Flamboyant, determined and wonderfully talented, it is little wonder
Clay Regazzoni was a favourite among fans. His control of a Formula One
car could be masterful, almost to the point of genius, but he had an
infuriating habit of throwing it all away with victory in sight.
Inconsistency prevented Regazzoni winning the Formula One World
Championship, but his always-exciting driving ensured his place as a
Grand Prix Hero.
Evocative archive footage reminds us of the
highs, and lows, of a decade-long Grand Prix career which marked the
Swiss great out as something special. Alongside period interviews with
Regazzoni, this is a treasure trove of action-packed racing film,
starting with his debut, at the Dutch Grand Prix, with Ferrari.
Stirling Moss narrates as we recall the days of genius, including his
maiden Grand Prix win (in his first year, in a Ferrari and at Monza no
less), the victory at the Nurburgring in 1974, considered by many to be
his finest win, his graceful, faultless drive at Long Beach in 1976 and
one of his most incredible days – recovering from 16th to finish second
on the narrow streets of Monaco in 1979.
Regazzoni will be
remembered for securing the Williams team its first win, becoming a
darling of the passionate Tifosi, coming within just a handful of points
of the title in 1974 and the remarkable feat of being re-hired by the
great Enzo Ferrari just a year after being sacked! These wonderful
memories are all featured.
We also recall the dark days, including
his battles with an unreliable BRM in 1973, spinning out of the lead of
the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix and the crash at Long Beach in 1980 which
left him paralysed. Notably, this programme includes the horrific crash
at the 1973 South African Grand Prix which almost cost Regazzoni his
life. Alongside the footage, we hear from Mike Hailwood, who risked his
own safety to pull the unconscious drivers from his stricken car.
Typically, Regazzoni was racing again just seven weeks later, and with
an even stronger ‘devil may care’ attitude.
As much as his
artistry on the track, it was his personality off it that won fans.
Seemingly always with a broad smile beneath his trademark moustache,
Regazzoni could be relied upon to liven up any situation – how many men
would mark crashing out of a race by punching a policeman? Although
never a champion, Regazzoni was a real Grand Prix Hero.