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Ulis Racing Legends

#0282 Hunt - Lauda 'Showdown at Fuji 1976'

#0282 Hunt - Lauda 'Showdown at Fuji 1976'

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#11 McLaren M23
James Hunt
3rd place world champion F1 1976

#1 Ferrari 312T2
Niki Lauda

Penske F1
John Watson

The 1976 World Championship fight between James Hunt and Niki Lauda culminated on a rain-soaked October afternoon at Fuji Speedway.
That Lauda was leading the championship going into the final round was a miracle in itself after the Austrian suffered severe burns in a horrific accident at the Nürburgring in August. Incredibly, he climbed back into the cockpit just six weeks and two races later to rejoin the battle with Hunt, whose four wins since Lauda's accident had given him a three-point lead over the Japanese final. On race day, the rain fell in such numbers that the limited visibility forced Lauda to retire after just two laps. The memories of his near-death in Germany were too fresh. So now Hunt had to finish fourth or better to claim the title - and for a while he seemed to be able to do that. Then, as the race entered its final stages, he suffered a puncture and had to pit. But despite resuming the race in fifth, the McLaren driver, now on fresh tyres, was able to catch up to Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni. With two laps to go he overtook them both and secured his only world championship. Pictured here, Hunt's McLaren leads Niki Lauda's Ferrari 312T2 and John Watson's Penske PC3.

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