José Carlos Pace (PASCH-see; October 6, 1944 – March 18, 1977) was a Brazilian racing driver, who competed in 73 Grands Prix between 1972 and 1977, winning the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Autódromo José Carlos Pace at Interlagos, the scene of said victory, is named in his honour.

Pace was killed in a light aircraft accident on March 18, 1977, just over a week after the tragic events of the 1977 South African Grand Prix, which saw promising young Welshman Tom Pryce killed after Jansen van Vuuren's extinguisher struck his face. March 1977 was turning out to be a bad month for the Formula One community.

Career[edit | edit source]

Before Formula One[edit | edit source]

Pace began his racing career in Brazil during the 1960s. He later went to Britain to compete in the British Formula Three championship. He then won the Forward Trust championship with Lotus.

He was called up to Formula Two in 1971, to race for Frank Williams. His Formula Two career was not as successful as his Formula Three career, as he was unable to score any points in his six races.

1972[edit | edit source]

Williams believed that Pace had a bright future, despite his unsuccessful Formula Two experience. For the 1972 season, Pace raced for Williams' Formula One team. He scored a total of three points in his debut season.

While racing in Formula One, Pace also competed in multiple Formula Two and Can-Am events.

1973[edit | edit source]

For the 1973 season, Pace joined the Surtees team. His season began poorly, retiring from the first four races for the season. The highlight of his season was when he scored his first Formula One podium finish in Austria.

During this year he also raced in Formula Two with Surtees and the World Sportscar Championship with Ferrari

1974[edit | edit source]

Surtees renewed Pace's contract for the 1974 season. He completed his first Brazilian Grand Prix after retiring the previous year. He had earned a fourth place finish in the race. After the Swedish Grand Prix, Pace and John Surtees had a falling out. Pace then left the team, leaving him without a ride for the Dutch Grand Prix.

Despite not qualifying for the French Grand Prix with a private Brabham team, Pace was picked up by Brabham for the remainder of the season. He finished strong in the United States, placing second.

1975[edit | edit source]

Pace remained with Brabham for the 1975 season. This was the season in which he would win his first and only victory at his home Grand Prix.

During the season, Brabham had made many improvements to the car which allowed Pace to earn his first and only pole position in South Africa. This would be his strongest season in his career, placing him in sixth position for the World Championship.

1976[edit | edit source]

Pace continued his career with Brabham. For the 1976 season, Brabham had switched their engine supplier to Alfa Romeo. Pace struggled with the new V12 engine.

He finished in fourteenth position in the championship.

1977[edit | edit source]

Now teamed with John Watson, Pace stuck with Brabham. He had an amazing start to the season, placing second in the opening race. During the next race in Brazil, things were looking good for Pace as he led the race. However, contact with James Hunt took Pace out of the race.

It looked like there would be another strong finish for Pace, as he managed to earn second position on the grid for the South African Grand Prix. However, Pace was passed right off of the grid and finished two laps down. This would be his last race.

Death[edit | edit source]

After the South African Grand Prix, Pace would travel home to Brazil. He would be tragically killed in an aircraft accident near São Paulo. Along with the deaths of British Formula One driver Tom Pryce and track marshall Jansen Van Vuuren in the South African Grand Prix, the month of March would be forever labeled as one of the most tragic months of Formula One.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

To remember his only victory, the Brazilian race track previously called Interlagos was renamed the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.

Formula One Statistical Overview[edit | edit source]

Formula One Record[edit | edit source]

Year Entrant Team WDC Pts. WDC Pos. Report
1972 United Kingdom Team Williams Motul March-Ford Cosworth 3 18th Report
United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees-Ford Cosworth
1973 United Kingdom Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees-Ford Cosworth 7 11th Report
1974 United Kingdom Team Surtees Surtees-Ford Cosworth 11 12th Report
United Kingdom Bang & Olufsen Team Surtees
United Kingdom John Goldie Racing with Hexagon Brabham-Ford Cosworth
United Kingdom Motor Racing Developments Ltd.
1975 United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham-Ford Cosworth 24 6th Report
1976 United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham-Alfa Romeo 7 14th Report
1977 United Kingdom Martini Racing Brabham-Alfa Romeo 6 15th Report
  • Italic donates an entrant used in non-championship races.

Career Statistics[edit | edit source]

Entries 75
Starts 71
Pole Positions 0
Front Row Starts 7
Race Wins 1
Podiums 6
Fastest laps 0
Points 58
Laps Raced 3241
Distance Raced 15759 km (9792 mi)
Races Led 7
Laps Led 50
Distance Led 294 km (183 mi)
Doubles 0
Hat-Tricks 0

Race Wins[edit | edit source]

Win Number Grand Prix
1 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix

Career Results[edit | edit source]

Complete Formula One results
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pts Pos
1972 Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United States.svg 3 18th
17th 6th 17th 5th Ret Ret NC NC Ret 9th Ret
1973 Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United States.svg 7 11th
Ret Ret Ret Ret 8th Ret 10th 13th Ret 7th 4th 3rd Ret Ret Ret
1974 Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United States.svg 11 12th
Ret 4th 11th 13th Ret Ret Ret DNQ 9th 12th Ret 5th 8th 2nd
1975 Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg 24 6th
Ret 1st 4th Ret
[1]
3rd 8th Ret 5th Ret 2nd Ret Ret
[2]
Ret Ret
1976 Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Spain 1945 1977.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Japan.svg 7 14th
10th Ret 9th 6th Ret 9th 8th 4th 8th 4th Ret Ret Ret 7th Ret Ret
1977 Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Spain 1977 1981.svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of Japan.svg 6 15th
2nd Ret 13th


Key
Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
1st Winner Ret Retired
2nd Podium finish DSQ Disqualified
3rd DNQ Did not qualify
5th Points finish DNPQ Did not pre-qualify
14th Non-points finish TD Test driver
NC Non-classified finish (<90% race distance) DNS Did not start
Italics Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap [+] More Symbols
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  1. Race stopped after 29/75 Laps. Half points awarded
  2. Race stopped after 29/54 Laps. Half points awarded
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