An Unlucky Guy

March, Chris Amon, klemcoll, Monaco GP

Here is the unlucky man himself, Chris Amon with his always recognizable red and blue helmet decoration. He often led a grand prix and would then have it all taken away by mechanical failure, sometimes not far from the finish. Here he is in the works March-Ford 701 during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix which was run on May 10, 1970. Qualifying at Monaco was always challenging. As in past years only the fastest 16 would make the show. This year, various past champions and Monaco winners,  ten in all (including Amon), were guaranteed a spot, leaving the others to fight it out, The non-seeded drivers were given a special session on Saturday afternoon for a last chance shoot-out.

Although there were 26 entries, five were withdrawn being non-arrivals so the other eleven non-guaranteed starting drivers would have to fight for the remaining six grid positions. This did not slow down Amon who posted the second fastest time and would start on the front row next to Jackie Stewart in another March-Ford 701, but his March being from the Tyerrell Racing Organization. Amon then bent his car somewhat for which it would need to be repaired.

March, klemcoll, Monaco GP, Chris AmonStewart led from the start with Amon holding second but obviously not in any position to mount a challenge as a gap from Stewart slowly opened up. Here is Amon on the approach to the hairpin.Jack Brabham then got past Amon to take over second place which became first when Stewart had engine misfiring and stopped to have various electrical gremlins attended to in the pits, losing three laps as result. 

Not too long thereafter Amon had suspension failure and parked his March, Another luckless grand prix for the unluckiest driver. The finish was even unluckier as Brabham outbraked himself on the final corner, leaving the victory to Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 49C.

Photos by Nigel Snowdon ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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