1973 Singapore Grand Prix

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1973 Singapore Grand Prix
Thomson Road Circuit.svg
Race details
Date 22 April 1973
Official name VIII International Singapore Grand Prix[1]
Location old upper thomson road, Singapore
Course Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit
Course length 4.865 km (3.023 mi)
Distance 50 laps, 243.250 km (151.149 mi)
Pole position
Driver Surtees-Hart
Time 1:57.1
Fastest lap
Driver Australia Leo Geoghegan Birrana-Hart
Time 1:54.9
First March-Hart
Second Surtees-Hart
Third Brabham-Ford

The 1973 Singapore Grand Prix was a motor race held at the Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit on 22 April 1973. It was the final Singapore Grand Prix before the cancellation of the event, which resumed in 2008 as a round of the Formula One World Championship. The race was contested over 50 laps and was won by Vern Schuppan driving a March. The race was run to Australian Formula Two rules.[2]



John MacDonald had a brand new Brabham BT40 delivered to him for the race. However, his team ran into difficulty due to fuel pick-up problems with the new car.[3]

In the 1972 event, the 28-year-old Singaporean driver Lionel Chan was involved in an accident which saw his car roll into a ditch on the fourth lap after losing a wheel and hitting an official car. He was taken to hospital but fell into a coma and later died.[4][5] The circuit was considered dangerous and the Singaporean Minister of Social Affairs, Encik Othman Wok, stated, "I'll be the happiest man when we get a permanent circuit."[6]


Schuppan was leading Malcolm Ramsay's Birrana when Schuppan's March kicked up some stones, puncturing Ramsay's fuel tank and covering him in petrol.[3]


"The circuit over which the Grand Prix is run would send shivers down the collective spines of the CSI safety committee. To obtain the circuit the public roads are simply closed off. If there are any safety devices I didn't see any."

Richard Feast[6]

During a support race for touring cars, Swiss driver Joe Huber went off the track into a lamp post. He died six days later as a result of his injuries.[7] The difficulty of implementing adequate safety measures, along with concerns that the Grand Prix was promoting reckless driving, led to motor racing being banned in Singapore after the 1973 Grand Prix.[8] Other contributory factors have been suggested, including an increase in traffic, the inconvenience of having to close roads for the event and also a surge of oil prices stemming from the Suez Crisis.[9] On average the Grand Prix saw one fatality per year, partly due to the nature of the circuit which featured monsoon drains and bus stops.[2] Graeme Lawrence, a three-time winner of the Singapore Grand Prix, believed that the Thomson Road circuit was one of the most dangerous in the world.[8]

A permanent track incorporating a sports complex was proposed as a replacement for the Thomson Road circuit, but this did not come to fruition.[3]


Starting grid[edit]

Pos Name Chassis Engine Time
1 New Zealand Graeme Lawrence Surtees TS15 Hart 1:57.1
2 Australia Vern Schuppan March 722 Hart 1:57.3
3 Australia Leo Geoghegan Birrana 273 Hart 1:57.8
4 New Zealand Ken Smith March 722 Hart 1:59.1
5 Hong Kong John MacDonald Brabham BT40 Hart 1:59.1
6 Australia Malcolm Ramsay Birrana 273 Hart 1:59.5
7 Australia Max Stewart Rennmax BN3 England 2:01.3
8 Australia Tony Stewart Dolphin 732 England 2:01.5
9 Malaysia Sonny Rajah March 722 Hart 2:02.6
10 Hong Kong Albert Poon Brabham BT40 Hart 2:03.0
11 United States Mike Hall Brabham BT40 Hart 2:04.0
12 Malaysia Percy Chan Lotus 69 RES 2:07.5
13 Singapore Jan Bussell Palliser WDB4 BRM 2:07.6
14 Indonesia Hanny Wiano GRD 272 Hart 2:08.9
15 Japan Kiyoshi Misaki Brabham BT30 Toyota 2:11.1
16 New Zealand Steve Millen Elden Mk. 8 Ford 2:12.7
17 United States Harvey Simon Elfin 600B Ford 2:13.6
18 United States John Green Chevron B20 Hart 2:14.4
19 New Zealand Dave Hayward Hawke Ford 2:31.8
20 Singapore Chong Boon Seng Brabham BT30 2:49.1


Pos Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid
1 Australia Vern Schuppan March-Hart 50 1:38:58.3 2
2 New Zealand Graeme Lawrence Surtees-Hart 50 +38.5 1
3 Hong Kong John MacDonald Brabham-Hart 49 +1 lap 5
4 Australia Max Stewart Rennmax-England 49 +1 lap 7
5 Australia Tony Stewart Dolphin-England 49 +1 lap 8
6 New Zealand Ken Smith March-Hart 47 +3 laps 4
7 Singapore Jan Bussell Palliser-BRM 47 +3 laps 13
8 New Zealand Steve Millen Elden-Ford 43 +7 laps 16
9 Australia Leo Geoghegan Birrana-Hart 41 +9 laps 3
10 United States Harvey Simon Elfin-Ford 40 +10 laps 17
? Malaysia Percy Chan Lotus-RES 12
? Indonesia Hanny Wiano GRD-Hart 14
? Japan Kiyoshi Misaki Brabham-Toyota 15
? United States John Green Chevron-Hart 18
? New Zealand Dave Hayward Hawke-Ford 19
? Singapore Chong Boon Seng Brabham 20
Ret Malaysia Sonny Rajah March-Hart 25 Battery 9
Ret Australia Malcolm Ramsay Birrana-Hart 17 Fuel tank 6
Ret United States Mike Hall Brabham-Hart 7 Radiator 11
DNS Hong Kong Albert Poon Brabham-Hart Engine 10
DNS Canada Brian Robertson Brabham-Hart Practice crash
DNS Indonesia Robert Silitonga GRD-Hart Practice crash


  1. ^ "About Singapore Motor Sports Association". Singapore Motor Sports Association. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
  2. ^ a b Tommy T.B. Koh (ed.). "Singapore Grand Prix". Singapore:The Encyclopedia. Editions Didier Millet. p. 490. ISBN 981-4155-63-2.
  3. ^ a b c d Solomon, Eli (March 2006). "Singapore Fling". Motor Sport (March 2006): 77.
  4. ^ "Driver dies after racing crash". The Times. 5 April 1972. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Lionel Chan". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
  6. ^ a b c d Feast, Richard (26 April 1973). "Schuppan shows the way". Autosport. 51 (4): 16–17.
  7. ^ "Joe Huber". Motorsport Memorial. Retrieved 2008-10-03. He was the seventh fatality in the history of the Singapore Grand Prix.
  8. ^ a b "Singapore Grand Prix". Singapore Infopedia. National Library, Singapore. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  9. ^ "A History of the Singapore Grand Prix". Snakes & Devils. Retrieved 2008-02-15.[permanent dead link]
Preceded by
1972 Singapore Grand Prix
Singapore Grand Prix
Succeeded by
2008 Singapore Grand Prix