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1965

 I thought it might be rather fun this year to closely follow a season from years gone by and why not 1965 and it was 50 years ago and was the era just before I became interested in Motor Racing.  Mainly writing it for myself but I hope others might enjoy as well.  A few You Tube videos will be posted where available.

January 1st, 1965

CLARK WINS GRAND PRIX ON NEW YEARS DAY

Jim Clark and his works Lotus-Climax completely dominated the South African GP at the East London circuit.   With the race being moved by one week it became the first race of 1965 rather than the last race of 1964. Unusually it was run on Friday January 1st. With most of the cars being last year’s championship contenders and the practice occurring in late December it was truly a race that straddled both years.   This season is the last one of the one and a half litre formula and everyone is already looking forward to the return of power in 1966 and already everyone is speculating whether the new cars will be ready for early January when once again the South African GP will kick off the calendar.

The top teams remained those who had contested the 1964 title right up to the last race in Mexico just five weeks ago.   John Surtees, the reigning World Champion, is again partnered by Lorenzo Bandini at Ferrari.  Graham Hill, the 1964 runner-up, has a new teammate at BRM in last year’s British F3 champion Jackie Stewart.  Jim Clark who only lost the championship in the penultimate lap of the last GP of 1964 is joined at Team Lotus again by Mike Spence who finished last season as No2 to Clark.

Other fancied runners included the Brabhams of last years French GP winner Dan Gurney and Jack Brabham.   Jochen Rindt joined the Cooper team alongside long time Cooper driver Bruce McLaren.  Rob Walker was running the two Jos, Bonnier and Siffert.  The total entries were an impressive 28 with many local drivers attempting to qualify.

Jim Clark took an easy pole position with Surtees and Brabham joining him on the front row.  Spence and Hill made up the second row.  Bandini, Bonnier and McLaren were on the third row.  Clark tried the new Climax engine in practice but chose not to race it.  The Brabham team were split in terms of tyres; Jack chose the Dunlops whilst Gurney stuck with the new Goodyear tyres and this meant that disappointingly he didn’t really feature in either practice or the race.

Race day was dry but overcast.  At the start Jim Clark leapt into a lead he was never to relinquish and he finished nearly 30 seconds ahead of the field after 85 laps.  Mike Spence made a great start and for a while made it a Team Lotus 1-2.   However, he eventually suffered a couple of spins which meant that he fell back behind Surtees and Hill.  Braham challenged Surtees and Hill for quite a while before falling back with a misfire in his Climax engine.  McLaren finished fifth a lap down whilst Jackie Stewart made a steady and careful debut to score his first Championship point, another lap behind.  Siffert took seventh place ahead of Brabham and Paul Hawkins who was ninth on his debut.  Top local driver was Peter de Klerk in his Alfa Romeo special in 10th place.

The next championship race isn’t until the end of May in Monaco, so the rest of the teams need to work hard to try and catch up Clark and his Lotus.  Clark’s win was even more impressive considering he was wearing a slipped disk corset during the race.  Although this wasn’t a classic F1 race, at least we can take cheer that British drivers took the first four places.

Results
1st Jim Clark – Lotus 33-Climax – 9pts
2nd John Surtees – Ferrari 158 – 6 pts
3rd Graham Hill – BRM P261 – 4pts
4th Mike Spence – Lotus 33-Climax -3pts
5th Bruce McLaren – CooperT73-Climax -2 pts
6th Jackie Stewart – BRMP261 – 1 pt

Fastest Lap – Jim Clark – Lotus 33-Climax

The main support race was won by Bob Olthoff in a John Willment Shelby Cobra.  This was a more successful race for John Willment than the GP itself where the newcomers could only manage ninth (Paul Hawkins) and twelfth (Frank Gardner) in their Brabhams.

January 9th, 1965

GRAHAM HILL WINS TASMAN SERIES ROUND ONE

The 1965 Tasman Series kicked off with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe.  As usual the series was for two and half litre single seaters and again a number of the top European Grand Prix drivers came down to challenge the top local drivers.

Jim Clark driving a Team Lotus entered Lotus-Climax 32B won the first heat whilst Graham Hill driving a Brabham Climax BT11A, entered by Dave McKay's Scuderia Veloce, won the second qualifying heat.  In the final Clark was leading but got taken out by Bruce McLaren in his Cooper on lap 2.  Thus Hill was left to take a relatively easy win.  Frank Gardner was the only driver on the same lap in second place after 50 laps of the 2.2 mile circuit.  Local driver Jim Palmer came in third. Phil Hill drivng the second of the Bruce McLaren Racing entered Coopers did not finish.   John Riley (Lotus), Rex Flowers (Lola) and Leo Geohegan (Lotus) took the ast point scoring positions.

A great high definition video of the build-up and highlights of the race can be found on You Tube.


PAUL HAWKINS TAKES A NON-CHAMPIONSHIP F1 WIN

Staying on in South Africa after the Grand Prix, Australian Paul Hawkins beat the local drivers in both heats to win the Formula One Cape South Easter Trophy at Killarney in his John Willment Brabham Climax.   John Love finished second in his Cooper Climax from David Prophet in a Brabham Cosworth.  Peter de Klerk in his Alfa Romeo Special came fourth.

Bob Olthoff won the supporting sports car race in his John Willment entered Shelby Cobra from John Sutcliffe in a lightweight Jaguar E Type.

ELSEWHERE - 8th-10th January, 1965.  Bill Bengry and Barry Hughes in a Ford Cortina GT won from a field of 106 in a rather wet 750 mile Welsh Rally which had International status for the second year in succession.

January 16th, 1965

JIM CLARK AND LOTUS WIN THE LEVIN TASMAN 

After the disappointment of the previous week, Jim Clark in his works Lotus Climax dominated the Vic Hudson memorial race at Levin by claiming pole position, the first heat, the fastest lap and the win in the final to take the second round of the Tasman Championship.

Local boy Roly Levis won the second heat for the local drivers even if he was led across the line by Frank Gardner who was testing his Brabham after earlier problems. Frank Gardner went on to finish second to Clark in the final.  Another local boy, Kerry Grant, had a great start in the final overtaking both McLaren and Hill to be in second place behind Jim Clark before spinning off.

Jim Palmer took third place for the second week in succession, ahead of Phil Hill and Bruce McLaren in their Coopers.  Roly levis finished sixth in the final in his Brabham Ford.

January 17th, 1965

DAN GURNEY MAKES IT A HAT TRICK AT RIVERSIDE

The Nascar season opener was on the road course at Riverside.   Dan Gurney took his third win in succession in this event - The Motor Trend 500 - in his Wood Brothers entered Ford.  Chrysler boycotted this event and the whole season after changes were made in the rules that outlawed their Hemi engine.  This sidelined Chrysler driver Richard Petty and a number of other top drivers.

Junior Johnson took pole and led eleven laps in his Ford before having to give best to Gurney and finishing second.   AJ Foyt challenged Gurney and led twelve laps but eventually had a nasty crash and was hospitalised.  Parnelli Jones qualified second, led 36 laps but didn't finish.  Ned Jarrett qualified third but was eliminated after a bad fire in the pits.  Bob Bondurant also didn't finish after qualifying tenth.

Thus Dan Gurney eventually led 126 laps of the 185 laps despite only qualifying eleventh to take a great win.  See the win below on this great You Tube video highlights of the event.



January 23rd, 1965

CLARK WINS AGAIN AT THE LADY WIGRAM TROPHY

Jim Clark and Team Lotus took another easy win in the Lady Wigram Trophy at the Wigram circuit in New Zealand to take the lead of the Tasman Series.

Jim Clark and Bruce McLaren took the heat wins during a day that rain threatened but never came.

In the final Jim Clark was never headed and beat the Cooper of Bruce McLaren and the Brabham of Jim Palmer who again finished third.   Jim Clark and Bruce Mclaren shared fastest lap.   Frank Gardner, Kerry Grant and Roly Levis completed the top six.

After this race Jim Clark leads the series with 18pts from Frank Gardner with 15 pts and Jim Palmer with 12pts.

January 18th - 25th, 1965

MINI COOPER TAKE ANOTHER WIN IN THE MONTE

The works Mini Cooper team entered six cars in this year's Monte Carlo Rally and were obviously determined to win with drivers that included last year's winner Paddy Hopkirk plus Rauno Aaltonen, Timo Makinen, Donald Morley, Harry Kallstrom and Raymond Baxter.

Timo Makinen started from Lisbon and won the event with the help of co-driver Paul Easter.  Into second place came the Porsche 904 of Eugen Bohringer / Ralf Wutherich whilst into third place in their Saab 96 came the ladies - Pat Moss-Carlsson and Ann Wisdom.   Peter Harper was fouth in a Sunbeam Tiger, Herbert Linge fifth in a Porsche 911S and Roger Clark sixth in a Rover 2000.

Lucien Bianchi finished 23rd in a Ciroen DS21.   Vic Elford, Henri Greder and Leo Kinnunen were amongst the many retirements.

A short British Pathé video on You Tube gives you some flavour of the event.


If you want to do a stage with Peter Harper in his Sunbeam Tiger click on the video below.



January 30th, 1965

CLARKS MAKES IT THREE IN A ROW IN NEW ZEALAND

In the fourth round of the Tasman Championship at Teretonga, Jim Clark scored his third win in three weeks in New Zealand.  Bruce McLaren had a good drive and took the lead when Clark was slow off the line but was quickly put in his place by the Lotus driver and then Clark never relinquished his first place.

Once again Clark and McLaren had won their heats.  McLaren took second place in the final from his team mate Phil Hill both in Coopers.  Hoever, only McLqren was unlapped by Clark.  Kerry grant was best of the locals in fourth place driving a Brabham Climax.  After three third places on the trot, Jim palmer could only manage fifth.   Roly Levis was sixth again in his Brabham Ford.

Bill Caldwell won the supporting sports car race in his Lola Mk1.

January 31st, 1965

ROGER MAC TAKES FIRST F3 WIN OF THE SEASON 

The F3 season kicked off with a race at the end of January at a televised Brands Hatch meeting.  Jonathan Williams had pole position and led until punted off by Roger Mac who went on to take the win in his Brabham Ford.  Jonathan Williams recovered to take second in his Brabham Ford from John Miles in his Brabham BMC.   Peter Gethin finished fifth on his F3 debut and shared fastest lap with Roger Mac and Derek Bell who finished sixth.

Alan Rees took two wins at this meeting is his Lola  T55 winning both he Formula libre race and the unlimited Single Seater race.

February 14th, 1965

A LITTLE HARDER FOR CLARK IN SYDNEY

The Tasman series hotted up for the first race in Australia and Jim Clark and Team Lotus came under more pressure but eventually took their fourth win in succession.    An number of Australian drivers such as Jack Brabham, Frank Matich and Bob Stillwell joined the series at Warwick Farm near Sydney and were immediately competitive.

Local boy Frank Matich took pole position ahead of the Formula One stars for the second year in succession.  Graham Hill and Jim Clark completed the front row.   At the start Matich out accelerated Hill and Clark to take the lead but Graham Hill soon overtook him.  Clark and eventually Brabham also overtook Matich.   Despite losing a gear, Clark eventually overtook Hill but Brabham found his tyres going off and was nearly repassed by Matich.  Near the end Hill spun and lost three places.  Thus Clark took the flag ahead of Brabham and Matich in a good third place.  Bib Stillwell took fourth ahead of Graham Hill and Jim Palmer.  All of the cars in the first six were Brabham-Climaxes exceopt for Clarks Lotus.  Jim Clark took fastest lap as well.   Phil Hill, Bruce McLaren and Fank Gardner were amongst the retirements.

After five rounds Clark was a dominant leader of the Tasman series.  See him win the race in the You Tube video below.




THE GOLDEN BOY WINS RAIN SHORTENED DAYTONA 500

Fred Lorenzen continues to win the big races on the super speedways even if he needed some luck to win this year's Daytona 500 in his Holman and Moody Ford.  It was the 7th running of this event and Fred's first win in it.

The two 100 mile qualifying events took place on 12th February.  Darel Deringer won the first in his Mercury from the Ford's of Ned Jarrett and Bobby jones.  In the second qualifier Junior Johnson won from Fred Lorenzen and Marvin Panch, all in Fords.

In the main event on Valentines Day, Junior Johnson led 27 laps but crashed out when a tyre blew.  Then the 1961 winner Marvin Panch took over and led 80 laps in all.  Eventually, Fred Lorenzen challenged and took the lead but eventually as it began to rain Marvin Panch tried to regain the lead.  The cars touched and Panch spun out.  Lorenzen's car was damaged but he was told to stay out in the hope that the race would be stopped because of the rain which it was shortly after after just 133 of the scheduled 200 laps.  Thus Fred Lorenzen, The Golden Boy, won by a full lap from Darel Deringer.  Bobby Johns, Earl Balmer and Ned Jarrett completed the top five with Marvin Panch classified sixth.

I won't be doing reports on all the NASCAR races but if you want to know all the results of the 1965 season visit this site: http://espn.go.com/racing/results/_/year/1965

See a You Tube video of the highlights of the 1965 Daytona 500 below including an interview of the winner by none other than Dan Gurney.



February 21st, 1965

BRABHAM BEATS CLARK AT THE SANDOWN 100

Jack Brabham took pole, fastest lap and the win in a fair fight at Sandown, thus ending the winning streak of four Tasman events of Jim Clark and Team Lotus.  However, the second place of Clark all but guaranteed him the Tasman Series.

Tragically, four times Australian Grand prix winner, Lex Davison, was killed in practice.  Contemporary reports partially attributed Brabham's pole position to his brand new sticky Goodyear tyres. Clark and Matich joined him on the front row.

As in the previous race, Frank Matich got a good start but Clark was soon ahead.  Jack Brabham overtook Clark on lap seven and pulled away to win by over four seconds from the Team Lotus driver.  Bib Stillwell drove well to get up into third place but fell back with magneto trouble into sixth place.  Thus team mates Phil Hill and Bruce Mclaren finished third and fourth in their Coopers with Jim Palmer finishing fifth.  Graham Hill, Frank Gardner and Frank Matich all retired.

See the build up and the race on You Tube yourself by clicking on the link below.




28th February, 1965

A Ford GT40 Wins at last!

After a year of disappointment the Ford GT40 of Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby won the Daytona Continental 2000kms after the Ferrari challenge folded.  It was the first overall win for a GT40.  In the end it was a fairly easy win despite an early spin by Miles.  As usual the Continental was held on the circuit using much of the banked course but also the infield section.

Following on from its very poor 1964 season and the poor end of year showing at Nassau, Ford over its Ford GT40 racing program to Shelby American.  In just two months they transformed what Ken Miles described as a bloody awful car to one capable of challenging Ferrari.   Two Shelby American entered Ford GT40s were brought along to Daytona to compete in the Prototype GT category and they qualified second and third.  In addition there were four Shelby American Cobra Daytona Coupés.  These qualified fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.  In addition Ford hired Dan Gurney to act as a rabbit to break the Ferrari Prototypes in his Ford engine Lotus 19 that he shared with Jerry Grant.  It only qualified 10th as most of practice was spent curing an aerodynamic problem.

Ferrari  used Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team to enter its new four cam Ferrari 330P2 for World Champion John Surtees and last year’s winner Pedro Rogriguez.  However, the presence of Mauro Forghieri and factory mechanics left nobody in any doubt that this was in reality a works entry and it took pole position for the race.  A second NART entry was the single cam Ferrari 330P2 for Walt Hangsen and David Piper and it qualified fourth.   NART also entered a Ferrari 275P which qualified ninth.

The rest of the field was a bit mixed with the next fastest qualifier being a big Plymouth Belvedere saloon car entered in the GT category, which was fast in a straight line but a handful through the infield section.

At the start of this race that was destined to last over twelve hours, Bob Bondurant in a Ford GT40 took the lead only to over-run the first corner on the road course !   Thus Surtees in a Ferrari led the first lap but Gurney in the Lotus Ford soon took over and ran at record pace to try and draw the Ferraris into running too fast.  Ferrari were aware of these tactics but needed to be careful as Gurney soon built up a huge lead.

When Rodriguez took over the lead Ferrari he had a tyre blowout which smashed the battery so he was unable to quickly restart.  Rodriguez set off on foot to get another battery but lost a lot of time.  Eventually the car retired with collapsed suspension when Surtees was back in the car trying to catch up the Fords.  The other 330P2 blew an engine when Hangsen was driving after setting the fastest lap of the race.   The Ferrari 275P climbed as high as third with a mixture of drivers but retired with clutch problems once Rodriguez was put in the car.

All this left Gurney and Grant in the Lotus 19 in a very safe lead of 5 laps over the best Ford GT40.  On lap 215 out of the scheduled 327, Grant pulled in and retired which led to a little debate about whether this was a genuine retirement or engineered by Ford to let the GT40 win.

This left Miles/Ruby to win easily whilst Bondurant/Ginther finished third in their GT40 after pitting with ignition problems.  Second and the top GT car was the Jo Schlesser/Harold Keck/ Robert Johnson in their Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé.  Top non-Ford engine car was the Porsche 904GTS in fifth.  The only remaining Ferrari, a 250GTO finished seventh overall and fifth in the GT class.

Results

1st        Ken Miles / Lloyd Ruby                 Ford GT40                          
2nd      J.Schlesser/H.Keck/R.Johnson        Shelby Cobra Daytona            
3rd       Bob Bondurant/Richie Ginther       Ford GT40                              
4th       R.Muther/J.Timanus/T.Payne         Shelby Cobra Daytona          
5th       Charlie Kolb/Roger Hefler              Porsche 904GTS                    
6th       Ed Leslie/Allen Grant                     Shelby Cobra Daytona          

Shelby American had repaid Ford’s faith in them by taking 5 of the top 6 places.

Below is an old Goodyear video of the event on You Tube.  Ignore the incorrect caption near the beginning.



ELSEWHERE – 28th February.   Richard Petty who was having a season away from NASCAR after the Chrysler Hemi was outlawed, made an ill-fated entry into drag racing.  Driving a Hemi engined Plymouth Barracuda in his usual light blue colours with the number 43 he veered into the spectators and killed an eight year old boy.  He only suffered minor injuries himself, but was obviously very upset. The car was buried on Petty’s instructions.


1st March, 1965

Bruce McLaren wins his second Australian Grand Prix

The reigning Tasman Champion finally managed a win in the 1965 series in the final round on Labor Day to become runner-up to Clark in the Championship.   It was, perhaps, the best race to date although it was marred by a fatal accident on lap one that killed driver Rocky Tresise and photographer Robin D’Abrera.  Rocky had been the protégé of Lex Davison who had been killed the previous week.

The very fast Longford road course in Tasmania suited the Team McLaren Coopers with their narrow Firestone tyres, small frontal area and short stroke engines.  Bruce McLaren set the fastest lap in practice and then won the ten lap qualifying race from Jack Brabham and Graham Hill.  McLaren pretty much led the whole way and finished over three seconds ahead of the field.  Behind him it was an exciting race and Bruce himself had to watch it at the end of the race as his clutch began to fail and he nearly fell prey to Jack Brabham.

Jack Brabham had to have a precautionary pitstop after touching the car of Roly Levis and fell back to fifth but then climbed back through the field to finish second.   Phil Hill drove a good race to third after overtaking Jim Clark and Graham Hill and also battling with Brabham.

Jim Clark was suffering from a top end misfire in his Lotus and could only finish fifth after duelling with Graham Hill who finished fourth in his Brabham.  Local driver Bib Stillwell finished sixth a couple of seconds ahead of New Zealander Jim Palmer.  The Franks, Gardner and Matich, both retired.

Final Tasman  Championship Positions:

1st        Jim Clark                    Lotus-Climax                          35 pts
2nd       Bruce McLaren          Cooper-Climax                       24 pts
3rd       Jack Brabham                        Brabham-Climax                   21 pts
=4th    Frank Gardner           Brabham-Climax                   15 pts
=4th    Phil Hill                       Cooper-Climax                       15 pts
=4th    Jim Palmer                 Brabham-Climax                   15 pts
7th      Graham Hill                Brabham-Climax                   14 pts

If you want to know more about the 1965 Tasman races including full reports, grids and results there is an excellent website that I highly recommend and it can be accessed by clicking here:
 http://www.sergent.com.au/motor/tasman1965.html
           
After two rounds Jack Brabham was leading the Australian Drivers Championship on maximum points from Bib Stillwell.

Corgi 155 - Lotus Climax
An aside: In December 1964 Corgi released a new toy car No.155 so many of us were playing with this or desiring it in early 1965. The model was a Lotus-Climax based on the Lotus 25 that Jim Clark had won the 1963 World Championship, but for a kid similar to the cars that Clark was still winning races with in 1964/1965.  Compared to the toys of the time it was really quite accurate with a nice British Racing green with yellow stripe livery and a driver ith a blue helmet, thus resembling Jim Clark.  Highly desirable for us kids then and still desirable now.  Mine has a bit of play wear but has only had one relatively careful owner since new in the late 1960s. The pencilled in price on the box shows I paid 5 shillings and 9 pence for it at the time with my pocket money (slightly less than 30 new pence!).  The Motor Sport magazine of March 1965 gave this toy car a sparkling review in its Miniature News, which I think it richly deserved.

7th March, 1965

Clark scores 1965 win No.6 for Lotus at Lakeside

After the main Tasman series came to an end at Longford in Tasmania, two of the Grand Prix drivers stayed on to challenge the locals for an eighth time at Longford, in a non-championship event.  Jim Clark driving the Team Lotus Climax engined 32B scored his sixth win of the year by covering the 66 laps in just over one hour.  The other GP driver, Frank Gardner came second in his Brabham Climax BT11A.  Best of the locals, Spencer Martin beat Kerry Grant into third place.  Finishing off the top six were Greg Kusack and Leo Geohegan.

John's historical note - driving a Brabham-Ford BT6 1.5 litre car in this race was a driver who was later to win both Formula Ford and Formula Three championships in the UK before becoming a Team Lotus Formula one driver himself .  That driver was Dave Walker who had been competing in the mid-sixties in Australian F2.  In this race at Longford he posted a retirement but he had finished 11th in the earlier Tasman Championship race at Warwick Farm.

13th March, 1965

SPENCE PICKS UP THE PIECES

Mike Spence scored his first F1 victory after all the favourites retired from the inaugural Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, the European season opener.   His team mate at Lotus, Jim Clark, looked to dominate the Race of Champions itself and the supporting British Championship saloon car race after winning pole position and roaring into the lead of both.  However, it was not Jim’s lucky day and he had accidents in the two events.

All of the major teams, Lotus, BRM, Ferrari, Cooper and Brabham entered the second F1 race on the still new Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit with many British privateer entries as well including the Rob Walker, John Willment, Reg Parnell and DWRE teams.  Expectations of the spectators were high after the close race between Graham Hill and Jim Clark in the previous year’s Grand Prix.  Jim Clark and  Team Lotus were hot favourites after their South African and Tasman Championship victories in addition to their win at the Brands Hatch GP in 1964.

With perfect conditions and quicker tyres, most of the field beat the lap record during the Friday practice session.  With Gurney and Surtees side lined with car troubles, Jim Clark completely dominated qualifying in his Dunlop shod Lotus-Climax 33 and was clearly fastest with a lap of 1 min 34.9.   Graham Hill was again best of the rest in the No.1 BRM and Mike Spence joined him on the front row in the second Lotus.  Jo Bonnier was the surprise of practice in Rob Walkers 1964 Brabham-Climax and was fourth on the grid ahead of Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart in the second BRM.   Another good performance was that of Bob Anderson who got onto the third row of the grid in his DWRE Brabham-Climax.

The ROC in 1965 was run as two 40 lap heats with the result decided on aggregate.  The Saturday was one of those beautiful March days we sometimes get in England and the Lotus boys made the best of the start in Heat One by leaping into the lead with Clark leading Spence and Graham Hill struggling to keep up with their pace in third place.  Dan Gurney in his Goodyear tyred Brabham was blocked a bit in his start from 13th on the grid but quickly made up time and kept the crowd happy by climbing up to 8th place by lap 5.  Soon afterwards he disposed of Surtees, Brabham and Bonnier and then not in a mood to be slowed down by anyone he overtook the BRMs of Stewart and Hill.  Spence made it a little more difficult for Gurney and he took a couple of laps to get past.  Then Gurney was off in pursuit of Clark and they shared fastest lap in the heat but Clark’s Lotus was able to retain its 21 second cushion until the end.  Spence retained his third place but was a further 30 seconds back and Brabham past the BRMs to finish fourth ahead of Hill, Surtees and Stewart.

Whilst the spectators waited for the second heat they were treated to a Group 2 Saloon car race, The Ilford Films Trophy which was the first round of this year’s British Saloon Car Chamionship.  Both Jim Clark and Frank Gardner jumped out of their F1 cars into Lotus Cortinas to compete in this event.  Clark took pole in his works Lotus Cortina (with a lap of 1 min 54.8) and led at the start from Roy Pierpoint in his own Ford Mustang, Jack Sears in the second Works Lotus and Mike Salmon in another Ford Mustang.

Salmon overtook Sears on lap three but at the front Clark was in control and soon had a seven second lead.  Unfortunately Clark in the lead Lotus pulled into the pits at the end of lap seven with a wobbly wheel but rejoined only to have the wheel fall off on lap nine.  Meanwhile Sears retook second place from Salmon and started to pressurise Pierpoint who had inherited the lead.  On lap seventeen Sears retired with a puncture and Salmon tried to up his pace but was four seconds behind Pierpoint at the end to make for a Ford Mustang 1-2.   André Baldet won his class and took third in the remaining Lotus Cortina.  John Rhodes was outstanding in his works Mini-Cooper and completely destroyed the rest of the 1,300cc class opposition to finish fourth.  5th was Gawaine Baillie in another Mustang in front of the Ford Anglias of Chris Craft and Mike Young who were disqualified after the race for a technical infringement.  The 1,000cc class was won by last year’s European Champion Warwick Banks in another Mini Cooper.  Frank Gardner, who had qualified 7th retired in his Lotus Cortina.  A number of the Mini Coopers crashed or rolled.

For Heat Two of the ROC Jim Clark again led at the start but this time followed by Gurney’s Brabham.  Together they quickly pulled away from Hill and Spence. Clark tried to pull away from Gurney but Dan quickly responded and started his attack.  On lap 11 Dan Gurney tried to get past at South Bank but failed but at Paddock on the next lap he succeeded.  At Druids, Clark tried to respond and tried then again tried to repass at South Bank but instead under-steered onto the grass and hit the bank behind the pits.  A bruised Clark and his very damaged Lotus immediately retired.  It was not, however, to be Gurney’s day and almost immediately he had engine problems and retired.

In the meantime, Brabham had overtaken the BRMs and Spence to inherit the lead. Hill then retired with overheating and Stewart succumbed to Bonnier who was again driving well.   On lap 28 Brabham sprung an oil leak and retired leaving Mike Spence in the second Team Lotus car to take an easy victory.  Gardner was also going well and passed Stewart and began pressurising Jo Bonnier who had far too much experience to let him past.  The second heat thus finished with Spence ahead of Bonnier, Garner and Stewart.  McLaren finished fifth ahead of Siffert.   After his fine performance in the saloon car race, John Rhodes jumped into a F2 Cooper-Ford to take 11th in heat two of the ROC.

The two heat format had proved tough on the machinery and led to the surprise result on aggregate with Spence winning from a consistent Stewart and a rejuvenated Bonnier.   Gardner (Brabham), McLaren (Cooper), Siffert (Brabham) and Rindt (Cooper) completed the top seven.  Jim Clark took fastest lap.   The BRSCC orgnised Daily Mail Race of Champions had proved a success and is likely to be repeated next year.  Clark had proved himself both a real racer and fallible in his battle with Gurney.  In Gurney we hoped we had someone to take the fight to Clark in the 1965 season.

Elsewhere:  On the same day, Goodwood held its usual BARC Member’s Meeting.  In the 10 lap Formula Three race, Charles Crichton-Stuart took victory in his Brabham BT10 from local resident Derek Bell’s Lotus 31 and Clive Baker’s Cooper T76.


Watch below the quick British Pathe highlights of the Race of Champion’s meeting. 




March 20th, 1965

SILVERSTONE WASHOUT

The opening race on the 1965 Formula Two season was meant to be a 200 km event at Silverstone.  it was to be the first appearance of the Honda F2 engine in the works Brabham and also of the new BRM F2 engne in Ken Tyrrell's Coopers and John Coomb's Brabham.  In practice Mike Costin had set fastest time in his Cosworth powered Brabham from Jim Clark, Dickie Attwood and Brian Hart. However, the race was not to be as a torrential downpour meant that the race, the Senior Service 200 was abandoned.

Some of the support races did go ahead, albeit in very wet weather.  For the F3 race Charles Crichton-Stuart was on pole but Peter Gethin jumped into the lead in the appalling conditions. Warwick Banks in Ken Tyrrell's Cooper was meanwhile biding his time but as the other drivers spun or became cautious he picked up the pace and took a good win that showed mastery of the conditions and racing intelligence.   Peter Gethin finished runner up and Clive Baker took third place.

It was raining even harder for the start of the Sports Car race that was scheduled to last 25 laps.  It was an interesting field with the Lola T70s of John Surtees and David Hobbs making their debut and with the first appearance in the UK of a King Cobra.   In qualifying Jim Clark in his Lotus 30 was fastest from Surtees, Bruce McLaren in a McLaren Oldsmobile and Roy Salvadori in the King Cobra. The race featured many spins and crashes and there was a good battle between Clark and Surtees that resolved itself because Surtees, despite being faster, had a couple of spins in the new Lola.  As the rain got worse the race was reduced to 18 laps.  Jim Clark was declared winner from John Surtees and in third place was Jack Paterson in a Lola Climax Mk1.

Following this race, Lola added a spoiler to the T70 that made it a much easy to handle and more successful car.

Elsewhere: On 19th March at Monza on the long combined road and banked circuit, the first round of the European Touring Car Challenge was held.  The Monza 4 hours was made up of two separate 4 hour races.  The first for Division 1 cars was won by Herbert Demetz in a 1,000cc Fiat Abarth from three similar cars.  John Fitzpatrick and Ralph Broad finished fifth in a Mini.   The second race for the larger capacity Division 2 and 3 cars was dominated by the Alfa Romeos which suited this ultra fast circuit.  Andrea de Adamich and Sandro Arcioni won in a Jolly Club Alfa Romeo Giulia TI ahead of five other Alfa Romeos.  In seventh place was the 1,300cc Mini of John Handley and John Terry.   The BMW of Hubert Hayne and the Lotus Cortinas of John Whitmore and Henry Taylor all retired.

At Zolder, Willy Mairesse won the Coupes des Belges sports car race in the Ecurie Francorchamps entered Ferrari 250LM.


March 27th, 1965

THE TEXANS POWERBOAT TO SEBRING 12 HOURS VICTORY

Sebring was a strange place for the World Sports Car Championship to have its first round in 1953 but it was still going strong 12 years later in 1965.  The Americans had won in 1953 with Phil Walters and John Fitch in their Chrysler engined Cunningham C4R beating the works Aston Martins and private entered Jaguars, Oscas and Ferraris.  Since then Ferrari had dominated the Sebring 12 hours with other European marques such as OSCA, Jaguar, Maserati and Porsche taking occasional victories.  Organiser Alec Ulmann decided that it was time for a change and time for the Americans to mount a big challenge to the Europeans and attract a big crowd.  Ford were already beginning to have competitive cars with the Shelby Cobra and Ford GT40 but he played a blinder by persuading the FIA to allow the unlimited capacity, light bodied open sports cars (later to become Group 7 Can-Am cars) to enter endurance sports car races.  Having done this he persuaded Jim Hall’s Chaparral to enter his Sebring 12 hour race in the cars that the previous year had been dominating the two hour races of the USRCC Championship.   Jim did some endurance testing, practicing his cars at Sebring and elsewhere to convince himself that they could last the distance, and the challenge was on.  The Chaparral’s were not all about the power of their large 5.4 litre Chevrolet engines, they had a great chassis and, interestingly, automatic transmission.

Ferrari and Porsche, however, were not so keen to be beaten by this unfair competition and immediately withdrew.  Later Porsche relented and entered a couple of Porsche 904GTSs plus a 904/8 prototype and Ferrari as usual entered it works car with works mechanics under the guise of local private teams.  Enzo did, however, forbid his top driver, John Surtees to take part. Despite this there were a fair amount of Ferraris on the grid, some works supported and some true privateers.    Ford on their part continued to encourage Dan Gurney to enter his pace setting Lotus 19B and act as the rabbit to beat the faster cars.  They also entered two GT40s and four Cobra Daytona Coupés.

Following on from their national debut at a wet Silverstone the week before, the Lola T70 made its international debut at Sebring with the John Mecom entered Ford engined car for John Cannon and Jack Saunders.   John Mecom also entered the “works” Ferrari 330P for Pedro Rodriguez and Graham Hill.

In practice the worries of Ferrari and Porsche came to a head as the Chaparral 2As totally dominated and took the first two places for the Le Mans start.  The question was, would they be able to last the 12 hours over the bumps and in the heat of Sebring.   Fastest challengers were the two Ford GT40s and Gurney’s Lotus.  Then came the new Lola and four of the Ferraris.

Peter Windsor in his excellent blog reporting Jim Clark's 1965 season reports that Jim Clark and Jim Sears in their Lotus Cortinas won the supporting saloon car race. Check it out here.

The exciting field drew a record crowd of over 50,000 to see more than sixty Sports Racing, Prototype and GT cars battle over the 12 hour distance.  At the 10.00am start, when the weather was uncomfotably hot,  a Corvette took the lead but before long Ginther’s Ford GT40 took the lead but then immediately pitted, leaving one the new Lola T70-Ford in the lead at the end of lap 1in the hands of John Cannon.  Then Gurney set the pace, swapping the lead with Jim Hall, before retiring.  This left the two Chaparrals in the lead but the second one soon slipped away with problems leaving the Hill/Rodriguez Ferrari to give chase.  The Chaparral team had a seven lap lead were a little worried as the weather forecast called for rain and they felt it might favour the Ferraris.  Every one was hoping it would not turn into a repeat of the very wet race in 1959. Then at 5pm the heaviest downpour possible appeared and turned the whole circuit into a lake. 

Water absolutely flooded into the pits and onto the main straights and many drivers found their calls filling with water.   5 inches of water was common on the course  and lap times multiplied by two, three, five or even ten times.  The faster cars on their wide tyres were overtaken by the smaller cars on their narrower tyres.   In the spray cars were getting lost and turning off the circuit into the aircraft parking stands!  For a while the lead car stayed in the pits and waited for the water to subside.  Then suddenly after 40 minutes the floods dissipated.

The Rodriguez/Hill Ferrari had started to gain on the lead Chaparral but had lost second gear and finally retired with clutch trouble in the eighth hour.  So by this time the Chaparral had a huge nine lap lead and the Chaparral could coast home to beat the Ken Miles / Bruce McLaren Ford GT40 by four laps.   A further two laps back was a privateer Ferrari 250LM of David Piper and Tony Maggs.  The GT class was won by Bob Bondurant and Jo Schlesser in their Daytona Cobra Coupé in fourth place.  Fifth and sixth were the two Porsche 904s.  All of the first five cars were class winners.

The Italian entered Bizzarrini Iso Grifos retired whilst the Autodelta Alfa Romeo Guila TZs could manage only a best of 16th.   Donald Healey’s Sebring Sprites managed to beat this with Clive Baker and Rauno Aaltonen finishing 15th and coming second in their class.  An Austin Healey 3000 driven by Paul Hawkins and Warwick Banks finished 17th and won its class.

Two guys who competed in the 1953 Sebring 12 hours, Briggs Cunningham and John Fitch, finished 20th in a Porsche 904GTS.

Roger Mac who had won a F3 race earlier in the year at Brands Hatch came in 20th in an MG Midget shared with Andrew Hedges.  All in all quite an International field and five different makes of car in the top six.

Results

1st       Jim Hall / Hap Sharp                        Chaparral 2A
2nd      Ken Miles / Bruce Mclaren              Ford GT40
3rd      David Piper / Tony Maggs                Ferrari 250LM
4th      Bob Bondurant / Jo Schlesser           Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé
5th      Lake Underwood / Guenther Klass   Porsche 904GTS
6th      Joe Buzetta / Ben Pon                       Porsche 904GTS

A great endurance victory for the Chaparral team even given their performance advantage.

For some great pictures of this event go to a great website called  http://www.sportscardigest.com/1965-sebring-12-hour-grand-prix-of-endurance-race-profile/

You can watch some You Tube videos of this event by clicking on the links below:










Elsewhere: Peter Gethin took his maiden victory in a F3 race winning the BRSCC F3 Championship race at Croft on March 27th in his Charles Lucas entered Lotus 22-Ford beating John Cardwell and Mike Knight. Tony Dean finished fifth.

The next day at Mallory Park there was a round of the BARC F3 championship and this time Charles Crichton-Stuart won in a Stirling Moss entered Brabham from Rob Lamplough.  Mike Knight again finished third in his Cooper T76.

On 28th March in the USA AJ Foyt made his comeback after a bad crash at Riverside earlier in the year.  Amazingly he took pole position on the Phoenix oval!  The 150 mile oval race was won by Don Branson.


April 3rd, 1965

HULME WINS THE OULTON F2 SPRING TROPHY RACE

The big motor race meeting of the British weekend was the one at Oulton Park on the Saturday where Denny Hulme won the main race of the day in his Brabham-Cosworth and the two Roys, Pierpoint and Pike, took wins in the support saloon and F3 races.

There was a good field of British and Commonwealth F2 drivers for this non-championship race with the main absentees being John Surtees, and the Team Lotus drivers, Clark and Spence, who were in Sicily for the weekend. The only "foreigners" were Jochen Rindt who was driving in F2 as usual for Roy Winkelmann Racing and French privateer Jacques Maglia in his Lotus 32.  In practice Richard Attwood put up fastest lap in the Midland Racing Partnership Lola T60 Cosworth.  Graham Hill was also fast in practice n the John Coombs Brabham BT16-BRM and took third on the grid.

In the race, following retirements of some of the other faster runners, Denny Hulme won the 40 lap race in just over 68 minutes in his works Brabham BT16 still with the Cosworth engine.  His boss, Jack Brabham debuted the Honda engined Brabham but it retired after 16 laps with spark plug problems.  Jackie Stewart took secod place about 20 seconds behind Hulme in Ken Tyrrell's Cooper T75 BRM.  Alan Rees took third place a further 24 seconds down the road in Roy Winkelmann's Brabham BT16 Cosworth.  Tony Maggs, Mike Beckwith and Tony Hegbourne completed the top six.  Fastest lap was shared by Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt who both retired as did Attwood.

In the 19 lap Formula Three race Charles Crichton-Stuart took pole in his Stirling Moss entered Brabham BT10 but could only manage third in the race.  American, Roy Pike in his California Racing Partnership Brabham BT16 took fastest lap and ran out the winner by 12 seconds from Warwick Banks in the Tyrrell entered Cooper T76. Piers Courage in the Charles Lucas Brabham BT10 came fourth.

Round two of the British Saloon Car Championship started off with some banging and barging between Roy Pierpoint's Mustang, and the Lotus Cortinas of John Whitmore, Jack Sears and Frank Gardner.  It led to the retirement of Sears and thus Pierpoint led from Whitmore and Gardner.  John Fitzpatrick was doing well to be in fourth with his Broadspeed Mini Coooper ahead of some of the Mustangs and Lotuses.

The drive of the race from a spectator's point of vieew, came from Gawaine Baillie who eventually drove up through the field past Fitzpatrick, Gardner and Whitmore to take take second place just behind Roy Pierpoint's similar car.  Frank Gardner finished just over 20 seconds behind this pair in the Willment Lotus Cortina.  Into fourth came John Rhodes in a Mini Cooper after John Whitmore had retired with a puncture and Fitzpatrick and Baldet had both rolled their cars.   Warwick Banks won the 1 litre class in tenth place in another Mini Cooper.

April 4th, 1965

CLARK WINS THE RACE BUT SIFFERT OUR HEARTS IN SYRACUSE

A relatively large number of Formula One teams made the long trip down to Sicily for the non-championship Syracuse Grand Prix.  This was the road course where Tony Brooks had had his famous victory for Connaught ten years earlier.   In 1965 both Ferrari and Team Lotus were expected to be the favourites with the Rob Walker team leading the privateer challenge.

In practice Jim Clark's Lotus 33-Climax took pole and he even sat out the last practice session to save his car.  Last year's winner, John Surtees hit the straw bales on the first day in his Ferrari but still managed second place on the grid in the Ferrari V8.   Jo Bonnier, having another good meeting in the Rob Walker Brabham-Climax was accredited with third fastest time to take the final front row position.   Many thought that Jo Siffert had gone even faster in his Rob Walker Brabham-BRM but he was only officially fourth fastest.  The BRM engine on this car was reported to be going very well under the watchful eyes of his two Swiss maechanics.   The two other work's drivers Bandini (Ferrari V12) and Spence (Lotus) were next up followed by the Reg Parnell Lotus-BRMs of Innes Ireland and Mike Hailwood.

Jo Siffert made an amazing start in his Brabham BRM and jumped into the lead from Surtees and Clark.  Jo Bonnier had made a rather tardy start through clutch trouble and dropped down the field, but both Spence and Bob Anderson in the DW Brabham-Climax were into good positions.  Bandini was just behind them.

For 10 laps, on this very fast circuit, Jo Siffert showed what a great driver he was and what a great engine he had in the back of his car and stayed in front of Surtees and Clark.  Then Surtees moved into the lead but Clark still could't get by Siffert and the three of them pulled away from the field.  On lap 28 Siffert got by Surtees again to retake the lead but the three leaders were still split by tenths of a second.  Over the next ten laps Surtees retook the lead only to be retaken again whilst Clark's Lotus was nt really fast enough to make a real challenge.

Unfortunately on lap 45 Siffert's gearbox broke and cause his engine to blow up.  A lap later Surtees' engine lost a cylinder and this thus let Clark through into a lead he did not relinquish.  Thus after 56 laps and one and three quarter hours Jim Clark took yet another victory, and he also took fastest lap.  Surtees finished second and Lorenzo Bandini came in third in the other Ferrari.  Jo Bonnier just finished fourth but with his gear box beginning to fail.  Ludovico Scarfiotti finished fifth in an old Centro-Sud BRM ahead of Bob Anderson who had had a pit stop. Ian Raby in his own Brabham-BRM was unlucky not to finish sixth but also had gearbox problems near the end and had to push his car to the line to finish eighth.

Thus a lucky win for Clark but Jo Siffert really made a name for himself that day.

Elsewhere:  At Monza there was a major F3 race run as 2 25 lap heats and a final.  In heat 1, Corrado Manfredini took pole in his Wainer-Ford but the heat was won by Kurt Ahrens in a Brabham Ford from Ernesto Brambilla in a Foglietti Ford and "Geki" in a De Sanctis-Ford.   In heat 2 Jonathan Williams in one of Charles Lucas's Brabham won from pole sitter Andrea de Adamich in a Lola Ford and Adrian Chambers in a Brabham Ford.  The final turned out to be the usual Monza slipstreamer and after 60 laps and 63 minutes was won by "Geki" from Corrado Manfredini and Kurt Ahrens.  Jonathan Williams retired after 7 laps.

April 10th, 1965

HILL TOPS AT SNETTERTON

A somewhat better F2 field than seen the previous week at Oulton Park descended on Snetterton for the Autocar Trophy.  Joining the field were Frenchmen, Guy Ligier and Jo Schlesser, but more importantly the Ron Harris team Lotus car fort Jim Clark.   Practice saw the private Brabhams of Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt fastest but with the race decided over two 25 lap heats it could be anybody's race.

Heat 1 saw a very close race between Hill and Clark but Graham Hill came out just on tops in John Coombs Brabham-BRM after what was nearly a photo finish.   Jack Braham came third in the new Brabham Honda which was now showing considerable promise.  With a fast pace, of the rest of the field only Beckwith, Rees, Attwood and Maglia remained unlapped.  Spence and Hulme had an accident on the first lap and Jackie Stewart retired with ignition problems.

Heat 2 was even faster but again Graham Hill ran out the winner after a slow start, this time with Clark leading until the last lap when his engine blew, only finishing sixth.  Mike Beckwith took third place in a Brabham behind Dickie Attwood's Lola. Fourth and fifth were Rees and Hulme.   Jack Brabham had throttle problems and Rindt retired after alsao having problems in the first heat.

Thus on aggregate, Graham Hill came out easily on top for John Coomb's team.  Second was Mike Beckwith from Jim Clark, Richard Attwood, Alan Rees and Jo Schlesser.  Jack Brabham took fastest lap.

The supporting race at Snetterton was the third round of the British Saloon Car Championship.  For this 15 lap race the front row was filled by the Mustangs of Roy Pierpoint, Sir Gawaine Baillie and Mike Salmon plus the Galaxie of Alan Hutcheson.  On this fast circuit the Lotus Cortinas of Jim Clark, Jack Sears etc were struggling to match their pace.  Each of the Mustangs were on different tyres, Roy on Goodyear, Gawaine on Firestone ands Mike on Dunlop; it could all come down to that.

Salmon made the best start with the Galaxie of Hutcheson following for four laps until the engine blew.  Pierpoint having done well in the previous two rounds was down on power after he had to change his cylinder heads after practice.

Jack Sears shunted into the back of his team mate Jim Clark in the early laps and this prevented the Team Lotus cars from making a strong challenge.  Clark was also struggling with his engine and tyres.

Mike Salmon drew away to win the race and take fastest lap in his Mustang from the similar cars of Pierpoint and Baillie.  Frank Gardner won the 2 litre class and fourth place in the Willment Lotus Cortina ahead of Jim Clark and Jack Sears.

John Rhodes won the 1,300cc class in seventh place in his Mini Cooper S and Warwick Banks as usual won the 1,000cc class in another Mini Cooper in 13th place.  John Nicholson came in eigth in a Lotus Cortina and Tony Lanfranchi came eighth in a Mini Cooper.

Footage of the F2 race below courtesy of British Pathe.



April 11th, 1965

Abarth Demo Runs at Imola


At Imola on Sunday the Coppa Bologna a 3 hour International Championship race for the 1,300cc and 1,000cc GT cars was held.  It attracted many Abarths and an Alfa Romeo but only 15 cars in all.  Looking back not an important race except for those who competed.

In the 1,300cc class there were three factory Abarth-Simcas with wide tyres and flared out body work that completely dominated.  Leo Cella qualified first but made contact with one of his team mates and spun out of contention.  Thus Herbert Demetz won from Anzion Zucchi and Roberto Bertuzzi all in Abarth Simca 1300 Bialberos.  Bruno Bonini came fourth and won his class in a 1 litfre Fiat-Abarth.  The Alfa Romeo was the last finisher in tenth place.

The support race was for F3 and featured two heats and a final.  For the first heat Andrea de Adamich in a Lola took pole position and won the after 12 laps.  In the second heat this feat was achieved by the Swiss driver Silvio Moser in a Brabham.  The final was won by 'Geki' in a de Sanctis by a small margin from de Amamich.  Corrado Manfredini came third ahead of Jonathan Williams.

Elsewhere: George Follmer in a Lotus 23 with Porsche engine won the first round of the United States Road Racing championship at Pensacola.  It was a 200 mile race and he beat a field including Jim Hall and Hap Sharp in their Chaparral 2As and Walt Hangsen in a Mecom LolaT70-Ford. Second was Mike Hall in a McKee-Ford and third was Chuck Dietrich in an Elva-BMW.  The final was won by 'Geki' in a de Sanctis, from de Adamich and Corrado Manfredini.  Jonathan Williams came fourth.

In Australia at Sandown Park, Bib Stillwell won the Australian Gold Star race in a Brabham BT11-Climax by a lap from Frank Matich in a Brabham BT7-Climax.

At Aspern in Austria, Jochen Rindt won a short 20 lap GT race in an Abarth-Simca 200GT from Hans Herrmann in a similar car.

15th to 19th April, 1965

Volvo win the East African Safari Rally

Joginder and Jaswant Singh won this years tough East African Safari Rally in a Volvo PV544 by a large margin from Baffray/Bathurst in a Peugeot 404. This was the first time that Volvo and the Singhs had won the rally.   Two time previous winner Vic Preston came third in a Ford Cortina GT. Top Brit in fourth place was John Sprinzel in a Mercedes Benz 190. Lucien Bianchi came fifth in a Citroen DS19.   Stirling Moss and Eric Carlsson retired after an accident in their Saab 96.

April 19th, 1965

Jim Clark's Easter Monday Goodwood Hat Trick

Top of the bill for the Easter Monday Goodwood meeting was a F1 race which attracted most of the British teams including Lotus, BRM, Brabham and Cooper plus Rob Walker and the other privateer teams.  It was to be held over 42 laps with the winner receiving the Sunday Mirror Trophy.

Practice saw the young Jackie Stewart take another leap forward and easily take pole position in his BRM from fellow front row men Graham Hill (BRM) and Jim Clark (Lotus).  The second row was made up of Spence (works Lotus) and Bob Anderson going well in a private Brabham.   Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney were on row three.

Graham Hill led with Jim Clark close behind in the early laps and Dan Gurney made a good start to gain third place in the top Brabham.   On the sixth lap, Jim Clark passed Hill on the Lavant straight to take the lead which he never relinquished.   As he pulled away he set a new lap record at just over 107mph. Hill meanwhile was having problems with his spark plugs and fell back into the clutches of Gurney and Stewart.  Near the end Stewart had camshaft problems and Gurney oil pressure issues so Hill was able to regain second place.  Third place eventually fell to Jack Braham (Brabham Climax) from Bruce McLaren (Cooper Climax), Jo Bonnier (Rob Walker's Brabham Climax) and Richard Attwood (Lotus BRM).   Mike Spence didn't start after problems on the grid and Bob Andserson was disqualified after missing the chicane.

The first race of the day was a 10 lap F3 which Roy Pike won from pole position in his Chequered Flag Brabham by less than a second from Piers Courage in a Charles Lucas Brabham.  Third was Jonathan Williams in the second Brabham Ford.  Clive Baker and Peter Gethin both crashed out on the first lap when there had been a thunderstorm which resulted in a restart.

Jim Clark was out in the second race of the day for the saloon cars in his Lotus Cortina but Mike Salmon had taken pole position in the Ford Mustang for this the fourth round of the British Saloon car Championship.  The start was delayed because of the restarted F3 race and a second hailstorm which was allowed to pass over.  Jim Clark proved master of the waterlogged conditions and immediately took the lead with his team mate Jack Sears in second place.  These two dominated the race and scored a one-two for Team Lotus.  Excitement was provided by the Mini Cooper of John Rhodes who finished third ahead of Mike Salmon but was then penalised a minute for a jump start. Mike Salmon was later disqualified for having a non-homologated rear axle ratio.  Thus third place finally fell to roy Pierpoint's Mustang ahead of Frank Gardner in the Willment Cortina and John Handley in a Broadspeed Mini Cooper.  Mike Cambell Cole won the 1,000cc class in another Mini.

In the 15 lap race for Grand Touring cars immediately after the F1 race, Roger Mac won in an AC Cobra at over 95 mph.  He was initially challenged by Peter Lumsden in a Jaguar E-Type and both had spins but Roger Mac came out on top.

A number of the F1 stars were also driving in round two of the British Sports Car Championship for the Lavant Cup that completed the day's racing.  After John Surtees did not start following engine problems with the Lola T70 Chevrolet,  Jim Clark won in the works Lotus 30-Ford from Bruce McLaren's McLaren Elva Oldsmobile.  Third place fell to David Hobb's in a Lola from Hugh Dibley's similar car and the Sid Taylor Brabham BT6 Climax driven by Denny Hulme which won the 2 litre class.

Elsewhere:  Paddy Hopkirk and Terry Harryman won the Circuit of Ireland International Rally that ended on the 20th April in a Mini Cooper S.  They beat Ford Cortina GTs of Vic Elford and David Stones and Roger Clark and Jim Porter.

April 25th, 1965

Ferrari make a Winning Comeback in Monza 1,000kms

After the works Ferrari team had missed Daytona and Sebring they returned in full force on their home ground at Monza.  They and the organisers were not adverse to a bit of gamesmanship and the full combined 10.1 km steep bumpy banked circuit and road circuit with a temporary chicane was used. This was expected to suit the better handling of the Ferraris in both the prototype and GT classes.  The result turned out as expected and the Ferrari team took a one-two victory four laps ahead of the first Ford GT40.

Ferraris took the first four places on the grid after qualifying with Mike Parkes setting the fastest time in a Ferrari 275P2 from three Ferrari 330P2s.  The Miles/McLaren Ford GT40 was the best of the rest and then came a couple of privateer Ferraris and the second GT40 of Amon/Maglioli.  The Bondurant/Grant Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé qualified 9th.

In the opening laps Bruce Mclaren in the lead GT40 was trying too hard and he went off into the straw bales at the temporary chicane.  He got going again and was quickly back up with the leaders.  Many otherr drivers joined him in trying destroy the temporary straw bale chicane during the race.  A fast private Ferrari 330P2 driven by Jo Bonnier dropped out quickly with suspension failure following a flat tyre and another four Ferraris dropped out in the first 20 laps.   Meanwhile John Surtees held the lead in a works Ferrari 330P2 from Mike Parkes.   In third place at this time was Herby Müller in the Filipinetti Ferrari but after he handed over to Tommy Spychiger it crashed into the trees with fatal results.

After 50 laps the first four cars, two Ferraris and two Fords were all on the same lap with Parkes/Guichet leading from Surtees/Scarfiotti, Amon/Maglioli and McLaren/Miles.  Further back the rest of the field was led by an Iso Grifo, an Alfa Romeo TZ2 and a Porsche 904 GTS.

Surtees had some tyre trouble and dropped back from Parkes but regained his position and started to catch up before settling for a good second place.   After 76 laps the Chris Amon/Umberto Maglioli Ford GT40 retired with suspension failure.

Thus Ferrari ended up winners from the sole remaining GT40 in third place.  Ben Pon and Rob Slotemaker took an excellent fourth place in their privateer Porsche 904 GTS to win the GT class just ahead of the protoype Iso Grifo A3C driven by Pierre Noblet and Mario Casoni.   Innes Ireland and Mike Salmon brought their Ronnie Hoare Ferrari 250LM into sixth place.  Second GT home was an Alfa Romeo TZ2 driven by Roberto Bussinello and Andrea de Adamich in seventh place.  Suffering from buffeting on the bumpy banking the Shelby Cobras slowed down and Bondurant/Grant only completed 89 laps in 8th place.

Also at Monza on the same day was a 3 hour endurance event for the 1.3 litre and 1 ltre GT cars. This was again another Abarth benefit race with Klaus Steimetz winning in his Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero from the similar cars of Bertuzzi/Manddonini and Guido Nicolai.  Cesare Sangiorgi won the 1 litre class in fourth place in his Fiat-Abarth 1000 Berlinetta.

April 25th, 1965

Clark Wins at Pau In the Rain and Laps the Field

In atrocious conditions, Jim Clark dominated the Formula Two Pau Grand Prix in his Ron Harris team Lotus 35 lapping the entire field and staying on the island whilst other top drivers spun in the rain.  A third of the way through 1965 and Jim Clark is performing at near perfection and winning in every car he drives - rather demoralising for the other stars and up and coming drivers.

In practice it had been a different matter and Jackie Stewart had taken pole in the Ken Tyrrell entered Cooper-BRM from Graham Hill in the John Coombs Brabham-BRM.  Jim Clark had been experimenting driving with both Goodyear and Dunlop tyres and qualified fastest on the Goodyears but used Dunlops in the race.  Attwood and Beckwith made up the second row.

On race day it rained heavily prior to the start and Clark jumped straight into the lead gaining the best traction off the line.   Hill fell back and thus Stewart and Attwood made up the top three.  However, Clark began pulling away quickly by as much as two seconds a lap in the difficult conditions. Stewart was trying but spun and lost a lot of time. Hill began recovering his lost time but then retired with gearbox issues.  Rindt began catching Attwood but also spun and had to settle for third.

Thus on a day when Clark was completely dominant over the whole 80 lap race, Dickie Attwood came in second but lapped in his Lola T60 from Rindt in a Brabham BT16.  Tony Maggs, Jackie Stewart and  Jo Schlesser made up the minor placings but were two laps behind the winner.

The support race was a 35 lap Formula Three race.  American Roy Pike took pole position, the race and fastest lap in his California Racing Partnership Brabham.   Second was Mauro Bianchi in a works Alpine Renault from top Brit John Cardwell in a Brabham.  Well travelled Jonathan Williams came fourth in the top Charles Lucas car. First Frenchman home was Jean Rolland in another Alpine.

A quick British Pathe video of the Pau F2 race below:



April 25th, 1965

Paul Hawkins Wins the Eifelrennen F2 Race

Held on the shorter Südschliefe Nurburgring circuit over 155km was a combined F2/F3 race on the same day as the Pau GP.   Some teams had split their entry and thus Mike Spence took pole position in the Ron Harris Team Lotus 35 F2 car.   However, in the race he could only manage third position and Paul Hawkins took the win in an Alexis F2 car by one second from Peter Revson in another Ron Harris Team Lotus 35.  The top three were the only cars to finish on the same lap.

Otto Lux won the F3 section and sixth place overall in a Cooper from Gunther Schram in another Cooper and American George Smith in an Alexis.

April 24th to 30th, 1965

Ford win the Gruelling Shell 4000 Trans-Canada Rally

On a tough route between starting in Montreal and end in Vancouver and with closed special stages for the first time, Paul McLennan and John Wilson took victory in their Ford Mustang.   There were plenty of well known drivers in the field and ex-GP driver Henry Taylor and Canadian Robin Edwardes managed second for Britain in a Ford Cortina GT.  Pedro Rodriguez was classified 28th in a Studebaker.  Olivier Gendebien, Eppie Wietzes and Al Pease were amongst the non-finishers whilst Luigi Chinetti in his Ferrari was disqualified.

May 1st, 1965

Hulme Takes a somewhat Lucky Tourist Trophy Win

This year's Tourist Trophy was held at Oulton Park and was a round of the International Championship for Manufacturers (GT cars).  It was a four hour event but unusually it was held in two heats that led to the eventual luck and controversy.

Although an International Championship round the race had a somewhat domestic field.    Favourites were the three Lola T70s for John Surtees, David Hobbs and Hugh Dibley.  Bruce McLaren was also entered in a McLaren Elva Oldsmobile, as was Jim Clark in a Lotus 30 and David Piper in a Ferrari 250LM.  There were also Shelby Cobras, Daytona Coupés and Farrari 250 GTOs in the entry list.

In practice, Surtees, McLaren and Hobbs were fastest with Denny Hulme driving Sid Taylor's 2 litre Brabham-Climax BT8 in fourth place and Jim Clark fifth.   For the first two hour heat, Surtees took an early lead from McLaren and Clark.  Then Surtees slowed with steering issues and McLaren lost his gearbox oil so Clark inherited the lead for a short time until he damaged his suspension.  This gave Hobbs the lead but he had to stop for fuel which took longer than expected.  Thus Denny Hulme ended up as victor in his much lower powered car.  Because Hulme crossed the line just before the two hour period and Hobbs just after and because just full laps counted, Hulme gained a lucky lap on Hobbs in second place.  John Coundley came third in this heat in a McLaren Elva Oldsmobile ahead of David piper's Ferrari.

At the start of the second heat, Coundley took the lead until overhauled by Hobbs.  Coundley retired soon after and thus Clark and McLaren led the challenge with Hulme in a distant fourth.  Clark spun and retired and McLaren also didn't finish.  David Hobbs was really goimng well at the front and gained the two laps he needed to be on level terms with Hulme but then he started overheating.  Again Hulme got lucky and passed the lime just before the two hour mark and thus didn't lose the full two laps to Hobbs who had a faster average speed over the two hours.

On aggregate Hulme's Brabham-Climax was declared the winner by one lap from David Hobb's Lola T70.  Thus David Hobb's narrowly failed to become the first winner in a Lola T70.  David Piper was three laps further back in fourth place in his Ferrari 250LM.   John Whitmore won the GT class and fourth place in an open topped Shelby Cobra from Peter Sutcliffe in a Ferrari 250GTO.

Elswhere: At Magny Cours in France on May 2nd, American Roy Pike continued his successful trip to France with his Brabham with a win in a major F3 race, winning both his heat and the final.  Mike Knight came second in a Cooper both in his heat and the final and John Cardwell won his heat and then came third in the final. Charles Crichton-Stuart finished fourth in his Stirling Moss Brabham.  Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni came sixth in a F3 De Tomaso-Ford behind top French driver Philippe Vidal in an Alpine Renault who had been runner up to Pike in the second heat.

At Riverside on May 2nd, the Chaparral Team scored a one-two victory in the 70 lap 2nd round of the USRCC Championship at Riverside.  Jim Hall beat Hap Sharp, both driving Chevrolet engined Chaparral 2As.   Don Wester was third in a Genie-Ford Mk10 with George Follmer fourth and first in the 2 litre class in his Lotus 23-Porsche.  British driver Rob Lamplough did not finish in his Cooper-Chevrolet.

May 9th, 1965

Forza Vaccarella, Viva Ferrari!

Local Sicilian law teacher Nino Vaccarella and GP driver Lorenzo Bandini took what was in the end a relatively easy victory in the Targa Florio driving a works Ferrari 275 P2.  Nino, however, had to be slowed by the team as he was seemingly intent on using his local knowledge to go faster and faster each lap on this amazing mountain circuit with over 200 corners held on public roads.  The Porsche challenge did not seem to have the usual Teutonic efficiency and organisation but they still managed to win the next four places behind the Ferrari.

As usual there was some controversy as the organisers wanted to encourage a strong Ferrari entry and thus created a couple of new classes for the P2s and 250LMs to run in.  Thus the entry of works and private Ferraris was quite strong and included three P2s which were thus the favourites and had a strong team of drivers including local boy Vaccarella, Bandini, Mike Parkes, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Jean Guichet and Giancarlo Baghetti.   John Surtees was absent as he dislikes the circuit.

Ford just sent along a single car, an unusual open topped Ford GT40 built in the UK for Sir John Whitmore and Bob Bondurant to drive.  Unfortunately Cobras were completely absent.   Porsche sent along an unusual car as well, a special short bodied spyder version of the 904 with an 8 cylinder engine.  It was orgininally to be drive by Graham Hill and Jo Bonnier but they tried it and immediately handed it over to Colin Davis and Gerhard Mitter in favour of an older 904 coupé.

In practice it was no surprise that Vaccarella was fastest followed by Scarfiotti and Bonnier showing how fast he is around the Little Madonie circuit in an excellent third.  The start was at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning with the little cars going off first and a car being released every thirty seconds.  After all the cars had completed the first lap it was Vaccarella in the lead from Scarfiotti, Bondurant, Bonnier and then Sergio Bettoja in a private 250LM.  On the second lap Vaccarella set a new record lap and followed this up with another very fast sub-forty minute third lap before coming into the pits to hand over to Bandini.  They were now well in the lead.  Of the other P2 Ferraris the Scarfiotti car crashed early in the race and the other one retired with electrical problems.  However, the fast Ford GT was also in trouble with Whitmore losing a wheel and losing 15 minutes finding it and then having fuel pump issues and finally Bondurant crashed it.   Thus for the remainder of the race Vaccarella and Bandini were able to run a much reduced pace but still run out easy winners.

The difficult handling Porsche Spyder of Davis/Mitter eventually took second place four minutes behind the Ferrari.  Umbnerto Maglioli and Herbert Linge finished third in a 6 cylinder Porsche 904 ahead of Bonnier and Hill who had lost 10 minutes having a throttle linkage assembly replaced.  Another Porsche 904 came in fifth and won the GT class driven by Klass and Pucci whilst in sixth place was the well driven 1,600cc Abarth Prototype of Hans Herrmann and Cella.


Henry Grandshire was badly burned when he crashed the Alpine Renault prototype.

British cars performed well with an MG Midget finishing on the same lap as the lead cars in eleventh place driven by Andrew Hedges and Paddy Hopkirk.   

Elsewhere:  There were F3 races at Zolder and Montjuic Park on May 9th.  At Zolder there were two heats and a final.   John Cardwell took pole position in heat one but retired and it was won by Roy Pike.   Jonathan Williams took pole position in the second heat and was in the front at the end, beating Piers Courage in another Charles Lucas Brabham.   Jonathan Williams in his BT10 also won the 20 lap final beating Roy Pike by five and a half seconds.  Belgian Jacques Bernusset in a Cooper was some way back in third place.  Swiss driver Silvio Moser came in sixth whilst his fellow countryman Clay Regazzoni did not finish.   Also non-finishing were Piers Courage and Peter Gethin.


At Montjuic Park  the Italian “Geki” won from his fellow countryman Francisco Godia with Frenchman Jean-Marie Godia in third.  Adrian Chambers came seventh in his Brabham having come second in his heat.

Also on May 9th wa round 3 of the USRCC Championship at Laguna Seca.  Jim Hall won again in his famous number 66 Chaparral 2A.  He lapped the entire field in the 79 lap race.  Second and third were Don Webster and Dave Ridenour in their Genies. George Follmer came sixth in his Lotus.  Once again Rob Lamplough retired the Cooper.   There was a GT race the same day won by Ken Miles in a Shelby Cobra.  This race marked the American debut of Jackie Stewart who drove a Team Lotus Lotus Cortina into 13th place.

Below is an interview with Nino Vaccarella and some footage of the 1965 Targa Florio below:



May 15th, 1965

Stewart bags his first F1 victory

With Jim Clark spending a month at Indianapolis the other drivers must have been more optimistic of winning at Silverstone and a good field assembled to try to win the International trophy.   Jackie Stewart was to win in what was only his fifth F1 race, beating the Ferrari of John Surtees in front of more than 80,000 fans.

In practice Graham Hill took pole in his BRM ahead of his young team mate Jackie Stewart.  Joining them on the front row were the Ferraris of John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini.     The second row was made up of the Lotus of Mike Spence and the works Brabhams of Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme.

Graham Hill’s car led early on before being overtaken by Jack Brabham but both retired.  Having overtaken John Surtees, Jackie Stewart found himself in the lead by a couple seconds from the Ferrari.  Late in the race he had to lap Lorenzo Bandini who had gifted Surtees the 1964 title by hitting Hill’s BRM in the Mexican GP the previous year.

Also finishing on the same lap as Stewart and Surtees in third and fourth places  were the two Team Lotus cars of Mike Spence and Pedro Rodriguez, the latter having a rare F1 drive for this team with Clark in the USA.  Jo bonnier took another good result for the Rob Walker team with fifth place in a Brabham ahead of Bruce McLaren’s Cooper.

Bandini took seventh ahead of the private Lotuses of Attwood, Hailwood and Hawkins.   Surtees took fastest lap.

One of the support races was for historic single seaters and their were three Maserati 250Fs fighting for victory in the first historic race for this car.  Warwick Banks led initially but he was eventually overtaken by the Hon. patrick Lindsay. Richard Attwood was third in the other 250F.  

With Jim Clark abroad, Mike Spence joined Jack Sears in the Team Lotus Cortina for the fifth round of the British Saloon Car Championship.  He did well in practice and was ahead of his teammate but behind the two Ford Mustangs of Pierpoint and Baillie on the fast Silverstone circuit.  Roy Pierpoint pretty much had it his own way and won by five seconds after 12 laps.  Gawaine Bailly in the second Mustang did not make such a good start but eventually regained second place.   The next five finishers were all Lotus Cortinas with the works entries of Jack Sears and Mike Spence leading home the privateer entries of Frank Gardner, Tom Fletcher and Andre Baldet.  Tony Lanfranchi won the 1,300cc class in a Mini-Cooper after overtaking John Fitzpatrick on the last corner of the last lap and Warwick Banks won the 1,000cc class in another Mini-Cooper as was becoming his custom.


In an important F3 race in front of the F1 teams, Piers Courage took the win and fastest lap ahead of Roy Pike, both in Brabhams.  John Fleming in a Merlyn took pole position and third place.

In the fourth round of the British Sports Car championship, Bruce Mclaren won in his Mclaren Elva Oldsmobile from Hugh Dibley in a Lola T70.   Jack Sears was third in a works Lotus 30 ahead of Denny Hulme's Brabham and Richard Attwood was fifth in a Ford GT40.  John Surtees didn't finish after losing a wheel late on in the 25 lap race and after having a good battle with McLaren.

May 16th, 1965

Attwood wins in Rome

The day after the International Trophy a number of the drivers including Attwood, Rindt and Hawkins had flown to Rome and were taking part in a F2 race on the Vallelunga circuit.  The Gran Premio di Roma was in two 30 lap heats with the winner decided on aggregate.

Pole position was won by Dickie Attwood in his Midland Racing Partnership Lola T60 Cosworth, obviously none the worse for the travel and the three races the previous day.  In the first heat he ran out the winner, 18 seconds ahead of his team mate Tony Maggs in a similar but BRM engined car.  Jochen Rindt was third in the Roy Winkelmann Racing Brabham BT16 ahead of the two Frenchmen Jo Schlesser and JacquesMaglia in a Brabham and Lotus respectively. Only the top four finished on the same lap.  Sixth was the top local driver was Bruno Deserti in a David Prophet entered Brabham from Ludivico Scarfiotti in seventh driving a De Sanctis Ford.  Paul Hawkins could only manage tenth in a Lola T55.

In the second heat it was closer and  Rhodesian Tony Maggs ran out the winner by just a tenth of a second from Attwood with Rindt again third.  Maglia beat Schlesser this time and Hawkins rounded out the top six with Scarfiotti a lapped seventh.

Thus on aggregate Dickie Attwood won the F2 Rome GP from his team mate Tony Maggs who also had the consolation of fastest lap. Jochen Rindt was third and Schlesser, Maglia and Scarfoitti were next up.

In the supporting sports car race,  Lorenzo Bandini won a 35 lap contest in a Ferrari Dino 166P after lapping the field twice.

May 16th, 1965

Mairesse wins in a Ferrari at Spa-Franchorchamps

The Spa-Franchorchamps 500km was a round of the International Championship for Manufacturers division II and III and attracted mainly private entries but a good field nevertheless that included some prototypes as usual.  Ecurie Franchorchamp, David Piper and Maranello Concessionaires Ferraris, Alan Mann Datona Cobras and Ben Pon's Porsches were amongst the top entries.

In practice, Mike Parkes was the only one under 4 minutes on this long but ultra fast circuit in the Marenello Concessionaires Ferrari 330P2.   Second on the grid and fastest GT car was Sir John Whitmore in an Alan Mann Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé.  Third was Willy Mairesse in the Ecurie Franchorchamps Ferrari 250LM looking resplendent in its yellow Belgian national colours.   Peter Sutcliffe was fourth fastest in his own Ferrari 250 GTO.

At the start Mairesse led in the 250LM but soon Parkes took the lead in he P2.  Whitmore in the Cobra was challenging Mairesse but eventually had an accident when a slower car moved over on him.  With less than 10 laps gone, Parkes began to have engine problems and Mairesse retook the lead.  Piper in his 250 LM moved up into second place before half distance.

The race was marred by an accident involving Tony Hegbourne in an Alfa Romeo that crashed exiting Malmedy.   He died some weeks later from injuries sustained in the crash.

Whitmore recovered into sixth position before falling out with gearbox issues.

The two Ferrari 250LMs of Willy Mairesse and David Piper finished in first and second place respectively after 36 laps.  Ben Pon in his Porsche 904 GTS was the first GT car home in third place. Peter Sutcliffe was fourth in his Ferrari beating Bob Bondurant in an Alan Mann Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé.  They were the only other drivers on the lead lap.  Mike Salmon was sixth in the Dawnay Racing Ferrari 250 GTO 64 ahead of the Iso Grifo of Pierre Noblet.

May 23rd, 1965

Ford Crumble and Ferrari take a one-two at the Nurburgring

This was two be the next big head to head following Monza between Detroit and Maranello.  Ford brought along four GT40s including the open topped roadster seen on the Targa Florio.  The Shelby team also brought along three Daytona Coupés so this was a serious effort by Detroit.   Ferrari also brought along four prototypes but only two were in the race for a win; the 330P2 and 275P2.  They also had a Dino and a 275GTB.   Porsche were not to be counted out either and brought along four 2 litre 904s.  There was also a good selection of privateers so all was set for an interesting contest on the 175 corner 14 mile Nürburgring Nordschliefe.

In practice the Ferraris showed they had the pace with John Surtees setting the best time in the 330P2 to take pole.  He was followed by Ronnie Hoare Ferrari 275P2 of Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart, the works Ferrari 275P2 of Mike Parkes and Jean Guichet and then finally the best of the Ford GT40s, one driven by Phil Hilland Bruce McLaren.  Top Porsche was the Jo Bonnier/Jochen Rindt works Porsche 904/8 that qualified seventh.

Speed, however, was not everything, and endurance would also play a part in 1,000km race over 44 laps of the Nürburgring.   Almost immediately there was trouble as two of the Ford GT40s would not get going at the Le Mans type start and thus were immediately a long way behind the works Ferraris.  Surtees immediately leapt into a lead with Phil Hill trying to keep up and Graham Hill in third. However, Surtees and the Ferrari were untouchable and quickly pulled away seeting a new record time on the third lap. Hills Ford broke a half-shaft after six laps and retired and then Amon in another Ford missed a pit single and lost time after running out of fuel.  Ford were crumbling!

The rest of the race was quite processional with the Surtees/Scarfiotti car winning easily from that of Parkes/Guichet and thus Ferrari took a one-two.  The Ferrari Dino of Bandini and Vaccarella was eighth early on and then with other cars hitting problems ran third for much of the race.  However, it was eventually caught by the Porsche 904/8 of Bonnier and Rindt who at least created some excitement in the battle for the 2 litre class.  Fifth and sixth were two Porsche 904/6s, the one driven by Maglioi and Linge ahead of Noecker/Klaas.   Ford did get some consolation as their lead Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupé driven by Bob Bondurant and Jochen Neepasch won its class and finished seventh.

For the second major sports car race in a row, an Alfa Romeo suffered a fatal accident, this time Luxemberger Honoré Wagner was killed.

Elsewhere:  Jim Hall and Hap Sharp took their Chaparral-Chevrolet 2As to another one-two victory in the 344km round 4 of the USRRC championship at Bridgehampton.The rest of the field ware all lapped at least a  couple of time with Mike Hall in third place in a McKee-Plymouth.  George Follmer took sixth in the Lotus to win the 2 litre class.   Peter Gregg retired the Porsche 904GTS.

At Charlotte Motor Speedway in the USA the World 600 was held, a 400 lap NASCAR race of the 1.5 mile banked track.   It was won by Fred Lorenzen in his Holman Moody Ford.  Also in a Ford for this race was none other than Mexican driver Pedro Rodriguez who finished in a very creditable fifth place.

At Montlhéry a lot of Brits went over to challenge the French in a 25 lap race over the partly banked circuit.  Pole position went to Jonathan Williams in a Charles Lucas Brabham BT10.  However, in the race he could only manage third with Charles Crichton-Stuart winning in the Stirling Moss Brabham from Harry Stiller in a Lotus 32.  The rest of the field was lapped with Roby Webber's Alpine Renault the top French entry in fourth place.   Frank Williams came 9th but 5 laps behind in a Cooper entered by Jochen Rindt Racing.

May 29th, 1965

An American Wins the Support Race at Monte Carlo

The Monaco support race, held on the Saturday before the GP,  is very important for the young drivers who want to move up into Grand Prix racing, as the F1 Team Managers are there to see the race.  This was made more obvious by the fact that the winners of the 1963 and 1964 races were driving in the GP itself, Richard Attwood and Jackie Stewart.

The big field of Formula Three cars was divided into two heats with the top eleven from each getting a drive in the Final.  

John Cardwell took pole position for heat one but Willy Mairesse in an Alpine Renault led until overtaken by the faster engined British cars and eventually finished fifth.  John Cardwell won the 16 lap race in a Brabham from Tony Dean and Chris Irwin.

Bob Bondurant in the Ken Tyrrell Cooper took pole position for Heat two but fell behind the other two Americans, Roy Pike and Peter Revson at the start.   Roy Pike was driving very fast and consistently to lead the race but then he was put under pressure by Bob Bondurant in a Cooper who had overtaken Peter Revson in a Lotus.   Pike then spun with less than two laps to go and was hit from behind by Bondurant, putting both cars out.  This left the win to Revson.

In the final John Cardwell was in a good lead until he spun on oil from a crashed Cooper.  This allowed Peter Revson to win in the Ron Harris Lotus from Chris Irwin in a Merlyn. Tony Dean came third in his own Brabham from Charles Crichton-Stuart in the Stirling Moss car.   In fifth and sixth place were the two works Alpine Renaults of the Belgians Mauro Bianchi and Willy Mairesse.  John Cardwell was eventually classified twelfth.  Clay Regazzoni finished fourteenth. 

Elsewhere: Two days earlier there had been a F3 race at Monza.  Jonathan Williams wons the first heat from Kurt Ahrens, whilst Piers Courage won the second heat from John Fenning.  In the long 60 lap final Jonathan Williams finished the victor in his Charles Lucas entered Brabham from Kurt Ahrens and Piers Courage also in Brabhams.


May 30th, 1965

GRAHAM HILL’S MONACO HAT TRICK

Graham Hill scored on of his greatest victories in the 1965 Monaco GP making a great comeback to overtake a number of other cars to take an eventual dominant win.  He himself ranks it alongside his 1962 German GP victory so who are we to disagree.

The Monaco GP was the day before the Indianapolis 500 so both Jim Clark and Dan Gurney were missing was they were racing at the brickyard.  Dan Gurney was replaced by GP debutant Denny Hulme in the Brabham Team but Lotus withdrew the entries for Mike Spence and Pedro Rodriguez after they were not guaranteed a place on the grid.  Thus there were just works teams from Brabham, Ferrari, BRM and Cooper with Honda also rejoining the fold having not been seen since their debiut season in1964.   There were the usual privateers and thus there were seventeen cars fighting over sixteen places on the grid.

Practice was rainy on the Thursday and thus the good times were all set on Friday and Satuday. Graham Hill was fastest in his BRM and after his victories in the previous two years started as favourite which was not something he particularly liked having got used to being the underdog to Jim Clark!   Jack Brabham was also going well in his Brabham Climax and took second place on the grid.   An impressive third and fastest at one point was Jackie Stewart obviously having gained confidence from his Silverstone win.  Fourth and fifth on the grid were Bandini and Surtees for Ferrari.   A very impressive sixth fastest and fastest privateer was Richard Attwood in the Lotus BRM.  Unfortunately, Jochen Rindt didn’t get into his rhythm and did not qualify despite being faster than Ginther’s Honda which was guaranteed a grid place because of Richie’s placing in the previous year’s championship.

Sunday afternoon was rather overcast as the sixteen cars took their positions on the grid for the start which was flagged away by an enthusiastic Louis Chiron, a previous winner.   Hill and Stewart got away first in their BRMs with Brabham not making the best of his front row grid position as he fell behind the two Ferraris and nearly into the clutches of McLaren and Attwood.

Hill and Stewart drew away from the rest of the field with Stewart seemingly glued to the tail of Hill until he got held up by Ronnie Bucknum’s Honda.  Meanwhile Bandini continued to lead Surtees with Jack Brabham catching them up.  He was followed by Attwood, McLaren, McLaren, Hulme and Bob Anderson making up the top ten.

On lap 25 Anderson suddenly slowed as he came out of the tunnel and approached the chicane and this left Graham Hill who was going much faster with no place to go except up the escape road at the chicane.  This meant Hill had to get out of his car and push it back onto the circuit before rejoining the race in fifth place.   Jackie Stewart now had  comfortable lead but through it away on lap thirty with a spin at St Devote.   Meanwhile Jack Brabham had overtaken John Surtees and was now chasing Bandini who found himself the surprise leader.

On lap 34 Jack Brabham took the lead off of Bandini at the Gasworks hairpin but was in trouble because his rev counter was no longer working.   This was putting a strain on engine and gearbox and he eventually had to retire on lap 43.  Attwood was also out on lap 44 as his suspension broke and he ended up on top of the straw bales at the Gasworks Hairpin.  Meanwhile Hill had caught and overtaken Jackie Stewart and was now hunting down the two Ferraris.   He quite quickly caught them as they were busy having their own battle.    With signals from the Ferrari pits their two drivers gathered what was happening and increased the pace and with Surtees no longer challenging Bandini increased his lead.

On lap 53 Hill got past Surtees at Mirabeau and was off after Bandini.  He quickly caught him but overtaking was another matter with Lorenzo determined to keep the lead from the faster car.  By lap 65 Hill finally made it past Bandini, overtaking him in the same place as he had overtaken Surtees.  Hill then pulled away setting the fastest lap in the process.

On lap 78 John Surtees made his move on Bandini and set off after Hill but with little chance of victory given Hill’s experience around Monte Carlo.   The next lap Paul Hawkins hit he barrier at the entry to the chicane, spun and then ploughed through the straw bales before splashing head first into the harbour.  Luckily he quickly freed himself from the car and swam strongly to the boats coming to his rescue.  Only Alberto Ascari had ended up in the harbour before during all the GP from 1929 onwards.

Hill ran on strongly to his third Monaco GP victory in a row nearly lapping his team mate Jackie Stewart who finished third.  John Surtees had bad luck at the end of the race after running out of fuel and thus was classified fourth a lap adrift.  Bandini was in second place but over a minute behind Hill.  Bruce McLaren in the works Cooper came in fifth and first privateer home in sixth was Jo Siffert in the Brabham BRM.  Both Hondas retired.



Thus Graham Hill led the World Championship after two rounds with 13 points from the 9 points that Jim Clark and John Surtees had.   BRM led the Constructors’ championship with 13 points from the 12 points of Ferrari and 9 points of Lotus.

Below is a long and interesting video from You Tube showing the practice, build up and race.  It really gives you the atmosphere of the time even if it misses some of the action.



A shorter British Pathe video is here with some nice camera angles.



May 30th, 1965

Elsewhere:  On the same weekend as Monaco was another big F3 race at Monza.  The two Charles Lucas entered Brabham BT10s took a one-two with Jonathan Williams in first place and Piers Courage in second.  German Kurt Ahrens was third in another Brabham.  Roby Weber took fourth in an Alpine Renault with Andrea de Adamich the best Italian driver back in fifth place.

May 31st, 1965

Jim Clark Wins Indianapolis 500 at Third Attempt

Having come 2nd in 1963 and having won pole but retired due to tyre problems in 1964, Lotus, Ford and Clark came back in 1965 and finally got the win they deserved.  The big front engine Offenhauser powered roadsters had looked much less likely to win than they had the previous year and their long run of wins finally came to an end.  In fact in 1965 no less than 27 of the 33 starters had rear engines and 17 of the 33 starters were powered by Ford.  Many of the top runners were in Lotus chassis.

The Indy 500 is unusual in that the preparations last the whole month of May.  In 1965 practice started on the 1st May, pole position was decided on the 15th May, practice continued and the race was finally run on the 31st May.   Pole position was claimed by AJ Foyt at over 161 mph in a Lotus but Jim Clark was second in his works Lotus 38-Ford.  Joining them on the front row was, the man who had been the matchmaker between Lotus, Ford and Indy, Dan Gurney in another Lotus-38 Ford. After winning second place on the grid, Clark returned to Scotland for some rest and returned shortly before race day.
Clark was regarded as favourite having come so close the previous years and Foyt was still recovering from his Riverside crash earlier in the season. Gurney was like Clark more a road racer than an oval expert.  Clark was the only one of the front row to have Firestone tyres and the Goodyears of the other runners were showing a tendency t chunk in practice.  Team Lotus also decided to upgrade their pit crew for the 1965 Indy and brought along the famous Wood Brothers crew from the world of NASCAR. Jim Clark’s teammate was also from NASCAR racing, Booby Johns who was having his first race at Indy.   In fact the rookie list in 1965 was particularly impressive with the new drivers at Indy including Masten Gregory, Mario Andretti, Al Unser Snr, Joe Leonard, Jerry Grant and Gordon Johncock.   The other past winner competing in the race apart from AJ Foyt was Parnelli Jones who was known not to like rear engine cars but was driving a Lotus.  Apart from Lotus, Lola was also representing Europe on the chassis front but their cars were not quite race ready for the 1965 Indy.

On race day the cars moved out of Gasoline Alley on to the Brickyard for the 500 mile 200 lap race and awaited the famous call of "Gentlemen, start your engines!".  As he pace car pulled in after the pace lap, Jim Clark made his intentions and led lap one but the AJ Foyt fought back and led lap two.  Then Jim Clark retook him on lap three and started to pull away.   Gurney ran third in the early stages but retired with engine issues after 42 laps. Jim Clark kept the lead until his pit stop on lap 65 when Foyt took over again for nine laps.   Then Clark took over and was never headed for the rest of the afternoon.   He just made one more pit stop for fuel and comfortably ran out the winner.

Behind Jim Clark there was quite a rate of attrition with just over half the field retired by half distance.   Foyt himself lasted until lap 115 when he went out with gearbox problems.   This let Parnelli Jones into second place and he finished in this position and on the lead lap but slowing due to lack of fuel.   After a very impressive debut, Mario Andretti finished third having never dropped lower than sixth the entire race.  His was the first non-Lotus car home his car being a Brawner special a space frame car unlike the Lotus monocoque construction.  Mario had hit the headlines and was obviously a man to watch for the future.  In fourth place was Al Miller II and in fifth place was Gordon Johncock driving an Offy powered roadster which had come up the field as others dropped out but which was still on the lead lap.   The race saw very little yellow flag periods and there were happily no fatal crashes that had marred the 1964 event.


Jim Clark won at an average speed of over 150mph and claimed the first win for a non-American since 1916 and the first win for a rear engined car and the first win for Lotus and the first win for Ford.  A truly historic victory!   The car carried the usual Lotus British Racing Green and Yellow colours, the number 82 and a few sponsorship decals.

A You Tube colour video of the event below:


June 5th, 1965

Surtees' Lola T70 beats the Chaparral of Jim Hall at Mosport

In the big international Players 200 sports car race at the Mosport Circuit in Canada the Lola T70 of John Surtees scored its first major International victory, beating Jim Hall's Chaparral in the process.   There was a big field of cars that included some of the top names from both Europe and North America.

In practice Jim Hall took pole position from John Surtees.  Bruce McLaren was third in his McLaren Elva and Jim Clark, fresh from his victory at Indianapolis, was fourth in the Team Lotus 30-Ford.  Jerry Grant was fifth in a Lotus 19-Chevrolet and Augie Pabst was 6th in a private Chaparral.  Pther cars in the field included Hugh Dibley's Lola T70, some Porsche 904s for Ben Pon and Rob Slotemaker and a Cooper-Chevrolet for George Wintersteen.  Walt Hangsen had an accident with his Lola T70 in practice and did not start.

The race was run in two 100 mile heats.  At one time Jim Hall, John Surtees and Jim Clark were all battling for the lead but Jim Clark retired and did not start the next heat.  Jim Hall won the first heat for Chaparral with John Surtees second for Lola .   Fourth was Ludwig Heimrath in a McLaren Elva-Ford.

The second heat was won by John Surtees in his own red Lola T70-Chevrolet from Charles Hayes in a Cooper-Chevrolet.  Hugh Dibley had looked like coming second for a while but was taken out by a back-marker.  Jim Hall did not finish but was classified eighth.

Overall John Surtees took victory with Jim Hall in second place and Ludwig Heimrath third.  Bob ohnson was fourth and GT class winner in a Shelby Cobra.  5th was Joe Buzzetta in an Elva-Porsche that also won the 2 litre sports car class whilst Charlie Hayes came sixth in a Cooper-Chevrolet.

Bruce McLaren was amongst the leader but retired in both heats.   Augie Pabst also failed to register a finish.

Elsewhere: Frank Williams took pole position in the F3 race at the short Djursland Ring in Denmark.  However, he could only manage sixth on aggregate after the three heats.  Fellow Brit, John Fenning won Heats 2 and 3 to take overall victory in a Cooper T76-Ford.  Picko Troberg won the other heat and came second overall in a Brabham.  Australian Martin Davis came third overall in another Brabham.

June 6th, 1965

Ferrari 250LM 1-2-3 at Mugello

On the very long Mugello Circuit in Italy which runs on public roads including part of the old Mille Miglia route a rather Italian based field took part in this sports car race that featured a round of the International GT Div'n II Championship.  Amongst the few International participants in the large field were David Piper and Mike D'Udy in a Porsche 904 but they were not running at the finish.

The meeting was dominated by the Ferrari 250LM of Mario Casoni and Antonio Nicodemi who set fastest practice time, fastest lap in the race and were winners after 8 laps of this 41 mile circuit.   Second and third were other Ferrari 250LMs of Grana/Topetti and Sigala/Taramazzo. Fourth and winner of the Touring Car class was an Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super driven by Enrico Pinto.Fifth was an Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ that won the 1600cc GT class and sixth was a BMW 1800Ti.

Elsewhere:  At Mallory Park there was Round 5 of the British Sports Car Championship.  This resulted in the first win in that championship for a Lola T70.  It was driven by David Hobbs who thus got some consolation having been robbed of the Tourist Trophy some weeks earlier.  Richard Attwood came second in a Ford GT40 whilst Roger Nathan was third in a Brabham-Oldsmobile.

June 6th, 1965

Herrmann and Whitmore fastest up Mount Ventoux

This year Mount Ventoux was hosting Round One of the European Hill Climb Championship and Round Two of European Touring Car Championship and both were closely fought up the 13 mile climb in France.

Hans Herrmann set a new course record of 114.9kph  in his works 2 litre Abarth-Fiat GT to surprise Porsche who were expecting to win with Gerhard Mitter and Anton Fischaber.

John Whitmore in an Alan Mann Lotus Cortina won the European Toruing Car class with a climb of 104.4kph beating Henri Greder in a Ford Mustang and Peter Proctor in the second Alan Mann Cortina.

Elsewhere: At Chimay in Belgium the 34th Grand Prix des Frontiers for F3 cars was hard fought by an International field.  It was a 2 heats and a final format.  In Heat 1 Jonathan Williams took poleposition and the win.  In heat 2 John Cardwell did the same.  Both were driving Brabhams.  In the final John Cardwell won the 84km race by less than one second from Jonathan Williams with Martin Davies third, Picko Troberg fourth, Patrick Dal Bo in fifth and local driver Mauro Bianchi in sixth place.

On the same day on the Brands Hatch Club Circuit, Piers Courage won pole position and won the 20 lap £500 Challenge Trophy.  Second was Roy Pike from Charles Crichton-Stuart, Tony Dean, Mike Knight and Roger Mac.  Peter Gethin finished seventh.

June 7th, 1965

Clark beats Hill at the Palace

Whit Monday saw many of the top drivers at Crystal Palace in London for a Formula Two race.  Ron Harris Team Lotus entered three cars for Jim Clark, Mike Spence and Peter Revson.  Jack Brabham brought along cars for himself and Denny Hulme whilst Graham Hill was in the John Coombs entered Brabham.  Jackie Stewart and John Surtees were in Ken Tyrrell entered Coopers.  Chris Amon, Richard Attwood and the previous year's winner, Jochen Rindt were also there.  As part of the day Jim Clark and Colin Chapman went around the circuit on a victory parade to celebrate their recent win in the Indy 500.

The race was split into two heats with the race decided on aggregate.   Graham Hill had claimed pole position from the two flying Scotsmen Clark and Stewart.  Jack Brabham jumped the start from row three in heat 1 and was up into third position behind Clark and Stewart with Hill rather slow away.   Clark took victory in heat 1 with Graham Hill recovering to take second.  Jack Brabham was in third place on the road but was given a 60 second penalty for his jump start which promoted Attwood into third, Rindt into fourth and Beckwith and Rees into fifth and sixth respectively.  Stewart retired from his second place and Surtees also dropped out whilst in fourth position.   Clark and Stewart both broke the lap record.

In Heat 2 Peter Revson who was seventh after heat one was excluded for a push start.  Up front Jim Clark again dominated the race and added Heat 2 to his Heat 1 victory.  Hill again fell back after the start but again fought his way back into second place.  Rindt was initially in second but was overtaken by Richard Attwood who again came third. Rindt did, however, beat his teammate Alan Rees in their Roy Winkelmann Brabhams so they finished fourth and fifth ahead of Mike Beckwith.

Thus on aggregate it was Jim Clark from Graham Hill, Richard Attwood (MRP Lola) , Jochen Rindt, Alan Rees and Mike Beckwith (Brabham).

There was also a round of the British Saloon Car Championship so Clark was out again in the lotus Cortina whilst Jack Brabham was driving a Ford Mustang.  However, Frank Gardner had gained pole position in the Willment Cortina and Roy Pierpoint was again on the front row in his Mustang.  At the start it was Pierpoint from Jim Clark and Jack Sears in their works Lotus Cortina with Gardner in fourth.  That was the way they finished with Gawaine Baillie fifth and Jack Brabham sixth in their Mustangs.  Roy Pierpoint took fastest lap but Jim Clark set a new class record for the smaller capacity cars.

There was a second British Saloon Car Championship race for the up to 1,300cc cars.  On the first lap Tony Lanfranchi and John Handley collided and took each other out and that left the very rapid John Rhodes to take another victory in the works Mini-Cooper.  John D Lewis was second in another Mini Cooper from Chris Craft in a Ford Anglia.  John Fitzpatrick came fifth to take the 1 litre class in another Mini-Cooper from Gerry Marshall.

A GT race saw a good battle with Jackie Oliver's Lotus Elan winning from Boley Pittard in an Alfa Romeo TZ after having initially been challenged by a modified Lotus 15 driven by Bertorelli.

The Sports car race saw Denny Hulme win from Tommy Hitchcock, both in Brabham Climaxes. Third was Chris Amon in an Elva-BMW.

Elsewhere:  Also on Whit Monday there was a meeting at Goodwood.   In the 10 lap F3 race, Piers Courage won again in the Charles Lucas entered Brabham.  Charles Crichton-Stuart was second in the SMART Brabham and Mike Knight third in his own Cooper.   Peter Gethin was fifth, Roy Pike eighth and Derek Bell ninth.  In the sports car race John Coundley's McLaren Elva-Oldsmobile led from the start to finish to beat Roy Salvadori's Ford.  Roger Nathan had initially held second place in his Brabham Oldsmobile but needed a pit stop.

June 13th, 1965

Jim Clark and Lotus win again at Spa!

Jim Clark and Lotus won their fourth successive Belgian GP at the ultra fast Spa-Franchorchamps circuit and added to their growing tally of wins in all categories this year.  The race was held in very tricky wet conditions and Clark was again the master but young Jackie Stewart also impressed in the BRM on his way to second place.

The six works teams of Ferrari, Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Cooper and Honda all turned up with two drivers and were guaranteed a place on the grid and start money.  This was not the case for the nine or so private entries that turned up and who were originally fighting for just four remaining places on the grid so they all the privateers went on strike during Friday practice and did not venture out onto the circuit.  Eventually on Saturday they reached agreement for everyone to start and for six privateers to get start money.  In the end they were 19 starters with Bob Anderson withdrawing after not getting his car running well and Willy Mairesse not finding the Centro Sud BRM to his liking.

In practice Jackie Stewart really amazed everyone on his debut at the circuit but was eventually beaten to pole by team mate Graham Hill with Jim Clark separating them on the front row.  Hill had found a really good dry set up to his car and was lapping the circuit in record speed.   A surprise fourth on the grid was Richie Ginther in the Honda which was showing much better form than in Monaco.  Dan Gurney joined him in the Brabham on the second ro but didn't have enough power in his Climax engine to challenge Clark or the BRMs.   John Surtees was the best of the Ferrari drivers but found himself back on the third row with the fastest two privateer cars both from the Rob Walker stable and driven by Bonnier and Siffert.

Race day was very wet and Hill took the lead at the start but was passed down the Masta straight on lap one by Clark who was never headed again.  Graham Hill increasingly found his dry set up not working at all in the rain and he spent the race falling back despite his heroic efforts.  Jackie Stewart got past him on lap three and although he never challenged Clark took a very good second place an was the only unlapped car.  Bruce McLaren also overtook Graham Hill took take third place which wasn't bad at all in the increasingly uncompetitive Cooper.  Jack Brabham took fourth ahead of the unfortunate Hill, whilst Ginther and Honda scored their first points of the year in sixth place.  Clark's team mate could only manage seventh and Siffert was first privateer home in his Brabham-BRM in eighth.

Dickie Attwood had a nasty accident near the end when his car skidded coming out of the masta kink and hit a telegraph pole, split in two and caught fire.  He was very lucky to escape with bruises and minor burns.

Clark now regains the lead lead in the World Championship with 18 points to Graham Hills 15 pts and Jackie Stewart's 11 points.  BRM lead Lotus by one point in the Constructors Championship.

Elsewhere:  In the south of France the GP de la Châtre took place for F3 cars on the very short La Châtre circuit.   It was the relatively normal two heats and a final format and attracted an International field.   In Heat 1, Swiss driver Silvio Moser in a Brabham won from Chris Irwin's Merlyn and Rodney Banting's Lotus.  Jean-Pierre Beltoise in a Matra failed to finish this heat.   in heat 2, John Cardwell beat American Roy Pike and Australian Martin Davies, all in Brabhams.  In the 40 lap final, Silvio Moser ended up victor by 12 seconds from John Cardwell and Rodney Banting.  Roy Pike was fourth ahead of Martin Davies and Patrice Gransart the highest finishing French driver.

June 13th, 1965

Gerhard Mitter Regains Porsche Pride at Rossfield 

Rossfield is a 6 kilometre quite fast 31 turn mountain hillclimb course in Bavaria, Germany.  This years round was both a round of the European Mountain Hillclimb Championship and a round of the International Championship for Manufacturers Divn III, where Cobras were battling Ferrari.   Porsche were anxious to reinsert there hillclimb authority after the surprise defeat at Mont Ventoux by Hans Herrman in the Abarth.  The result was determined by the aggregate of two runs.

In the practice runs Gerhard Mitter had been fastest in his Porsche 904/8 Bergspyder, and he did a similar speed first run up the hill.  Mitter took it easy on his second run but still ran out the winner. Herbert Mueller in a Porsche 904GTS came second and won the 2 litre GT class.   Anton Fischhaber came third in a Porschev engined Elva.  Heading the non-Porsche entries was Hans Hermann in the Abarth 2 lite prototype.

Rolf Stommelen came 6th overall and 3rd in his class in a Porsche 904GTS finishing just behind Michel Weber in a similar car.

Bob Bondurant won the over 2 litre GT class and came 10th in an Alan Mann entered Shelby Cobra from his team mate Bo Ljungfeldt.  No Ferraris were there to challenge them.   Swiss driver, Karl Foitek won the 1,600cc GT class in a Lotus Elan by coming 15th.  In 17th place was Reinhold Joest in a Porsche 356B Carrera.  The fastest Touring car, in 18th place, was an Austin Mini-Cooper 1275S driven by Manfred Behnke.

June 13th, 1965

Whitmore and Sears Win in a Lotus at the Nurburgring

The third round of the European Touring Car Challenge was a six hour race around the Nurburgring Nordschleife with a large field of over 80 cars.  Practice promised a close battle between the Whitmore/Sears Lotus Cortina, the Pierpoint/Neerpasch Ford Mustang, the Hayne/Glemser BMW 1800 and the Schiek/Böhringer Mercedes 300SE.

Hayne in the BMW was second in the early stages but with his sideways driving style soon broke the wheel and was out.  This left Whitmore chasing the Mercedes but the Merceds also dropped outeaerly on with gearbox problems.  Whitmore and Sears thus established a large lead which they let dwindle at the end to stage a close finish with the Mustang of Neerpasch and Pierpoint.

The Broadspeed Mini of John Handley and John Terry came third ahead of two BMWs and a Fiat Abarth.  Andrea de Adamich was seventh in an Alfa Romeo ahead of the Henry Taylor/Peter Procter Lotius Cortina.

June 19th/20th, 2015

Rindt and Gregory win for NART Ferrari at Le Mans, Ford fail

The NART Ferrari 250LM entered by previous multiple Le Mans Winner Luigi Chinetti went flat out from start tp finish to beat the factory teams of Ferrari, Ford and Porsche.   It was driven by Masten Gregory, Jochen Rindt and perhaps Ed Hugus.

The race started with the test session on the 10th and 11th April.  Unfortunately it saw the fatal accident of American "Lucky" Lloyd Casner long known for his association with Maserati.   John Surtees set the fastest time in a works Ferrari 330P2 over 5 seconds faster than the fastest GT40 driven by Richard Attwood.  Ferrari used their experience to ensure good road holding whilst Ford were looking at top speed.    Porsche and Alpine Renault set good times considering their limited capacity engines.

In qualifying just before the main event, Phil Hill pulled out a great lap in the Ford GT40 MkII to beat Surtees Ferrari to pole.   Ford took the next three positions and then came so more Ferraris.  The duel between Ford and Ferrari was on!   In 12th place and fastest non Ford GT 40 or Ferrari was a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé leading a huge Shelby challenge on the GT class.

John Surtees in the Ferrari made a poor start so the top five cars were made up of 4 Ford GT40s and Jo Siffert in an open topped Maserati Tipo 65 which was to crash out as early as lap 5.   By the end of lap one Surtees had made his way up to third place.   McLaren in the lead Ford GT40 soon had a lead of over 30 seconds from Guichet's Ferrari with Surtees taking it relatively easy behind.   Trintignant's Ford GT40 was the first of the favourites to drop out with gearbox problems.

After the first pit stops Ken Miles, who had taken over from McLaren led in the GT40 but was followed by three Ferraris.  Phil Hill then started to suffer delays with his Ford GT40 due to transmission problems.  In 30th place at this stage was the Rover-BRM gas turbine car of Hill and Stewart.

Then two more Ford GT40s, the Bondurant and Bucknum cars retired and at 3 hours even the Miles/McLaren car slowed and fell back to sixth place.   Ford were beginning to fail, although Dan Gurney still held the lead of the GT class in a Shelby Cobra.

Before long Ferrari held all of the first six places.  At this stage the NART Ferrari of Rindt and Gregory was not in the lead group as it had suffered fropm distributor problems that necessitated a lengthy pit stop.   The Peter Revson/Philippe Vidal Alpine Renault was going well and leading the Index of Performance.

Around 10PM the lead Cobra started to slow with low oil pressure.   Then the next Ford GT40 failed with overheating. By now a Ferrari victory was all but guaranteed but which one?   However, by mid night it became obvious that many of the Ferraris were suffering from brake problems.  The Jacques Swaters entered yellow Ferrari 250 LM was the olnly Ferrari going well and some began to speculate on a Porsche or Cobra victory.  Eventually the main works Ferraris of Surtees/Scarfiotti retired and the Guichet/Parkes car lost a lot of time.  This let the Belgian 250LM of Dumay/Gosselin into the lead.

During the night Masten Gregory came into the pits after becoming concerned with his poor night vision.  It is rumoured that failing to find Rindt, a Le Mans veteran called Ed Hugus took over briefly.  This was not well known at the time but it is what Ed Hugus related many years after.  In any case it would have been needed to keep it quiet as it would have resulted in disqualification.  When Rindt finally got into the car he quickly halved the lead on Jaques Swaters Belgian car.

With four hours to go the Belgian 250LM suffered a scary tyre blow out on the Mulsanne straight and after nursing it back to the pits it lost five laps making repairs.  Thus the NART Ferrari of Rindt and gregory and perhaps Hugus ran out the winner.  The Belgian 250LM still finished second, 3 laps ahead of the Jacques Swaters Ferrari 275GTB of Willy Mairesse  and Jean Blaton that won the GT class.  Two Porsche 904s were next ahead of another Ferrari 250LM and the second Luigi Chinetti car, a Ferrari 365P2 driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Nino Vaccarella.

The Jack Sears/Richard Thompson Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé came home in eighth and won its class.  An Iso Grifo came home ninth whilst the Rover-BRM gas turnine car finished tenth in the hands of Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart.  Paddy Hopkirk and Andrew Hedges came eleventh in an MG B and then in twelfth was Paul Hawkins and John Rhodes who won their class in Austin Healey Sebring Sprite.   Thirteenth and fourteenth were two Triumph Spitfires.  Those were the only classified finishes of the 51 starters.  Nice video of the last lap below from You Tube below:



Elsewhere: On the Italian road circuit at Caserta on June 20th the British F3 contingent were again in force.  In heat 1 Piers Courage won from John Cardwell, Martin Davies and Jonathan Williams.  In heat 2 Charles Crichton-Stuart won from the Swiss driver Bernhard Bauer and Natalie Goodwin.  The 114km final saw Piers Courage in a Brabham lead six other Brabhams across the line.  Second was John Cardwell who also took fastest lap and third Martin Davies and they were followed by Jonathan Williams, Roy Pike and Bernhard Bauer.

On the same day at Brands Hatch Peter Gethin took a F3 win in his Brabham in a 10 lap race on the club circuit against a field that was missing the other major F3 stars.

June 26th, 1965

Whitmore, Cella and Ickx win in Touring Cars at Zolder

The fourth round of the European Touring Car Challenge was held at Zolder in Belgium.  The four divisions all raced seperately and large field meant that some had qualifying races as well.  Some drivers, particularly the local Belgians, drove in more than one division,

In Division one for under 1 litre cars the Fiat Abarth of Italian Leo Cella won from the Mini Cooper of Yves Deprez and the Fiat Abarth of local hero Lucien Bianchi.  Hans Herrmann led at the start but retired.

In Division two for under 2 litre cars the Loyus Cortina of Sir John Whitmore won from the other Alan Mann car of Peter Proctor and the BMW of Hubert Hayne.  Local drivers finished fourth and sixth, Jacky Ickx in a Lotus Cortina and Lucien Bianci in an Alfa Romeo.  Ickx and Hayne had a close race.

In Division 3 for the unlimited capacity cars, Jacky Ickx took a relatively easy victory in a Ford Mustang from the similar cars of Lucien Bianchi and Roy Pierpoint.

June 27th, 1965

JIM CLARK DOMINATES THE FRENCH GP

This may be the Golden Age of Jim Clark and Lotus but it is certainly not the Golden Age of Grand Prix motor racing.  Unless, his Lotus-Climax hits troubles Clark is rarely challenged.  Very few have the ability to challenge him in terms of skill and very few have the car to challenge him and currently the two don’t seem to coincide.  Perhaps, the only bright sparks on the horizon are the development of Jackie Stewart into a driver who might one day challenge him and the new formula next year that might shake things up a bit.  In the meantime this year’s championship is only going one way notwithstanding the determination that Surtees and Hill show every time they get into a car.   Despite the promise of a challenge from the Gurney Brabham combo that set our spirits alight at Brands Hatch, nothing has come out of this partnership since then.
For the first time the French GP was being held at the 8km Charade Circuit near Clermont-Ferrand in the centre of France.  A very challenging circuit set in the foothills of the Auvergne mountains with lots of gradient and corners it would be new to many of the F1 drivers unless they had driven there in the 1964 Formula Two race that had been won by Denny Hulme.
The six works teams of Lotus, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham, Cooper and Honda each brought along cars for two drivers and there were also two car privateer teams from Rob Walker and Reg Parnell.  Lastly there was a single car privateer entry from Bob Anderson and that was it.  In the end the organisers failed to find a car for local hero Jo Schlesser to drive.  In terms of drivers it was business as usual except that Jack Brabham stepped down in favour of Denny Hulme and Parnell was running Chris Amon and Innes Ireland.  Dickie Attwood was still recovering from his Spa crash so did not turn up.
Friday practice saw new boy Denny Hulme set the pace and it was the guys who had driven previously at Charade who were going well, plus of course Jim Clark who goes well everywhere.  Graham Hill had a nasty accident in this first session when the throttle stuck open on his BRM and this gave him a very sore neck that hampered his pace for the rest of the weekend around this testing track.
Saturday practice with the circuit learnt, the established order reasserted itself with Jim Clark taking pole in the older spare Lotus after he had trouble with his new car.   Second was Jackie Stewart in the BRM from the Ferraris of Bandini and Surtees.  They would take positions on the front row.  The second row was made up of the Brabhams of Gurney and Hulme plus the Honda of Richie Ginther.  With his neck injury Graham Hill could only manage 13th on the grid.  Jim Clark’s team mate, Mike Spence could only manage tenth fastest time and also had a crash.   Chris Amon was the best of the privateers in eighth place with the Parnell Lotus BRM beating five of the works entries.
Race day started off gloomy with bad weather always threatening in these mountain regions, but for the 3pm start it had brightened considerably.   Unfortunately for the spectators there wasn’t much to cheer about as Jim Clark roared into a lead and was never challenged, taking the flag 40 laps and two and a quarter hours later. He also took fastest lap.   Bandini grabbed second place at the first corner but was gradually overtaken by the other drivers and eventually crashed out with a few laps to go.  Jackie Stewart’s BRM held second place in fine style after he overtook Bandini on lap two and took second place about half a minute behind Clark but a couple of minutes ahead of the rest.   John Surtees was best of the rest in third place and was cornering fast but suffering from a sick engine in his Ferrari.  In fourth place and scoring his first World Championship points was Denny Hulme in the Brabham after a steady race where he gained from others misfortunes.   He was the last man on the lead lap.  Graham Hill struggled bravely on in his BRM to take fifth place ahead of Jo Siffert in the Brabham-BRM.  Mike Spence was the only other finisher.  Dan Gurney had held third place early on before being overtaken by Surtees and eventually pitting and retiring with engine issues. The other drivers lacked both pace and staying power.  It should also be said that many of the finishers were also suffering from sick cars so GP racing is definitely not in a healthy state.   The fans can, however, go home knowing that they have seen one of the all-time greats, Jim Clark, race.
After four rounds, Jim Clark now leads the championship with 27 points from BRM drivers Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart who both had 17 points, with reigning Champion John Surtees in fourth place on 13 points.  The constructors’ championship was a little closer with Lotus-Climax on 27 points from BRM on 25 points and Ferrari on 16 points.
As part of the support program there was a F3 race with a largely French field due to a major race taking place the same weekend in Italy.   The winner was American Tommy Hitchcock who recovered well from a spin in his Brabham to take a fine win on this challenging circuit.  He had also taken fastest lap and pole position.  A few seconds back in second was Chris Irwin in a Merlyn.  Best of the local entries was Belgian Mauro Bianchi in a works Alpine Renault in third place.

Very nice You Tube video below:



Elsewhere: The two Chaparral 2As of Jim Hall and Hap Sharp dominated the USRCC Watkins Glen 200 mile Sports Car Grand Prix, finishing 1-2 and 3 laps ahead of the next best competitor Skip Scott.   George Follmer won the 2 litre sports car class in fourth place in the Porsche engined Lotus 23.

June 27th, 1965

Troberg win the Lottery

The big F3 race of the weekend was at Monza, the Gran Premio della Lotteria di Monza.   Many of the top up and coming British and Italian drivers were there along with a sprinkling of French and Swedish drivers.   The race was the usual two 15 lap heats and a final format.

Heat one was won by South African Trevor Blokdyk in a Brabham from Carlo Facetti, Jonathan Williams and Frank Williams managing a creditable fourth ahead of Dave Rees and Australian Martin Davies.

Heat two was much closer and was won by Piers Courage in a Brabham from John Cardwell and Silvio Moser.  Fourth was John Fenning from Picko Troberg and Geki.

In the 30 lap final the top six were covered by just over a second with Picko Troberb winning from John Cardwell, Piers Courage, Jonathan Williams, John Fenning and Silvio Moser.  All were in Brabhams apart from John Fenning who was in a Cooper.  Top Italian was Carlo Facetti in seventh place also in a Brabham.    Piers Courage took fastest lap.

Elsewhere:  On the same day at Avus in Germany was the Avusrennen for F3 cars.  Kurt Ahrens won on this historic Circuit in a Brabham from Dane Jorgen Ellewkaer and German Hans-Dieter Dechent.

In a GT race at Avus the Ferrari 250 GTO of Werner Lindermann won from James Grasser's iso Rivolta Chevrolet and Wilfried Weissmann's Ferrari 250 GTO.

At Mallory Park, on the same day, Tony Dean won the F3 race in a Brabham from Jim Sullivan ands Paul Craven, the first two in Brabhams and the third in a Lotus.

3rd & 4th July, 1965

Rindt, Rodriguez, Guichet and Beltoise win at Reims

The annual speed festival at Reims Geux had to make do with Formula Two as Charade had taken the French GP this year.  First there was the 12 hour Sports Car race that ran from 11pm on Saturday through to 11am on Sunday. There was a rather small entry of just 26 of which just 22 started, with the fastest cars being a host of private Ferraris.  In practice the Luigi Chinetti Ferrari 365P2 was fastest driven by Pedro Rodriguez from Graham Hill's Ferrari  330P and John Surtees Ferrari 365P2 both entered by Ronnie Hoare.  At the start Graham Hill went into the lead the other Ferraris following.

Unfortunately there was a fatal accident early on in the race that claimed the life of two marshals but the race continued.  The Hill/Bonnier Ferrari lost third gear and fell behind team mate Surtees and Parkes. The Cobras were leading the GT class and would claim the championship if they finished with so little GT competition from Ferrari.

As dawn broke the Surtees car hit problems that left the sick Hill/Bonnier car in the lead from the Piper/Attwood 250LM.   Eventually the Hill/Bonnier car retired which let Piper and Attwood into first place but is was being rapidly caught by some faster prototype Ferraris that had fallen back with problems earlier in the race.  At at about 9.30am the Rodriguez?Guichet car took the lead which it would not relinquish.  The Surtees/Parkes car recovered to take second place with Mairesse/Blaton in third place in first 250LM home.  Piper and Attwood eventually took fourth place ahead of the Bondurant/Schlesser Shelby Daytona Coupé that won the GT class.   Paul Hawkins and Mike d'Udy took sixth in a Porsche 904GTS.    All five Alpine Renaults finished with Lucien Bianchi and henri Grandshire claiming seventh place and 1,300cc class win in a M65.

For the F3 race John Cardwell took pole position but he retired on lap 2 with gearbox issues.  After 20 laps the win went to Jean-Pierre Beltoise in a Matra MS1-Holbay by the narrowest margins from Piers Courage in a Brabham and John Fenning in a Cooper.  Picko Troberg in his Brabham took fourth place ahead of Mauro and Lucien Bianchi both in Alpine Renaults.  Jonathan Williams had a bad accident at Thillois whilst trying to overtake 4 cars at once to take the lead  and end up in hospital for a month.

For the F2 race Jochen Rindt took pole position, fastest lap and the win in his Roy Wnkelmann Racing Brabham-Cosworth.  However, is was a lot closer than that makes it sound as after 37 laps he was followed across the line by Frank Gardner in a Lola, Jim Clark in a Lotus and Alan Rees in a Brabham with just over half a second covering them all.   Jackie Stewart in a Cooper, Dickie Attwood in a Lola and Jack Brabham in a Brabham Cosworth were some way back in fifth, sixth and seventh places.  Frenchman Guy Ligier could only manage thirteenth a lap down.

A You Tube video made by the Bob Bondurant fan club about how the Cobras won the Championship.  It includes some footage from Reims.




July 4th, 1965

The Younger Unser wins again at Pike's Peak

Nobody except the Unser brothers have won at Pike's Peak since Bob Finney in 1957.  After six wins by Bobby between 1958 and 1963, Al Unser has now won twice in a row in 1964 and 1965.  This year they finished 1-2 up the 12.4 mile course again as in 1964 with Al about four and a half seconds faster.  Al was driving the Harrison Ford whilst Bobby was driving the Sproul Homes Chevy.

First non-Unser home was Charlie Lowdermann in the Conze offy in third place.   As usual this was a round of the USAC Championship.

Elsewhere:  A.J.Foyt won the Firecracker 400 NASCAR race at Daytona in the Wood Brothers Ford.  Only Buddy Baker in the Buck Baker Plymouth finished on the same lap.  Marvin Panch, Cale Yarborough, Darel Dieringer, Junior Johnson, Earl Balmer and Fred Lorenzen all led but did not finish.

July 4th, 1965

Abarth-Simca 1-2 at Bolzano-Mendola Hillclimb

Although it was a round of the International Championship for Manufacturers Div'n 1 (1,300cc cars) it was not a round of the European Mountain Hillclimb Championship and thus had a mixed entry.  Three cars were head and shoulders above the rest but they only had one run each try and win.  It was two 2 litre Abarth-Simcas versus a singleton Ferrari 250LM.  In the end, on this tough course in the Dolomite Alps, the two Abarths won with Herbert Demetz first from Leo Cella. The winning average speed was just under 49mph over this 9 mile course with plenty of hairpin bends.  The 250LM of Eduardo Lualdi-Garbardi did not quite have enough confidence to do better.   The fourth time was set by Jurg Dubler in a F3 Brabham.

The first 1,300cc GT car home was the Abarth-Simca 1,300 Bialbero of Guiseppe Dalla Torro in fifth place but he didn't have much opposition.  Havng said that he was faster than the 1,600cc class.

July 10th, 1965

JIM CLARK WINS HIS FOURTH BRITISH GP IN FOUR YEARS

Given his recent form and given his success in previous British GP it was almost inevitable that Jim Clark would win the 1965 British GP.  As usual Graham Hill was his closest competitor with John Surtees next best but Stewart had a less successful weekend than one might have expected given his recent International Trophy win at the same circuit.

That circuit was of course, Silverstone, a flat fast airfield circuit but curiously having bags of atmosphere given the geography.   All the usual cars were there with Brabham running three cars but Honda only one.  In addition there were some extra privateers but none likely to make much impact.  Ferrari had decided at last to let its top driver have a go in the V12 car that Bandini normally drives and thus John Surtees had the choice of V8 and V12 cars for the weekend whilst Lorezo had just a V8.

Practice was on Thursday and Friday as the race was as usual run on Saturday.  This at least gave the drivers a chance to attend the F2 race at Rouen-les-Essarts on Sunday as well, which ran a practice session on Wednesday for the F1 drivers’ benefit.   Thus Clark, Hill, Stewart, Rindt, Brabham and Hulme et al were flying backwards and forwards all week.   Few of the F1 drivers needed to learn much about the Silverstone circuit as except for Lotus and Honda most had been their in May.

Graham Hill in the BRM put up a superb fight in practice and pipped Jim Clark’s Lotus by just one tenth of a second.   A surprise third on the grid was Richie Ginther in the sole Honda.  His time was the same as Stewart and Surtees but he got the front row grid spot having set it first.  Surtees found the V12 car faster if not quite so easy in the corners and he used this to set his fastest time and in the race.  Mike Spence was in a respectable sixth place on the grid in a similar car to Clark and ahead of Dan Gurney’s Brabham.  Top privateer in practice was Frank Gardner in the Willment Brabham BRM in 13th spot.

Saturday started with the usual support races and following the new ruling none of the GP drivers could take part, which was disappointing for the spectators.  A 25 lap non-championship race race for the big sports cars was first and John Coundley scored an easy win in his McLaren Elva Oldsmobile.  Bob Bondurant was push started in the Willment Lotus 30 and finished second on the road but was excluded.  This promoted Trevor Taylor to runner-up in the JCB Lotus 30 whilst Tony Lanfranchi won the 2 litre class in Sid Taylor’s Brabham.

The 20 lap Saloon car race was not part of a championship either and was won by Sir Gawaine Baillie in his Mustang from the similar car of Mike Salmon after Roy Pierpoint retired after just one lap.  Third place was a dead heat between the Lotus Cortinas of Jack Sears and Sir John Whitmore after the latter took to the grass in a last ditch overtaking manoeuvre.   John D Lewis won the 1,300cc class from rally driver Rauno Aaltonen, both in Austin Mini-Coopers.

For the Grand Prix Dan Gurney had a 32 valve Climax engine installed in his Brabham and he had great hopes for the race after trying it out in the morning.  However, the engine broke on the warm up lap.  Thus Dan Gurney took over Jack Brabham’s car and Jack sat out the GP.

At 2pm the flag fell and Richie Ginther made the best start and headed Clark and the others during the first lap until Clark got by on the Hangar straight.   Hill and Surtees took until lap two to get by Ginther and by that time Clark already had quite a lead.   Hill then held Hill steady whilst Surtees couldn’t shake Ginther and behind him were Stewart in a poor handling BRM, Spence (Lotus), Mclaren (Cooper), Hulme (Brabham), Rindt (Cooper) and Gurney (Brabham).

Gradually, Ginther’s Honda started losing power and he eventually pitted after Steawrt and Spence passed him.  Dan Gurney was struggling with Jack’s Brabham which didn’t really fit him and he started to be overtaken by Bonnier and the other faster privateers.   Rindt spun and also fell behind these cars.  Mike Spence was having a good race and got by Stewart and even got past Surtees into third place before being re-overtaken.  At the front Hill decided to ease off a little and Clark was in a firm lead.

Towards the end Clark’s Lotus Climax started losing oil and misfiring and this gave Hill the incentive to push his BRM again and set fastest lap of the race.  But Clark was driving with skill and determination and kept his Lotus ahead by just over 3 seconds at the end of the 80 laps.  Surtees, Spence and Stewart finished in third, fourth and fifth places some way back but on the same lap.  Gurney kept going despite hios discomfort with the car and finished sixth a lap down.  Next up were the top three privateers who were Bonnier, Gardner and Siffert and then in tenth was Bruce McLaren in the works Cooper.

Clark was now in a commanding lead in the Championship with 36 points to the 23 of Graham Hill, 19 of Jackie Stewart and 17 of John Surtees.  In the constructors championship in was much closer with Lotus on 36 points and BRM on 31 points followed by Ferrari on 20.   Clark seemed to be heading for the Drivers’ Championship but could the combined efforts of Hill and Stewart win the constructors’ Championship for BRM?


The day ended with a 20 lap Formula Three race, which featured some very fast British and American drivers.   In practice American, Roy Pike, took pole position in his Brabham and then converted that to a fairly comfortable win and fastest lap.  Peter Gethin took second and again this was comfortably ahead of Tony Dean in third place.  Rhodesian Trevor Blokdyk was fourth and thus all top four positions were taken by Brabhams.  Harry Stiller took fifth in a Lotus whilst top Cooper was American Bob Bondurant in eighth place.  Of the other Americans, Tommy Hitchcock crashed out on lap 8 and Peter Revson retired the Team lotus car on the opening lap.  Frank Williams also retired on the opening lap, whilst Derek Bell and Chris Irwin didn’t make it to quarter distance.

July 11th, 1965

CLARK WINS HIS 2ND BIG RACE OF THE WEEKEND

The major race at Rouen-les-Essarts in 1965 was for the 1 litre F2 cars for the first time with a number of the major GP drivers taking part. It was part of the French F2 championship.  There was thus an excellent field including some French drivers such as Henri Grandshire, Jo Schlesser, Jo Maglia, Eric Offenstadt and Guy Ligier.  There was even a French car as Henri Grandshire was driving an Alpine Renault A270-Gordini as was Belgian Lucien Bianchi.  The supporting F3 race also had local interest with the both Matras and Alpine Renaults and Jean-Perre Beltoise fresh from his win at Reims.  Thus there was a lot to attract the locals to this classic road course at Rouen.

Due to the clash with the British GP, practice started on Wednesday with another session on Friday for the non-GP drivers and a final session on Sunday morning when the GP stars had returned.  No surprise to anyone that Jim Clark took pole position in the Lotus 35 Cosworth.  Second on the grid was Jack Brabham in a Brabham BT16 Cosworth but it seemed more likely to be timekeeping error than a genuine time.  Joining them on the front row was Jochen Rindt hoping to repeat his Reims performance in the Roy Winklemann Brabham.  The second row was made up of Gaham Hill in the John Coomb’s car and Alan Rees in the second Winkelmann car.   GP drivers made up the third row with Jackie Stewart, Dickie Attwood and Frank Gardner.   Bob Bondurant was making the most of being in Europe and after driving for Tyrrell in F3 at Silverstone was driving Tyrell’s second Cooper at Rouen and he qualified on the fifth row alongside the two other team Lotus cars of Spence and Revson.  They thus started behind Hulme and Mike Beckwith.

Race day started dry but rain threatened.  At the start Rindt made an amazing start and led from Clark and Rees but Clark was obviously faster and had the lead by the end of fourth lap. Rees, Brabham and Hill were following.  Eventually, Hill overtook Brabham and began catching Rindt whilst Rees retired to the pits.   With Rindt now preoccupied with keeping Graham Hill at bay, Clark began to build a substantial lead as usual.

At just over half distance the rain began to fall and Hill passed Rindt whe the Austrian’s engine failed.  Down the field some drivers were finding the conditions difficult and both Gardner and Revson had moments.   With 2 laps to go the Team Lotus pits were worried because Jim Clark’s engine began to misfire but  it sorted itself and Clark ran out an easy victor by 14 seconds from a rapidly closing Graham Hill.  Jack Brabham took third whilst Beckwith and Gardner were a lap behind in fourth and fifth places in Brabham and Lola respectively. Eric Offenstadt upheld French honour with sixth place in his own Cooper-BRM.  The Alpines all retired and the Portuguese GP driver Mario Cabral had a very nasty accident at Gresil and was badly injured.

Prior to the main race there was a F3 race which everyone hoped would be a repeat of the previous week’s battle between Jean-Pierre Beltoise in a Matra and Piers Courage in a Brabham.  In practice Courage was impressive through the fast downward curves towards Nouveau Monde and took pole position.  In the race Piers Courage went out and took a lead which he was not to relinquish.  Beltoise was only in sixth position at the end of the first lap but fought his way up over the 25 laps to take second place just 4 seconds behind Courage.  Very close behind him in 3rd place was Trevor Blokdyck’s Brabham who also recorded the fastest lap, whilst John Fenning took fourth in a Cooper.  In fifth was Swiss driver Clay Regazzoni in a Brabham.  The second Matra, tha of Jean-Pierre Jaussaud came home seventh whilst an excellent eighth in his first single seater race was Johnny Servoz-Gavin.

Another supporting races was for Lotus Sevens with teams representing the vaious provinces and was won by Pierre Blanchon for Cognac against a field including Denis Dayan who was driving for Normandy and Sauveur Costa who was driving for Lyon but retired whilst leading.

Neil Oatley sent me a link to a nice short video video of this event from the AP Archive .  Worth seeing for Toto Roche alone and Graham Hill shrugging his shoulders as Jim Clark beats him again. As it is not on You Tube I can't embed it but here is the link which you need to click on: Rouen F2 Race

Elsewhere: Kurt Ahrens won the 63km F3 race at Mainz-Finthen in his Brabham BT16 from Hans Dieter-Dechent.   Most drivers were from Germany except Austrian Alban Scheiber who finished third in a Lotus and American George Smith who finished fifth in an Alexis.

July 18th, 1965

Clark wins the Dutch GP as Chapman gets Arrested

Jim Clark won his fifth World Championship GP of the year for Lotus and in doing so assured himself of maximum World Championship points.  In theory Graham Hill could still beat him but it is very unlikely as he would need to win the remaining four GP and so far nobody has beaten Clark in the five GP he has entered.  Just before the start of the race Lotus boss Colin Chapman was involved in a scuffle with the Dutch police as he wasn’t wearing his pass in the proper fashion!   After the GP he was arrested and spent a night at the police station but after a brief court appearance nothing more became of it.

The lovely Zandvoort circuit set amongst the sand dunes was again the scene for the Dutch GP and with a July date attracted some holidaymakers and had a crowd of about 60,000 to watch the Formula One cars.  The organisers invited just 17 cars and thus there was no need for qualifying.  Honda brought just one car and with a shortage of engines Jack Brabham stepped down again and brought just two cars for Gurney and Hulme.  Other than that it was all as normal with Ferrari again giving the V12 car to Surtees and most of the best privateers present.

The Honda team have their European base at Zandvoort and as they have done a lot of testing there, their car with American Richie Ginther driving was right on the pace during practice. He eventually qualified in third position.  Jim Clark was suffering a bit with engine problems and thus could only qualify second on the grid and would have to race a two valve engine.  Thus the hero of practice was again Graham Hill who took pole position in the BRM.   John Surtees recorded the same time as Clark and Ginther but was back on the second row in the faster of the Ferraris where he was joined by Dan Gurney in the No.1 Brabham-Climax.  The third row was made up of the No.2 drivers for BRM, Brabham and Lotus; Stewart, Hulme and Spence respectively.   Fastest privateer was Jo Siffert in a Brabham-BRM in tenth, alongside Bruce McLaren for the Cooper team who no longer seem competitive.

From the outside of the front row Richie Ginther made good with his Zandvoort knowledge and went around the outside at Tarzan to take the lead.  Hill slotted into send place and thus Clark was down to third.   Graham Hill pressurized Ginther for the first two laps and then got by at the entry to Tarzan.  Jim Clark did the same to Ginther a few laps later.  Behind these three were Gurney, Stewart, Spence, Surtees, Hulme and Bandini.

On lap six, Jim Clark overtook Graham Hill on breaking for the Tarzan hairpin and then moved away to take another fine win in the Lotus Climax.  Gurney and Stewart got past Ginther and started to pressurise who Hill who had a cold and couldn’t maintain his initial pace.  Both Gurney demoted Hill to take second place whilst Ginther spun and fell further down the field behind Surtees and Hulme.

Meanwhile, Jackie Stewart was getting into the groove in his BRM and took Gurney and Hill in quick succession to make it a Scottish 1-2 which is how it finished.   After 80 laps the only other two not lapped by Clark were Gurney and Hill in third and fourth places.  Hulme was fifth a lap behind, and Ginther recovered to take sixth after overtaking Surtees near the end.  Also a lap behind were Spence and Bandini who exchanged positions on the final lap after the Ferrari driver had gearbox problems.  Top privateer in tenth place was the experience Innes Ireland in the Reg Parnell Lotus BRM.   Jim Clark took fastest lap in his pursuit of Hill early in the race.

Thus Clark and Lotus won their third Dutch GP in succession and this all but determined the Championship for them both although BRM perhaps still held out some hope of grabbing the Constructors’ title.


Two You Tube videos of the race, the first by British Pathe is good definition and has some nice camera angles but has no commentary.  The second by ESPN is not such good definition but has a Raymond Baxter commentary.  Some nice slides by some drivers coming out of Tarzan!





July 18th, 1965

Amon wins for Lola at Solitude

With the Formula One drivers at Zandvoort it was the chance for one of the younger drivers to make his name at the long Soiltude circuit near Stuttgart.  This year the Solitude GP  was for Formula Two cars and except for the absence of the works Brabham had a good attendance including the Ron Harris Team Lotus cars, the Roy Winkelmann Brabhams and MRP Lolas.  Drivers were somewhat different due to the absence of the GP drivers and thus Hans Herrmann, Gerhard Mitter and Roy Pike got a driver for the three teams expected to fight for a win.

In practice Peter Revson who had experience of the circuit from the previous year’s F1 race won pole position in the Ron Harris Lotus 35 Cosworth with a time of 4 minutes 9.5 seconds in wet but drying conditions.  Chris Amon in the MRP Lola and Alan Rees in the Winkelmann Brabham were just a fraction of a second slower.  Trevor Taylor and Gerhard Mitter were next up.

It was dry for the Sunday race but conditions were cool and overcast.  When the flag fell it was Trevor Taylor in the Aurora Brabham who made the best start and led Revson, Amon, Rees and Beckwith onto the long first lap.  Unfortunately, on the first lap Frenchman Jacques Maglia had a very bad crash in his own Lotus and a number of other drivers were involved in the aftermath and also retired.   Jacques was taken to hospital, critically injured.

Meanwhile Rees took over second spot and then the lead with Amon following through demoting Taylor to third.  By lap four Amon was in the lead and he pulled away to victory in the Midland Racing Partnership Lola T60 in the 18 lap race.  Behind him Mitter put up a big challenge to Rees and got by for a short while but had to settle for third.  Revson finished fourth in a misfiring Lotus.  The next four positions were all Brabhams with Kurt Ahrens leading Mike Beckwith, Jo Schlesser and Silvio Moser.  Hans Herrmann in a Ron Harris Lotus and Eric Offenstadt in his Cooper made up the top ten who were all on the same long lap.  Alan Rees took fastest lap in the Winkelmann Brabham.

The supporting GT race resulted in a 1-2 for the Porsche 904 GTSs of Ben Pon and Rolf Stommelen.  The Sports car race was also won by Porsche with Gerhard Mitter the winner in an 8 cylinder barchetta car.

Elsewhere: As usual there were a couple of F3 races over the weekend.  At Magny Cours there were heats and a final with an international field. Trevor Blokdyl won heat one from pole position with Jean-Pierre Jaussaud the runner up.   Johnny Servoz-Gavin had pole for heat two but e retired leaving Jurg Dubler to win from Mauro Bianchi.  The final saw Rhodesian Trevor Blokdyk win again imn the DWR Brabham Cosworth.   Jean-Pierre Beltoise came second in the Matra MS1-Ford and Mauro Bianchi came third in an Alpine Renault A270. Fourth was Jean-Pierre Jaussaud in the second Matra from the Swiss driver Jurg Dubler and Australian Martin Davies, both in Brabhams.

At the Sachsenring the weekend was troubled by bad weather and the first race was cancelled but Charles Crichton-Stuart won the second race from pole position for Stirling Moss's team from the Finn Leo Mattila and the Swede Sven-Olof Gunnarsson. Thus a Brabham led home two Coopers. 

At Watkins Glen there was the second NASCAR road race of the year and Marvin Panch ran home the winner after qualifying third and leading 53 of the 66 laps in the Wood Brothers Ford.  Only Ned Jarrett in second place finished on the same lap.  Buddy Baker in a Dodge took third 2 laps behind.

In the seventh round of the USAC Championship AJ Foyt won the Trenton 150 from pole position in a Lotus-Ford from Jim Hurtubise and Bobby Grim.

July 24th, 1965

Amon wins Martini Trophy for McLaren

For Aston Martin Owners’ Club organized Martini Trophy meeting at Silverstone the top race of the day was the sixth round of the British Sports Car Championship.  The class of the field was undoubtedly John Surtees in the Lola T70-Chevrolet and he took pole position and led the 50 lap race until retiring with oil loss after just 7 laps.  Hugh Dibley’s Lola also retired as did the Lotus 30 of Frank Gardner.   This left Chris Amon to take victory in the works McLaren Elva Mk1 Oldsmobile .  The only other car on the same lap was Peter Revson in a 2 litre Brabham BT8 Climax.  Third was David Piper in his Ferrari 250LM from Tommy Hitchcock in another Brabham , David Prophet in a Lotus 30 and Roy Pike in a Shelby Cobra.

In the accompanying 17 lap F3 race Piers Courage took victory in the Charles Lucas Brabham as he was becoming accustomed to doing.  Fastest Lap went to Roy Pike and Chris Irwin but both retired, as did Peter Gethin and Harry Stiller.  Thus second and third places were taken by Jim Sullivan and Melvyn Long in a Brabham and Lotus repectively.

July 24th & 25th, 1965

BMW wins the Spa-Franchorchamps 24 hours

With the maximum capacity limited to 2,500cc, 4 factory BMWs were fastest in practice with Hubert Hayne fastest in the car he was to share with Belgian Willy Mairesse.  Other drivers of the Factory BMWs included the Ickx brothers, Jacky and Pascal.  Main opposition was expected to come from Alfa Romeo with four Mini Coopers expected to do well in the lower classes.

The Hayne/Mairesse lead at the start and for most of the first half of the race until it would not restart after a pit stop.  The BMWs were having trouble with overheating and the Munaron/Eppelein and Jacky Ickx/Dieter Glemser cars both retired before half distance.  The lead Alfa Romeo of Pinto/Galimberti also ran into trouble.

Thus this let the Belgian pair of Pascal Ickx and Gerard Langlois van Ophem in a BMW 1,800 take a relatively easy victory.  The second car, an Alfa Romeo Giulia  driven by Jean-Marie Lagae and Eric De Keyn did not have the speed to mount a real challenge.  Third was a Belgian driven Volvo whilst fourth was the first of the Mini Coopers.


Elsewhere:  As usual there were a number of Formula Three races going on throughout Europe.  Kurt Ahrens ran against mainly German opposition in his Brabham at Flugplatz Trier.  Jean-Pierre Beltoise took a second win for Matra at Cognac beating Johnny Servoz-Gavin in a Brabham and Mauro Bianchi in an Alpine Renault.   Perhaps, the biggest F3 event of the weekend was the Portuguese GP at Cascais run as two heats and a final.  The Stockbridge Racing Coopers of John Fenning and Rodney Banting took the first heat whilst Charles Crichton-Stuart won the second heat in the SMART Brabham from Portuguese driver “Jorge S” in a Lotus.  The final was a long race that took just over an hour and was won by Rodney Banting in a Cooper from John Fenning with Charles Crichton-Stuart third.  Top Portuguese driver was Felipe Noguera in a Lotus who came fourth.  Roger Brash was fifth in a Merlyn from Jorge S.

In the eighth round of the USAC Championship Mario Andretti took his first Indy Car win in the Hoosier GP on a road course at indianapolis.  His main challenger was AJ Foyt who eventually finished fourth.  Bobby Unser came second from Roger McCluskey.

August 1st, 1965

Clark seals the Championship at the Nurburgring

Jim Clark won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring for the first time in his Lotus-Climax and thus made his bid for the 1965 World Championship unstoppable.  Graham Hill did his best with second place but it was not enough to stop Jimmy win his second title with a few rounds still to go.

The entries for the the German GP were as the previous rounds except that Honda went back to Tokyo to look for more power and reliability.  Brabham started three cars again and Lotus joined them with Gerhard Mitter in the team to add interest for the local crowd.  Everyone was excited before the race to see if anyone would average 100mph for the first time around the challenging 14.17 mile lap and Jim Clark did not disappoint them as he took pole with an incredible 101.5 mph lap over three seconds faster than the next best driver.  Four other drivers also beat the 100mph barrier in practice with Stewart, Hill and Surtees joining Clark on the front row and Gurney tucking in behind Clark on the second row.  Fastest privateer was Jo Bonnier in Rob Walker's Brabham and as usual he was ahead of some of the works cars.

Nineteen cars started the race and Clark led them all into the first turn and was never headed on his way to victory at an average speed of 99.79mph.   He also set the lap record at 101.22 mph.   Graham Hill in the BRM similarly was second right from the start and although he never challenged the lead Lotus he closed toward the end to finish just 16 seconds behind.   Gurney forced Stewart into a mistake early on and then consolidated his third place to finish a little over 5 seconds behind Hill.  Jackie Stewart's BRM had to retire with damaged suspension.

John Surtees had won the German GP in the two previous years and again showed a good turn of speed but had to retire with gear selection problems.   Thus the popular Jochen Rindt came in a good fourth in the Cooper with Jack Brabham and Lorenzo Bandini (Ferrari) making up the top six.  Jo Bonnier finished as the top privateer in seventh place after Jo Siffert was unlucky to blow an engine whilst in fourth place after his car jumped out of gear.

A really nice video of the first lap can be seen in this You Tube video:



Elsewhere:  The previous day at Crystal Palace there had been a National meeting with F3 cars as the main race competing for the Bromley Bowl.  Chris Irwin in a Brabham won the first heat from Peter Gethin, John Cardwell and Peter Revson after Roy Pike crashed out after taking pole.   Roy Pike, Peter Gethin and Chris irwin shared fastest lap.  In the slower second heat, Mike Knight won from pole in his Cooper from Martin Davies and Andrew Fletcher.  Piers Courage crashed out early on in the second heat and thus didn't contest the final.  The final saw Chris Irwin win by 5 seconds from John Cardwell's older Brabham and Peter Revson's Lotus.   Tony Dean was fourth ahead of Knight and Fletcher.   In the Norbury Trophy for Sports cars David Piper took an easy win in his Ferrari 250LM from Jackie Oliver in a Lotus Elan and Bloey Pittard in an Alfa Romeo TZ.

August 1st, 1965

Whitmore starts August with a win at Olympia

August 1965 was no holiday for competitors in the European Touring Car Championship with five rounds due to take place on successive weekends.  The first of these was the Olympia Hillclimb at Axamer Linzum in Austria.  The Alan Mann Lotus Cortinas of John Whitmore and Henry Taylor took first and second in  their 1.6 litre class with Whitmore the fastest of the touring cars and Taylor in third place.  they were split by Dieter Glemser in a BMW 1800 who won the 2.0 litre class.  Hams Herrmann won the 1.0 litre class in a Fiat Abarth, Alfred Krohe won the 1.3 litre class in a Mini Cooper and Pius Zund won the unlimited capacity class in a Ford Mustang.

Elsewhere: The sixth round of the United States Road Racing Championship took place at the Pacific International Raceway at Kent.  Once again the Chaparral 2A-Chevrolets were dominant and Jim Hall led home Hap Sharp in a 1-2 demonstration over 68 laps.  Don Wester was third a lap behind in a Genie-Ford.  For once George Follmer did not win the 2 litre class in his Lotus-Porsche as he was beaten by Jerry Titus in an Elva Porsche.

In the ninth round of the USAC championship on the Atlanta oval, AJ Foyt led from pole but retired in his lotus leaving Johnny Rutherford to win from Mario Andretti and Billy Foster.

August 7th, 1965

Ljungfeldt, Whitmore and Swart win at Karlskoga

The European Touring Cars provided the Saturday entertainment for the F2 fans at Karlskoga in Sweden.   In Division 1 for the 1 litre cars Ed Swart led home a Fiat Abarth 1-2 with Ignazio Giunti in second place.Unfortunately the fastest of the local Saabs retired but won the 850cc class.

In the race for the other classes the Alan Mann Ford mustang of Bo Ljungfeldt dominated but John Whitmore came second and won his class in the Alan Mann Lotus Cortina.  The works BMWs missed the event and Andrea de Adamich retired his Alfa after a rash first corner manoeuvre. Jackie Stewart drove the second of the Alan Mann Lotus Cortinas but retired with suspension damage.  Roy Pierpoint in his Mustang retired whilst Gawaine Baillie did not start.  This left third place to Anders Josephson in a Lotus Cortina.  With the Broadspeed Minis not competing fourth place and the 1,300cc class went to Christian Nelleman from Picko Troberg both in Mini Coopers.

August 8th, 1965

Brabham leads home a  Brabham 1-2 in F2 at Karlskoga

There was a small but quality field at Karlskoga for the Formula Two race. Graham Hill took pole position in John Combs' Brabham but retired after 4 laps.  Both Jackie Stewart in Ken Tyrrell's Cooper and Jim Clark in the Ron Harris Team Lotus car were also out at around quarter distance. This left Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme to win and take second place in their works Brabham Bt16 Cosworths.  Third place went to local star Jo Bonnier in an MRP Lola T60 BRM who beat Mike Spence in a Ron Harris Lotus BRM.  A lap behind were Richard Attwood and paul Hawkinsd in their Lolas.

There was a supporting race for F3 cars.  Piers Courage took pole position but crashed out again leaving Chris irwin to win for the second week in a row in his Brabham by less than a second from Picko Troberg who also took fastest lap.  Peter Gethin took third.  John Cardwell and Charles Crichton-Smith both crashed.

August 8th, 1965

Rees beats Rindt in Enna slipstreamer

The other F2 race of the weekend was in Sicily at the fast Enna-Pergusa circuit.   It was held in a two heats and a final format and with some of the other stars absent in Sweden it was expected to be a battle between the two Roy Winkelmann Brabhams of Jochen Rindt and Alan Rees.  They both won their respective heats.  Rindt beat Beckwith, Schlesser and Amon in his heat whilst Rees beat Revson and Moser in his.

The 30 lap final was very close with Rees finally beating Rindt by just two tenths of a second.  Mike Beckwith (Brabham) came third from  Peter Revson (Lotus), Jo Schlesser (Brabham) and Chis Amon (Cooper).

Elsewhere:  In the South of France at Nogaro the F3 Nogaro GP was decided on the points aggregate of 2 races.  Rhodesian Trevor Blokdyk made certain of victory in his Brabah by winning both heats and taking fastest lap.  Australian Martin Davies in a Brabham was second overall after coming second in both heats.  Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jaussaud in a Matra MS1 was third in both heats and thus secued third place. Roby Weber was fourth for Alpine Renault.

August 8th, 1965

Scarfiotti wins in a Dino Ferrari at Freiburg

The 11.2km Freiburg-Schaunisland Mountain Hillclimb in rthe Black Forest of Germany was the venue for both a European Mountain Hillclimb Championship round and a round of Division II of the International Championship for Manufacturers.  It was decided on the aggregate of two runs.

The battle was between Ludovico Scarfiotti in a works Ferrari Dino 206P and Gerhard Berger in a works Porsche 004/8.  In the end Scarfiotti prevailed but by a small margin of less than 2 seconds over the two runs.  Herbert Demetz was third in an Abarth.   The next five positions were the Porsche 904GTSs in the GT category.  Rolf Stommelen was fastest after the first run but the GT class eventually fell to Michel Weber.

Elsewhere: In round 10 of the USAC championship at the dangerous Langhorne Oval Jim McElreath took a win in a Brabham Offy from AJ Foyt (who took pole in the Lotus), Gordon Johncock (who led at the start), Mario Andretti and Bobby Unser.

August 15th, 1965

Siffert beats Clark in Enna Formula 1 Race

Brabham and Lotus each brought along two cars for the Mediterranean GP at Enna-Pergusa.  The rest of the field were privateers but included Rob Walkers two entries for Siffert and Bonnier.  Frank Gardner was also there.  A few F2 cars stayed over from the previous week's race including the fastest two cars of Rees and Rindt.  Piers Courage tried a step up from F3 but did not qualify his F2 Cooper.  Colin Davis also tried to qualify but failed to set a time.   This left 15 starters after others withdrew with broken cars.

Fastest in practice were the two works Lotuses of Jim Clark and Mike Spence and then came the fastest two privateers - Jo Siffert in his own Brabham BRM and Chris Amon in a Reg Parnell Lotus BRM. Neither works Brabham qualified that well.

Unusually, Jim Clark made a poor start and thus initially Spence and Siffert were the two drivers leading the Enna slipstreamer.   However, Clark fought his way back up to the leaders whilst Spence crashed out.  The rest of the field didn't really have the pace and thus it was Siffert versus Clark and after 60 laps they had lapped the entire field.   Jo Siffert did brilliantly to hold off Clark by a few tenths of a second and thus take a rare privateer win in F1.  Amon was running third but a stone punctured his radiator and he had to retire. Frank Gardner took third place in his private Brabham holding off Denny Hulme in the works Brabham whilst Bonnier who had been with them retired with low oil pressure.  Innes Ireland came in fifth for Reg Parnell whilst Jack Brabham was sixth and the last other finisher.  Both of the F2 cars of Rindt and Rees retired.

There was also a Championship GT Race at Enna the same day as the F1 event.  It was part of the International Championship for Manufacturers Division III which was the Cobra vs Ferrari battle that the Cobras had already won but not trusting Italian politics and the FIA, Alan Mann brought along his team of Cobras for Sears and Bondurant anyway.  The contenders for outright victory were mainly Ferrari 250LMs which were battling for a special GT class recognised only in Italy.

Practice for the GT cars saw David Piper take pole from Mario Casoni both in 250 LMs and then Bondurant in a Cobra from local hero Nino Vaccarella in another  250LM.  At the start Mario Casoni took the lead and led most of the way including at the finish.  The Ferraris of Piper and Vaccarella were being challenged by Bondurant who was not driving according to team orders.  Vaccarella eventually crashed out and Bondurant finally obeyed the slow signals after a spin which gave David Piper second place.  Bondurant took third much to the consternation of Alan Mann who wanted Jack Sears to win the class.  Sears was fourth ahead of four Ferrari 250GTOs.

August 15th, 1965

Whitmore takes the European Touring Car Title at Snetterton

For round seven of the European Touring Car Challenge the cars came to England for a 500km race over the long circuit at Snetterton.  Whitmore had a chance to clinch the title in the Alann Mann Ford Lotus Cortina but the new Jolly Club Alfa Romeo 1600 GTAs were fastest in practice.  However, as the top qualifier Andrea de Adamich also crashed his car he would not start, thus making Sir John's task a bit easier.  Peter Procter was Whitmore's team mate for this race as Sears was racing the GT cars at Enna.

Roberto Bussinello's Alfa led at the start and the race developed into a battle between him and the two Alan Mann Cortinas.   Bussinello had a couple of pit stops to fix his rear lights, Procter had battery trouble and thus Whitmore was able to win and take the title with two rounds to go.  Bussinello eventually finished second ahead of Hubert Hayne's BMW.   John Anstead and Roy Pike won the 1 litre class in a Fiat Abarth beating the Broadspeed Mini.

Elsewhere:  Kurt Ahren's beat the Brits in an unusual format F3 race at Roskilde to win the Copenhagen GP.  Chris Irwin had been fastest in practice in his Chequered Flag Brabham and he beat Ahrens, Blokdyk and Peter Gethin in heat 1.  However, Trevor Blockdyk won from Irwin, Ahrens and Jurg Dubler in heat 2.  The final was decided according to the aggregate of three 8 lap races. Ahrens won the first from Irwin and Dubler.  Then  Blokdyk won the second from Ahrens and Irwin. The final race was won by Ahrens from Blokdyk and Irwin.  Thus on aggregate Kurt Ahrens won from Trevor Blokdyk and Chris irwin, all close in times and all in Brabham BT16 Fords.  Jurg Dubler was fourth, Jorgen Ellekaer fifth and Peter Gethin sixth.  Jonathan Williams tried to qualify but his leg had not yet recovered from his big accident at Reims.  Piers Courage was absent due to trying his hand with the big boys at Enna.

August 14th & 15th, 1965

Dean and Hobbs take wins at Croft

On the Saturday there was a 10 lap BARC F3 race at Croft.  The race was a battle between Tony Dean in his Brabham and Mike Knight in his Cooper.  They shared fastest lap but Tony dean took victory by six tenths of a second.  Jim Sullivan took third place in another Brabham.  In sixth place was Mo Nunn in a Lotus.

On the Sunday round seven of the British Sports Car Championship took place over 40 laps of the Croft circuit.  The field wasn'rt as strong as at some other rounds and thus David Hobbds took a relatively easy victory in a Lola T70.  Second and winner of the 2 litre class was Tony Hitchcock in a Brabham-Climax.  Chris Williams was third from Sid Taylor in his Brabham Climax and Tony Dean in a Lotus 23.

Elsewhere: At Castle Rock in the USA it was round seven of the USRCC Championship with Jerry Grant in a Lola T70 there to challenge the two Chaparrals of Jim Hall and Hap Sharp.  As usual the two Chaparral's jumped into the lead at the start and it looked like it would be the usual 1-2 victory until Jim hall had a dead battery that forced him into the pits and an eventual fourth place.  Thus Hap Sharp took the win after 300 kms from Jerry Grant.  George Follmer took third place and the 2 litre class as usual in his Lotus 23 with the Porsche 904 engine.  Bob Johnson's Cobra won the big capacity GT class whilst Scooter patrick won the 2 litre GT class in a Porsche 904GTS.

Round 11 of the USAC series was held on the Milwaukee mile oval.  Parnelli Jones took pole and led for the first 80 laps until he had electrical problems.  This left Mario Andretti in the lead but he was soon overtaken by Joe Leonard who went onto victory. These two were the only 2 cars on the lead lap.  Dan Gurney came in third a lap behind ahead of Bobby Unser.  AJ Foyt retired.

August 22nd, 1965

Siffert and Whitmore win at St Ursanne Les Rangers

Fresh from his win at Enna, Jo Siffert brought along his F1 Brabham-BRM to the very different environment of the St Ursanne Les Rangers Mountain Hill Climb in Switzerland.   He had won previously in a F1 car in 1963.   Perhaps, a bigger attraction even than Jo Siffert for the 1965 edition was Jim Clark who did some demo runs in his Lotus 38-Ford Indy Car.  The weather was wet so the runs were tricky.

In the main event Jo Siffert was fastest on his first run but was being quite strongly challenged by Peter Westbury in the 4WD BRM P62.  Third fastest on the first run was Silvio Moser in F2 Brabham.  On the second run Peter Westbury hit problems and thus Jo Siffert took his second win at this classic climb.  Charles Vogele took second on aggregate in a 2.7 litre Brabham with Silvio Moser third just ahead of Jo Bonnier in another F1 Brabham, Karl Foitek in a Special and Jurg Dubler in a F3 Brabham.

The event was a round of the European Touring Car Challenge and John Whitmore was the fastest touring car up the hill in his Alan Mann Ford Lotus Cortina.  Second was Pius Zund in a Mustang and third was Hubert Hayne in BMW.  Ed Swart won the 1 litre class from Ignazio Giunti, both in FIAT Abarths.

Elsewhere:  It was also raining at Oulton Park where Piers Courage was back in a F3 car and back to his winning ways.  John Cardwell took pole but had to settle for second place.  Peter Gethin took third in the second Charles Lucas car and fastest lap.

August 21st & 22nd, 1965

AJ Foyt at his very best

On the Saturday there was a 100 mile dirt track race at the illinois State Fairgrounds that counted as round 12 of the USAC Championship.  Johnny Rutherford led the first 14 laps and then AJ Foyt took over in his Meskowski-Offy to lead the last 86 laps and win the Tony Bettenhausen Memorial Trophy.  George Snider was second, Mario Andretti third and Johnny Rutherford eventually fell back to fourth.

On the Sunday there was round 13 of the USAC Championship and it was back at the Milwaukee mile paved oval.  Thus most of the drivers reverted to their normal rear engined oval cars from their dirt track specials.  However, AJ Foyt was unable to do this as his Lotus had problems and he took part in his Meskowski dirt track car.  Qualifying saw the biggest surprise of the year when AJ Foyt took pole in his dirt track car from Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti.  The race was close and AJ Foyt, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Joe Leonard and Gordon Johncock all led.  AJ Foyt nearly pulled off the greatest win of his career but eventually had to settle for second after stopping for fuel, beaten by Gordon Johncock who took his first Indy Car win. Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti retired, leaving Lloyd Ruby to take third.

Video of the weekend below with the memories of AJ Foyt below:




More soon......

If you are enjoying the 1965 season with me put some nice comments below to encourage me through the whole year.  Equally, I am happy to hear any corrections for mistakes I may have made.  Don't forget to visit my main blog for photos of Classic Car and Motor Racing events by clicking on Rouen-les-AFX at the very top of this page.

2 comments:

  1. John

    1965 Rouen F2 race (not GP as captioned) - thanks to Peter Windsor

    http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/FRANCE-GRAND-PRIX/bcffc7a67072bdb29e559f55e7e19ca4?query=France+Grand+Prix&current=41&orderBy=OldestFirst&hits=78&referrer=search&search=%2fsearch%2ffilter%3fquery%3dFrance%2520Grand%2520Prix%26from%3d41%26orderBy%3dOldestFirst%26allFilters%3d1960%253ADecade%26ptype%3dIncludedProducts%26_%3d1435054074466&allFilters=1960%3aDecade&productType=IncludedProducts&page=41&b=e19ca4


    Neil Oatley

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  2. Neil

    Thanks for this great link to Rouen footage that I had not seen before.

    John

    ReplyDelete