For corner marshals this was a magical time because you could get very close to the track and wave to the drivers as they came through your turn on the pace lap. In some areas of the spectator paddock race fans would jump the retaining fence and run right up to the track to cheer on their favorite driver or car. More than one young lady was seen to lift her top and flash the drivers as they went by. It was a credit to the drivers that they didn’t lose concentration and run into the back of another car or run over some of the fans. It would take a minute or two to get these race fans back over the fence before the green flag fell.
Even from the farthest reaches of the track you could tell by the roar of engines when the green flag fell for the start of the race which occurred on time at 11:00 a.m. Leading a group of Porsches and Ferraris around the 5.2-mile circuit was the Ferrari 512M of Mark Donohue. He would continue to lead until his first pit stop at the end of 20 laps. At that point Jo Siffert would take over the lead and produce the quickest lap of the race at 124.418 mph.