LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - British racing driver Peter Gethin, winner of Formula One’s closest race at Monza in 1971, has died at the age of 71.
The official formula1.com website said Gethin had passed away after a long illness.
The 1971 Italian Grand Prix was Gethin’s sole triumph in Formula One and, in only his second race for BRM, he won it from Sweden’s Ronnie Peterson by just 0.01 of a second in a four-car dash to the line with the top five all finishing within 0.61.
At the time, the race was also the fastest ever with Gethin winning with an average speed of 150.755 mph.
Gethin made his Formula One debut with McLaren in 1970 at the age of 30 and weeks after the death of the team’s founder Bruce McLaren.
He switched to BRM during the 1971 season after that team’s Mexican driver Pedro Rodriguez was killed in a sportscar race in Germany.
Gethin scored just one more championship point after the 1971 win and ended his Formula One career with a one-off drive at his home grand prix in 1974. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Sonia Oxley; For Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport)