Now driving a barely competitive BRM, Beltoise made an incredible start in incessant rain to take the lead from 4th on the grid. As the only driver with a clear view, JPB started to pull away, but wait, who was behind him? Only the rain master himself, Jacky Ickx. Surely it was only a matter of time before the Ferrari overtook the BRM. But Beltoise held the lead for every single one of the race’s 80 laps. This was Jean Pierre’s day of days, the day he was firmly in the zone, the day that his BRM engine (less stressed by the wet race pace) didn’t blow up, the day that his injured arm (withered from a 1971 crash at the Buenos Aires 1000km) didn’t have to fight against the heavy steering as the front tires skimmed over the puddles, the day that Beltoise made everyone behind him (Ickx, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart) look decidedly average. On that wet but glorious Sunday in May, Jean Pierre Beltoise was easily the best driver in the world. It would never happen again. Beltoise continued with BRM for two more seasons through to almost the bitter end for that once-great team, but neither would capture another GP win. Classifications.
A preview from our forthcoming Six Top One-Win Wonders collection.