLaren Ford
4th Alan Jones AUS Surtees Ford
5th Clay Regazzoni SWI Ferrari
6th Gunnar Nilsson SWE Lotus Ford


1977 British Grand Prix

Hunt started from pole for his home Grand Prix with John Watson alongside in the hugely powerful Brabham Alfa-Romeo. James had had a fairly unlucky season so far, and was determined to win his home race. At the start, he made a poor getaway but was soon up with Watson and Lauda, and looking for a way past. It was almost a reverse of the previous year's Dutch Grand Prix with Hunt now trying to find a way past Watson. The battle raged for 50 laps until on lap 56 Watson was slowed by a loss of fuel pressure. It allowed Hunt to go past and win his home race in the Queen's jubilee year. It was also the first race for the Renault turbo car and for a young French Canadian named Gilles Villeneuve.....

1st James Hunt GB McLaren Ford
2nd Niki Lauda AUT Ferrari
3rd Gunnar Nilsson SWE Lotus Ford
4th Jochen Mass GER McLaren Ford
5th Gilles Villeneuve CDN McLaren Ford
6th Jacques Laffite FRA Ligier Matra