Rene Arnoux of France, ignoring an order from the Renault team to let teammate Alain Prost overtake him with 12 laps remaining, drove to a comfortable victory in the French Formula 1 Grand Prix yesterday in Le Castellet, France.
Arnoux, 34, received instructions to let Prost take the lead on the 42nd of the 54 laps because Prost is better placed in the world standings.
"I was having a lot of vibration in the front suspension and was scared of having to . . . change wheels," Arnoux said afterward. "So there was no way I could run the risk of slowing down. Besides, Didier Pironi was pushing Prost hard for second place and, anyway, I still have hopes for the championship this year."
Arnoux covered the 194.96 miles in 1 hour 33 minutes 33.217 seconds, giving him an average speed of 125.04 mph. He finished 17.3 seconds ahead of Prost.
Pironi and Ferrari teammate Patrick Tambay took third and fourth places. Pironi thus increased his lead in the World Championship drivers standings to nine points, 39-30, over John Watson, who failed to finish.
There was a spectacular crash during the 20th lap when Jochen Mass of West Germany, in a March, and Italian Mauro Baldi in an Arrows collided and hurtled through the guard rails. Neither driver was hurt but 12 spectators received second degree burns, bad bruises, and one person suffered a broken leg and a dislocated elbow.
Bobby Allison, taking advantage of Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip running low on fuel, took the lead with 10 miles to go to win the Pocono (Pa.) 500-mile stock car race with comparative ease.
It was a race among Petty, Waltrip and Allison after front-runner Harry Gant blew an engine on the 165th lap.
Allison took the lead as Waltrip's engine began sputtering for lack of fuel and won by 17.47 seconds.