On Sunday, September 28, 1969, New Zealand driver Bruce McLaren won the eighth round of the Can-Am, held at Cambridge Junctlon in the state of Michigan. The New Zealander, at the wheel of a car of his own construction, precedes teammate Denny Hulme. In third place was Dan Gurney also in a McLaren, and in fourth was Swiss driver Joseph Siffert in a Porsche. The winner drove the 315-kilometer race, held on a five-kilometer circuit, at an average speed of 174 mph. With this success, the McLaren team secures victory in the Can-Am, having claimed eight victories in eight races, four with Bruce McLaren and as many with Denny Hulme. McLaren precedes Hulme by a narrow margin. Denny Hulme, who had set the fastest time in practice (touching a lap average of 187.900 mph), leads the group of twenty-seven cars in the race for the first 51 laps. But, toward the conclusion he was delayed following a spin that allowed McLaren to pass him and precede him albeit by a small margin at the final finish line. Of note was the placing of Swiss driver Joseph Siffert, who finished fourth with his Porsche one lap down. This is the second consecutive time that Siffert, at the wheel of a German car more than half the size of the big seven-liter McLarens, has accomplished such a feat. Chris Amon, the driver of the only Ferrari entered in the race, was unable to start: his car, which had set the third best time in practice after those of Hulme and McLaren, i stopped because of an oil pump failure. Only three races now remain to be run for the Can-Am trophy, endowed with prizes totaling $1.000.000: the last race will be held in College Station, Texas, on Sunday, November 9, 1969.
Unfortunately he never makes it, for the car suddenly shoots off sideways on the straight before the Loop. It hits a mound of earth and overturns, losing much of its suspension as it goes. Hill is thrown out and his legs receives a tremendous battering as he is thrown out. The popular London driver is taken to hospital with both his knees badly damaged and he may be out of racing for many months. Soon after this sad accident Courage finds himself without his persistent shadow, for Brabham has rushed into the pits complaining of fuel starvation. There is still five or six gallons in the tanks but the fuel system is just not picking it up, probably due to a faulty flap valve, so several more gallons are added. Brabham rejoins the race, but he has lost two laps and he is now just behind Surtees. In the closing stages he manages to pass the B.R.M., but has no hope of making up a complete lap on him to regain third place. So the closing stages come as rather an anti-climax, with Rindt reeling off the laps eventually to come home some three-quarters of a lap ahead of Courage. Surtees is two laps down in third place with the B.R.M., followed by Brabham, Rodriguez is fifth but a further five laps in arrears, while Moser scores his first point of the season despite being 10 laps behind the winner, having at one stage made a brief pit stop because of a loose oil pipe. Servoz-Gavin is still running at the finish, but he only completes 92 laps. Rindt has finally achieved his ambition: it is bound to happen some time, for this is the sixth occasion this season that he has started from pole position. As he comments later, he is driving no better than usual, but for once everything has gone right. Courage, too, goes up in the estimation of a lot of people following his fine drive, and the organisers award him a special Man of the Meeting prize of $5.000. One hundred thousand Americans go home satisfied that they have seen Grand Prix racing at its best.
After five years, Jochen Rlndt took his first victory in a Formula One Grand Prix, winning the United States Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the World Championship. The success of the Austrian and the Lotus-Ford was well-deserved, only partially aided by the retirement of newly crowned World Champion Jackie Stewart, who had to stop in the pits on lap 35 due to an engine failure in his Matra. The race (108 laps of the Watklns Glen circuit, 300 kilometers from New York) was very tough. Only seven of the seventeen competitors (McLaren did not start having broken its engine a few minutes before the start) made it to the finish line. Only one serious accident: Graham Hill went off the track in his Lotus-Ford on lap 98, while in fourth position, due to a tire blowout. The British driver was transported first to a local hospital and then to Arnot-Ogden Hospital in Elmira, where doctors diagnosed him with a multiple fracture of his left femur. Rindt also won the top prize in what is regarded as one of the richest races in the world: $50,000. Behind the Austrian champion came Englishman Piers Courage in a Brabham-Ford, a racer who is proving to be an element of excellent class in the finale of this season. Third came Englishman Surtees and fourth veteran Jack Brabham. Ickx was forced to retire. For the first 35 laps of the Watklns Glen circuit there was an exciting duel between Rindt and Stewart. At the end of the race it was learned that Chris Amon would forgo racing in the Challenge Tasmania Cup, which he won last year, as he was busy testing the new Ferrari 312 B and Sport 5000 currently under construction in the Maranello workshops. Belgian Jacky Ickx, who was hired by Ferrari for the 1970 Formula One and Sport prototype World Championship tests, will also participate in the testing of the two new cars.