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|Race 11 of 12 in the 1968 Formula One season|
|Date||October 6, 1968|
|Official name||XI United States Grand Prix|
|Location||Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course
Watkins Glen, New York
|Course||Permanent road course
3.78 km (2.35 mi)
|Distance||108 laps, 408.2 km (253.8 mi)|
|Time||1:05.22 on lap 52|
The 1968 United States Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on October 6, 1968 at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Race Course in Watkins Glen, New York. It was the eleventh round of the 1968 Formula One season.
The first practice day was primarily a duel between Jackie Stewart and the Ferrari of Chris Amon, with Stewart posting the day's best time of 1:04.27. Stewart was unable to defend his provisional pole during the second practice day due to a broken stub-axle. However, Graham Hill bumped Amon from the second spot, before Mario Andretti—driving at Watkins Glen for the first time—beat Stewart's time by 0.07 seconds. This was Andretti's first ever Formula One start.
On race day, a crowd of 93,000 began to show for an expected strong American showing. Other Americans on the grid were Dan Gurney, in seventh, and Bobby Unser, in nineteenth. After the first lap the order was: Stewart, Andretti, Amon, Hill, Jochen Rindt, Hulme, Gurney, John Surtees and Bruce McLaren.
Stewart took the lead in the first lap from crowd favourite Andretti, who started the race from the pole, and led in every lap. By lap six, Andretti had opened up a gap to Amon and was threatening to get by Stewart. Three laps later, the nose on Andretti's Lotus was broken, with the right wing dragging on the ground. Andretti said though he had not touched anyone, the body had just cracked. However, he continued without losing his position until lap 13, when his pit crew tape the car back together, and dropped to thirteenth place.
On lap 10, there was a fight for third place as Amon, now behind Hill, spun on his own water spillage. In lap 6, Hulme hit an oil patch, dropping from third to ninth. On lap 26, Gurney, running in third place, did a 360 and was overtaken by Surtees' Honda.
After lap 33, Andretti retired with a broken clutch. Gurney then took over Surtees, as the two battled for the rest of the race. By lap 40, Stewart was 26 seconds ahead of Hill, with Gurney and Surtees another 10 seconds Hill. He then sent a message to the rest of the racers by posting the fastest lap of the race on lap 52, widening his lead to 31 seconds. Hill had struggled for a while with a loose steering column, to which he said he was driving crouched up.
On lap 97, a minute and twenty seconds ahead of Bruce McLaren, Jo Siffert's Lotus began to sputter, and he signaled to his pit that he would stop to refuel in the next round. As Siffert then exited the pit lane, McLaren went by into fifth place.
Siffert regained the position after two laps, before which McLaren too had to stop for fuel. Surtees then began to back off when he realised Gurney, just ahead in third place, was slowing down because he had a slow puncture and was also running very low on fuel. Surtees used the opportunity catch up with Gurney's McLaren in the last lap, as they both finished a lap down to the leaders.
Jackie Stewart drove his Matra-Ford to his first American Grand Prix victory and kept alive hopes for his first World Drivers' Championship with just one more race to go. Andretti's Lotus teammate Hill, also in the running for the season's title along with Denny Hulme, finished 24 seconds behind Stewart in second place.
|2||10||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford||108||+ 24.68||3||6|
|3||5||John Surtees||Honda||107||+ 1 Lap||9||4|
|4||14||Dan Gurney||McLaren-Ford||107||+ 1 Lap||7||3|
|5||16||Jo Siffert||Lotus-Ford||105||+ 3 Laps||12||2|
|6||2||Bruce McLaren||McLaren-Ford||103||+ 5 Laps||10||1|
|Ret||22||Piers Courage||BRM||93||Out of Fuel||14|
|NC||19||Lucien Bianchi||Cooper-BRM||88||Not Classified||20|
|NC||17||Jo Bonnier||McLaren-BRM||62||Not Classified||18|
|Ret||6||Chris Amon||Ferrari||59||Water Pump||4|
|DNS||11||Jackie Oliver||Lotus-Ford||0||Non Starter|
|DNS||20||Henri Pescarolo||Matra||0||Non Starter|
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Doug Nye (1978). The United States Grand Prix and Grand Prize Races, 1908-1977. B. T. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-1263-1 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- Rob Walker (January, 1969). "1968 U. S. Grand Prix: Money & The Scot". Road & Track, 29-34.
- "The Official Formula 1 website". Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
1968 Canadian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1968 Mexican Grand Prix
1967 United States Grand Prix
|United States Grand Prix||Next race:
1969 United States Grand Prix