APRIL 1, 1996
Where are we going this week?
The retirement of Fangio and the disappearance of the other top Argentine racers of the era: Froilan Gonzalez, OnofreÊMarimon, Carlos Menditeguy and Oscar Galvez coincided with a series of unstable governments and rampant inflation and after the 1960 race the Argentine GP and the Buenos Aires 1000 sportscar race dropped from the international calendar.
The return of military government in 1966 stabilized the country and in 1971 - with a new Argentine hero CarlosÊReutemann emerging - international racing returned. The Buenos Aires 1000 was a disaster with Italian Ferrari driver Ignazio Giunti being killed when his car crashed into a Matra which Jean-Pierre Beltoise was pushing along the track. Two weeks later a non-championship Formula 1 race took place which Chris Amon won for Matra.
A year later Reutemann took his Brabham to pole position in his first World Championship event. Carlos would never win the Argentine GP, but the race has produced some memorable moments including the sensational debut win for the Wolf team in 1977 and the surprising dominance of Ligier in 1979. The last Argetine GP was in 1981 - won by Brazilian NelsonÊPiquet. The following year Reutemann retired and Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands sparked a war with Great Britain.
It was not until President Carlos Menem came to power in 1989 that the idea of a race was revived again but last year Reutemann - now a leading politician in the country - delighted the locals by demonstrating a Ferrari 412 T2...