1973 Canadian Grand Prix – A Study in Firsts and Lasts
Report and photos by Al Wolford
The Canadian Grand Prix for 1973, held at the Mosport circuit on September 23, involved a number of firsts and last involving the Grand Prix circus and my photojournalism career.
I’ll start by saying that the event was my first Formula One race and my first attempt — albeit with a used, off-brand 35mm camera — at photographing a road race. The quality of the attached photos will attest to my rookie status and the quality of the camera. I’m hopeful that the significance of the subjects will make up for my shortcomings.
A co-worker and I left Cincinnati after work at 5 PM on Friday and arrived in the wee hours of the morning and parked in the circuit infield. Our plans to put our sleeping bags to use were foiled by waves of mosquitos only slightly smaller and less noisy the WWII fighter planes.
We awoke in the car to fog so thick that we couldn’t see the racing surface 50 feet away. The morning practice, after a significant delay, involved the cars being sent out one at a time and working their way through the fog in a clearly lower gear at about 50 MPH. Viewing consisted of seeing a barely visible racer appearing through the fog, within eyesight for about 100 feet and then disappearing into the fog again.
The weather cleared for the afternoon practice, interrupted only by a brief thunderstorm and a Jackie Stewart spin with light Armco contact at the exit of Moss Corner on the back of the circuit. Ronnie Peterson sat on the pole for Lotus 72 with Peter Revson’s McLaren M23 alongside.
1973 Canadian Grand Prix – Saturday Practice Photo Gallery