Many thanks to Larry Roberts for permission to include his photographs from the 1978 United States Grand Prix West held at the Long Beach circuit in California. They can now be seen in the 1978 F1 Gallery.
Long Beach was the third race of the 1978 season for the fledgling Arrows team. Having only been formed late the previous year time was tight for founders Jackie Oliver and Alan Rees to prepare for their race debut but FOCA rules meant they could only miss one event. Having made it to Brazil with a single car for Riccardo the team were then joined by driver Rolf Stommelen and sponsor Warsteiner for the South African GP and promptly led the race! Engine failure ended Riccardo’s dream of his first win, but the Arrows team had made an early impact in Formula 1.
From Kyalami the teams all moved to Long Beach in April. Riccardo qualified 9th for the race and went on to score the second point of his F1 career and the first for the Arrows team.
Larry’s photographs show Riccardo 1) with the Arrows team in the Ocean Boulevard pits chatting with Surtees driver Vittorio Brambilla, 2) at the start of the race between James Hunt (McLaren) and Alan Jones (Williams), 3) being recorded by George Harrison who used these recordings in his single ‘Faster‘, and 4) in the Arrows FA1.
You can find out more about Larry’s photographs on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/larryroberts.motorsports.photo.