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#133 1965 Monaco Grand Prix

2022-05-14 00:00

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#1965, Fulvio Conti, Giulia Pea, Translated by Alessia Andreoli,

#133 1965 Monaco Grand Prix

In spite of the fact that the 1965 championship has only just begun, people are already talking about the 1966 cars; the three main constructors, Enzo

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In spite of the fact that the 1965 championship has only just begun, people are already talking about the 1966 cars; the three main constructors, Enzo Ferrari, Colin Chapman (Lotus) and Tony Rudd, engineer for B.R.M., voiced some objections to the layout of the new Formula 1 and the possibility of making efficient single-seaters in time. So far, none of the three constructors has had a hand in the construction of the 1966 single-seaters, having all limited themselves to preliminary studies. Ferrari says he is in favour of the naturally aspirated engine, but also points out that he does not rule out the possibility of using the compressed engine; engineer Rudd, on the other hand, envisages a four-wheel drive car; Colin Chapman would like to make changes to the rules about the minimum weight and the number of cylinders. All three constructors contemplate the possibility that the new Formula might change the driving technique, but even the ranking of human values. Meanwhile, on Sunday February 28, 1965, the first race valid for the International Grand Touring Car Championship is held in Daytona. On the eve of the race, an exciting duel between the three Ferraris, Gurney-Grant's Lotus Ford and the Fords is expected, and such expectation is not disappointed. After fifty laps, Gurney leads the race, followed by Surtees and Rodriguez (Ferrari) and Schlesser (Cobra). Surtees has to withdraw from the race due to a suspension failure. Rodriguez has the same problem; however, he does not give up and asks to pass to Grossman's car, which is still in the race. Despite this, Rodriguez abandons the race due to a clutch problem only one lap later. The third Ferrari, that driven by Hansgen, withdrawals due to a tyre blowout that causes a spin. 

 

In the top positions, the cars of Gurney-Grant and Bondurant-Ginther are struggling. The latter took the lead when Gurney stopped to change a tyre on lap 135. On lap 158, Bondurant also stopped to change a tyre, and Gurney and Grant took the lead, but on lap 213 some sudden engine problems begins, and a broken piston takes away their chance of winning. Miles-Ruby's Ford GT, protagonist of a spectacular comeback, takes the lead and manages to hold it until the end. For the first time in the history of world road racing, an American car with American drivers triumphs. After 2000 kilometres, Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby have a five-lap lead over Schlesser and Keck (Ford Cobra). The winners finish the race in 12'27"9, at an average speed of 160 km/h. Third come Bondurant and Ginther, in a Ford prototype that maintained the lead for a good part of the race, and fourth come Muther and Timanus (Cobra Coupe), also equipped with a Ford engine. The Cobras performed very well, and in addition to fourth place they also took sixth, with Leslie and Grant. The first car not equipped with a Ford engine is the Porsche 904 driven by Kolb and Heftler. As for the start, instead of the usual Le Mans start, with the racers walking up to the cars and then starting them, the Indianapolis system was preferred, with the cars lined up two by two according to a ranking based on the speed of the practice session, with a rolling start system. Out of the forty-three cars, only twenty-one arrived at the finish line.  After the Daytona test, Ferrari and Fiat issue a press release announcing:

 

"Following the decisions of the International Sporting Commission regarding Formula 2 (1967), which required at least 500 units to be built within 12 months in order to obtain homologation and derive a Formula 2 engine, Ferrari reached an agreement with Fiat. To this end, Fiat will reproduce the Dino 166 6-cylinder 1600-cc engine, in a quantitative series, suitable for use on the Ferrari single-seaters under construction".

 

A press conference had been held in Modena in December 1964. When speaking about the programme of racing activities in Formula 1 and Formula 2, concerning the latter, Enzo Ferrari had pointed out that SEFAC would be in great difficulty, because the International Sports Commission had changed the original regulations. According to the new regulations, the Formula 2 cars for 1967 must have 1600-cc displacement, and the engines must come from cars homologated in the Grand Touring category. 

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However, Enzo Ferrari made it clear that he had no intention of being left out of the fight, and therefore announced the construction of a 1600-cc Gran Turismo, the prototype of which was to debut in 1965. There remained, however, the problem of building the 500 units before the new Formula 2 came into force, which for a company of limited production potential like SEFAC Ferrari, fully employed in the construction of the different 3 and 4-litre 12-cylinder Gran Turismo models, would have been an obstacle difficult to overcome. So, a deal was made with Fiat, which showed to understand the position of Ferrari, that kind of understanding that the Modenese manufacturer deserves, but which it has not always received from Italian motorists. Fiat, although not involved directly in sporting events, decides to help Ferrari by providing its extensive production facilities to build the 500 engines needed. The Fiat-Ferrari collaboration is warmly welcomed by the Italian sporting world: the collaboration, although limited to one sector, between two of the world's most illustrious and glorious names in the automotive industry is important and highly significant. In March 1965, the Dino 166 engine is presented. This engine was born in November 1955, and was named so in memory of Dino Ferrari, the son of the Modenese manufacturer. It has 6 cylinders arranged in a 65-degree V-layout, and with a power of 1489-cc it develops 180 hp at 9000 rpm. It is equipped with two camshafts for each wing of the twin-cylinder and three 38-DCN twin-body Weber carburettors. This model, fundamental in the evolution of Ferrari engines, was later developed in several different ways, both by increasing the displacement and by varying the angle formed by the two-cylinder wings, which were arranged at 60 or 120 degrees, while the displacement was increased to 2000 cc, then 2200 cc, 2500 cc and even 3200 cc. The 1500-cc version had allowed Phil Hill to win the World Constructors' Championship in 1961. The 1600-cc engine, on the other hand, is from 1958, was named 156/S and has a diameter of 72 mm, a 64.5 mm stroke, a 1575.6 cc displacement. It has a single overhead camshaft, i.e., with only one overhead camshaft for each cylinder wing, and delivers 165 hp at 8000 rpm. 

 

It is clear that with the experience of all these years, the modern Dino 166 has considerable potential both in the Gran Turismo version, the one mass-produced in collaboration with Fiat, and in the future Formula 2 version of 1967. On Saturday, March 13, 1965, Commendator Vittorio Jano, a well-known figure in Italian and international motor racing, takes his own life in his home on the fourth floor, at n. 12, Via Fratelli Carle. The engineer was 74 years old and was born in San Giusto Canavese. He had been ill for a few weeks: it seemed to be nothing serious, only a slightly neglected bronchitis. However, the engineer had noticed that he was suffering a significant weight loss and was convinced that he had an incurable disease. At home, he had made no mention of it and his wife, Rosina, never suspected her husband to have suicidal tendencies. They slept in two separate rooms, because she had not been well for a few days neither: however, she did not feel so bad that she had to stay in bed. She suffered from rheumatic pains. On Saturday morning, Ms. Jano got up at dawn. At 7:00 a.m. she was in the kitchen and the maid was preparing breakfast. In that moment, they heard the detonation in her husband's room. Ms. Jano rushed in the room first. Commendator Jano was lying on his bed, on his pillow there was a large bloodstain. He had shot himself in the mouth. Ms. Jano tried to save him, called the family doctor, but it was a sudden death. Marshal Agosto from the San Secondo police station got on the spot for the investigation. Ms. Jano found a letter addressed to her on the bedside table. Her husband explained in the letter the reasons that led him to kill himself. Weakened by his hospital stay, he was convinced he was suffering from cancer, with no hope of recovery. So, in a moment of deep depression, shocked by this idea, he tragically committed suicide. The sad news spread quickly through the city, arousing everybody’s compassion. Although he had been leading a quiet life for some time, being involved only in technical consultancy, the memory of his exceptional activity is still vivid in many people's minds. Mr. and Ms. Jano couple life flowed peacefully in affluence. In addition to the house in Via Fratelli Carle, they had a villa in the hills, where he had collected many memorabilia. 

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Vittorio Jano was one of the best-known figures in the international automotive world, even though the Turinese technician had by then retired from this environment, after a superb career as a car designer, especially racing cars, for over thirty years. He was born in San Giorgio Canavese in 1901 and began his career as a technician at Fiat immediately after the First World War, working as a draughtsman in the racing department, under engineer Giulio Cesare Cappa. Vittorio Jano collaborated with Cappa on the construction of the Fiat racing cars, which won the European Grand Prix in Monza in 1913, with Carlo Salamano. At the beginning of 1913, Jano moved to Alfa Romeo, where he was called by Enzo Ferrari, who was then a driver of the Milanese team. At Alfa Romeo, he succeeded in bringing avant-garde ideas, and created in an incredibly short time a racing car that was to become legendary: the P2, which got to win an uninterrupted series of Grand Prix with drivers such as Antonio Ascari, Giuseppe Campari and Gastone Brilli Peri, this contributed to increase the popularity of the Lombard marque. After the P2 came the P3, the first single-seater Grand Prix car, revolutionary in its mechanical conception, with Nuvolari and Varzi as its inimitable drivers. Thanks to his experience in sporting technology, Vittorio Jano designed all those Alfa Romeo touring models between 1925 and 1958, including the 1500-cc, the 2750-cc, the 2500-cc and the sports-type cars that won all the Mille Miglia races without interruption, except in 1927 and 1931. At the end of 1931, he returned to Turin, Lancia hired him to head the design office, where he initially contributed to realising the model released in 1939. At that time, fate dealt him a very serious blow, the painful memory of which he would always remember, his eyes veiled with bitterness: the loss of his only son, in a disaster in the mountains. After the war, Jano directed the design of the Aurelio and Appio cars until Lancia decided to start the sporting activity: there he seemed to rejuvenate, and dedicated himself to it with the same enthusiasm he showed when he worked in Alfa, a long time before. The first racing Lancia was a 3-litre sports model, which later was developed, and triumphed both in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana with Fangio and in the Mille Miglia the following year with Alberto Ascari. 

 

Then Lancia took the big step into Formula 1 racing, and Jano again created the famous single-seater with an 8-cylinder or V engine that won its first race in the Valentino Grand Prix in Turin, in front of its public, driven another time by Ascari. That same evening, Vittorio Jano, perhaps tired, perhaps satisfied that he had proved that he was not a finished technician, resigned from Lancia, however he still remained for a couple of years a consultant for the Borgo San Paolo company. His last creation, which was bequeathed to Ferrari when Lancia suspended its sporting activities after Ascari's death, won the 1956 Formula 1 world championship. During his final years Jano, who could not really leave the world of motorsport and racing, was a technical consultant for Ferrari: Enzo Ferrari wanted back his technician and friend, with whom he had shared so much happiness during the Alfa Romeo years and the early years of Scuderia Ferrari. Two weeks later, on Saturday, March 27, 1965, the 12 Hours of Sebring takes place, the second round of the Constructors' World Championship after the Daytona-2000 kilometres. It starts at 10:00 a.m. with 64 Grand Touring, Prototype and Sport cars taking part. In the early stages of the race, there is a duel between Chevrolet and Ford: Dan Gurney (Lotus-Ford), takes the lead, followed by Jim Hall (Chaparral-Chevrolet), but then the two drivers switch positions on lap 8. During the first few laps, two accidents occur; one of the Coupe cars goes off the track, knocking over a fence and slightly injuring two spectators, but the driver is fortunately unhurt. On lap 4, a Triumph Spitfire skids in a turn and goes off the track, again fortunately the driver is unhurt. During the fourth hour of the race, the Hall-Sharp duo still maintains the lead, followed by Hill-Rodriguez and Miles-McLaren (on a Ford GT) at a three-lap gap. Fortunately, very few accidents occur during the race, which takes place at first at an exceptionally hot temperature, around 50 °C, and then under a violent downpour. All the accidents end with minor injuries, only the Swiss driver Moser is admitted to hospital with his jaw fractured. Hall and Sharp dominate the 12 Hours of Sebring and bring their Chaparral-Chevrolet to victory, interrupting Ferrari's absolute dominance after five years. It is the first time an American car has won this competition in the history of modern racing. Hall's Chaparral is equipped with an automatic transmission, it is the first time this is used in a sports car. Another positive element for the United States is the second place achieved by McLaren and Miles' Ford: the New Zealand driver and the US driver finish first in the prototype category, while Hall and Sharp win in the unrestricted Sports class. 

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The prototype Ferrari driven by Piper and Maggs finishes third, seven laps behind the winners. The most feared of Ferrari's private cars is that of Graham Hill and Pedro Rodriguez, who hold second place for a long time, but with four hours to go give it up to McLaren and Miles. Hall and Sharp complete 196 laps at an average speed of 136 km/h, and also set the fastest lap in 2'59''6. A few hours after their unofficial participation in the 12 Hours of Sebring, SEFAC-Ferrari decides to withdraw from the Sportscar World Championship taking place on Tuesday, March 30, 1965. This serious decision is because CSI refused again to homologate a car model from the Maranello team. Ferrari releases a formal statement pointing out that the attitude of the International Sporting Commission is inconceivable. The communiqué reads:

 

"SEFAC-Ferrari was informed on March 20 that the new 275GTB berlinetta has not been homologated, the decision was taken on March 16, in Geneva, by the sub-commission appointed by CSI. SEFAC-Ferrari would like to note and make it known that 147 examples of this car had been produced as of March 16. Following the case of the 250 Le Mans, the request for type-approval of the B75-GTB was rejected on the following grounds: Having noted a difference between the minimum weight of the car indicated on the data sheet and the real weight, SEFAC-Ferrari notes that the C.S.I. sub-commission In noting this decision, SEFAC Ferrari recalls that the C.S.I. sub-commission has recently issued surprising homologations, such as: a grand touring car for which neither the wheelbase nor the track width of the chassis had been indicated on the data sheet (the car also participated in competitions such as the Sportscar World Championship); a touring car, duly homologated, for which a difference between the real lift of the intake and exhaust valves and the indicated lift was known while the car was actively participating in races (the C.S.I. then regulated the difference between the actual lift of the intake and exhaust valves and the indicated lift). C.S.I. then regulated the variant, with retroactive effect, accepting the thesis that it was a matter of miscommunication); gran turismo car for which neither the type of piston material nor the number of camshafts are indicated (The car participates in championship tests); gran turismo car with a difference between the minimum total weight indicated and the actual weight, as recorded at scrutinizing on the various circuits. Nevertheless, the car is admitted to the championship races. At this point, SEFAC-Ferrari, refraining for the moment from any judgement on the merits, considers that it cannot insist against the aversion of the sporting justice administrators who condition the championship on regulatory interpretations rather than on technical and racing facts, and therefore announces that it will withdraw from submitting further homologation applications and abandons the Sportscar World Championship".

 

Ferrari once again has to take the consequences not only of the rigidly literal interpretations that the International Sporting Commission gives to formally and sportingly outdated regulations, but also - and this is even more serious - of blatant arbitrariness, as the above communiqué circumstantially denounces. One really has to ask oneself, even when willing to be absolutely objective, outside of passionate judgments, whether the behaviour - both yesterday and today - from part of the CSI is not deviously inspired by a preconceived aversion towards the Modenese manufacturer, whose constant superiority in the annual events of the Sportscar World Championship must evidently annoy many people. Suspicions are odious, especially if unproven, but it is at least legitimate to doubt that behind the scenes of the stage on which the holders of the highest sporting powers act, an odious manoeuvre has been taking place for some time. Who is the prompter? What big interests does it conceal? Having failed on a formal level to get to grips with opponents who are more easily bent in competitive confrontation, Ferrari has consequently and coherently taken the serious decision to withdraw from the marques championship, and to renounce asking for any further homologations of their cars, given that CSI would find the appropriate loopholes to reject them anyway. Perhaps that is exactly what some quarters wanted to provoke, and it is annoying that battles like this are conducted in such a humiliating way for the sport itself. Actually, sport is the only loser in this dirty business. At the same time, Ford's intervention avoided the crisis that loomed on the horizon for British motor racing after FIA's decision to create a new Formula 1 for 1966. 

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A few days after the announcement of Coventry Climax's withdrawal from racing at the end of the current season, we learn that the American company is busy designing a new three-litre engine, capable of developing 400 bhp. Work will begin in the Slough factory as soon as the data processed by a special calculating machine, dubbed the Instant Engine Factory, arrives from the United States. The new engine, which will have eight cylinders, will be provided by Ford to Lotus, Cooper and Brabham. B.R.M. has been preparing an engine of its own for some time. Until a few weeks ago, until the Geneva Motor Show to be precise, the prospects for British motor sport were not bright at all. Sir William Lyons, the chairman of Jaguar, of which Coventry Climax is a subsidiary, had declared that building racing engines was uneconomical. Jaguar is in the process of commercial expansion, it is more expedient to look after the rally sector.

 

"With great regret, we are forced to withdraw from Formula 1. The expenses in 1966 would be insane, we cannot afford it".

 

For Lotus, Cooper and Brabham it is a blow. Colin Chapman, John Cooper and Jack Brabham, owners of the three British teams, turn to the Royal Automobile Club. They have always used Coventry Climax engines for their cars and do not have the equipment nor the capital to suddenly start producing engines themselves. The Royal Automobil Club was considering asking the Wilson government's Sports Minister, Denis Howell, for a grant, when Ford came on the scene. Ford has been trying for years to gain a foothold in international motor sport, and for this reason also tried to absorb Ferrari. Now they represent a good opportunity. Three major teams, the ones on which British prestige basically depends, need an engine. If no one had helped them, they would have ended up like the British Racing Partnership of Ken Gregory and Stirling Moss, who left Formula 1 last year. Ford made a few unofficial enquiries, and Chapman, Cooper and Brabham said yes; to be fair, Chapman was a bit more enthusiast than the others, because excellent relations already existed between Lotus and Ford. The details of the agreement were settled during the Geneva Motor Show. No technical information on the Ford engine is available yet. Sir John Whitmore, who will drive the new Ford GT at Le Mans, believes it will be similar to the four-litre, eight-cylinder engine in his car. This four-litre engine is also the product of the Instant Factory Engine. It is an updated version of the one that debuted last year at Le Mans and set the lap record. In Slough, they are sure that the new Ford GT will beat Ferrari this time. The trouble for British motoring is that Ford has only a few months to build this engine. Should Lotus, Cooper and Brabham race with an unproven engine during the next season, they would be relegated to the role of extras against both Ferrari and B.R.M., who are already ahead in the construction of their 3-litre engine; and perhaps even against Honda, who are quietly preparing to try to beat the European manufacturers.

 

In this regard, it is interesting to note that in Silverstone, Brabham fitted their cars with a Honda engine just a few days earlier. The result was satisfactory, although the race was suspended due to rain. On Sunday, April 4, 1965, the English driver Jim Clark (Lotus) wins the 14th Syracuse Grand Prix. This is the first seasonal confrontation between Formula 1 cars and drivers in Europe. Sixteen competitors take part in the Grand Prix, in a 56 laps race, for a total distance of 308 kilometres. The interest in the race is increased by the beautiful spring day and the prestigious names of the competitors, including two World Champions: around 100.000 people arrive at the circuit. The race starts at 3:00 p.m. On lap 1, the Swiss driver Siffert (Brabham-B.R.M.) takes the lead, followed by Surtees (Ferrari) and Clark (Lotus), Bandini is P5. On lap 12, Surtees overtakes Siffert, and a thrilling duel takes place between the two, while Clark remains in third position. On lap 20, Surtees' average speed is 168 km/h, and the British driver also sets the fastest lap. Soon afterwards, Siffert retakes the lead of the race, closely followed by Surtees. On lap 33, Clark attacks and overtakes both Siffert and Surtees, with whom he formed a group fighting wheel-to-wheel, arousing the enthusiasm of the fans who are watching from the four grandstands and along the edge of the circuit, especially at the two Madonnina and Carpinteri turns. At this point, the race gets very uncertain: Surtees, Siffert and Clark are overtaking each other every single lap; on lap 35, Surtees takes the lead followed by Siffert, Clark, Spence, Bandini and Bonnier. 

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On lap 39, Bandini moves up to P4, followed by Spence: the two are involved in a minor fight, compared to the fight for the win, for fourth and fifth place. On lap 46, Siffert does not pass in front of the grandstands, while Clark takes the lead of the race, which is very fast (also setting the fastest lap at an average speed of almost 187 km/h) and does not surrender until the end; Surtees gives way and quickly loses ground. Siffert (Brabham-B.R.M.) then arrives slowly, hand-pushed. Clark wins the 14th Syracuse Grand Prix ahead of Surtees, Bandini, Bonnier, Scarfiotti and Anderson. Formula One is heading for an exciting season. The Lotus-Ferrari duel in the South African Grand Prix saw Jim Clark (Lotus) win. But in Syracuse the performance gap was closed, Clark and Surtees found themselves on an equal footing. The 1965 season did not prove favourable to the Italian cars, which were fighting for the Formula 1 manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships and for the International Prototype Trophy, the three most important motorsport events. However, cars from the US won in Daytona and Sebring, and a British driver and car won the South African Grand Prix. In addition, a long-standing controversy between Enzo Ferrari and the International Sports Commission resulted in the withdrawal of Scuderia Ferrari from the Sportscar World Championship. Strictly speaking of racing, the situation is not as bad as it may seem, and the Ferraris, both private and official, still have many possibilities. The season has only just begun and there are more races to be held than have already taken place. In the Sportscar World Championship in Daytona, Ford cars came out on top, and Porsche cars performed well, too; out of the four Ferraris that started, however, only one made it to the end. But as after the race, it was made public that the other three Ferraris only withdrew because of tyre problems, which arose after only a few laps. The tyres had been prepared by a European company, not an Italian one, with little knowledge of the technical difficulties of the American track. In the second race in Sebring, however, the official Ferraris did not take part in the protest against the participation of Sport cars. And on this occasion, too, an American car came out on top, this time not a Ford but a Chaparral-Chevrolet. The victory of this car represents a historic moment in US motorsport: it was, in fact, since the first editions of the Pan-American Car and the 12 Hours itself that the Americans had tenaciously pursued this goal. It took some 15 years before they managed to achieve it. 

 

In addition to the engine, the Chaparral car can rely on numerous state-of-the-art technical solutions, starting from the automatic transmission, used on a racing car for the first time, which only a large industrial complex with an efficient research department could prepare. One could assume that General Motors, motivated by this remarkable achievement, will commit itself more vigorously, perhaps even officially, to racing. For the Americans know how profitable the publicity of these sport successes is. Returning to the drivers' championship, only one of the eleven rounds has so far taken place: the South African Grand Prix, which ended with Clark's victory. Another success in Syracuse, a difficult training in the too long period between the first and second round of the championship. The Syracuse Grand Prix showed that the performance gap which could be seen at the start of the season between Lotus and Ferrari has been completely closed. For the twelve and eight-cylinder cars it was an important and positive test, run after the huge fine-tuning in Modena. Both models were only slowed down by unforeseeable, but easily repairable mishaps. In Daytona, Ford won with a British-made chassis, while the Chaparral is an American product. Jim Hall's winning car belonged to the Sport category, and it was precisely the decision to include such category that led to Ferrari's withdrawal. The car was not subject to any weight restrictions: prototypes, however, must not be below a certain weight, set by international regulations. While Ford GT and Ferrari had a minimum weight of 850-900 kg, Chaparral weighed only 620 kg: a significant difference, that clearly favoured the latter. In fact, three different tests were held in Sebring: one for the sports cars, one for the prototypes and one for the GTs. Only the last two were valid, respectively, for the International Trophy and the Championship for Makes. So, there were three winners: Chaparral, Ford GT and Ac Cobra. On Saturday, April 10, 1965, American driver Lloyd Casner tragically loses his life during the first practice session of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the spectacular French motor race valid for the World Championship for Makes and the International Prototype Trophy, scheduled for 19-20 June 1965. Lloyd Casner was driving a Maserati five-litre car and lost his life after going off the track, probably due to the wet road surface, and crashed into a nearby golf course. 

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According to eyewitnesses, Casner's Maserati was proceeding at a speed of no less than 250 km/h on the Mulsanne straight, the longest straight of the circuit, and was about to enter a sharp turn, when it lifted from the ground and shoot up as if its wheels had hit an obstacle. Casner, who was pulled out lifeless from the wreckage of his car, which was almost completely destroyed, died of his serious injuries a few hours after being admitted to the Le Mans hospital. The American, a former aviation pilot, was 39 years old, and was known in the sport world circles for his expertise and exceptional self-control, even though he was not included in the shortlist of great driving champions. His best year ever was 1961, when he won the 1000 kilometres of the Nurburgring, Germany, and the Havana Grand Prix. He had also raced several times in Italy and participated in a Mille Miglia. Casner, whose nickname was Lucky for having emerged unscathed from several frightening accidents, had earned the respect and admiration of both the public and his rivals. Women's motor racing took many steps forward. In the spring of 1908, there was no French newspaper that did not publish a news item, a report or a biographical mention of Gaby Pohlen. This young sportswoman had won a long battle against the Seine Prefecture and had obtained, first in France and perhaps also in the world, a licence to drive a public car. For many years the Monza circuit had not hosted an endurance race that required the organisational and technical commitment necessary to host the 1000 Kilometres, scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 1965. The Lombardy circuit lends itself like very few others to host car races of all kinds: among other things, it has the advantage of connecting two distinct courses (the road and the high-speed oval track), thus making its track really challenging. The whole track, with a length of exactly 10 kilometres, will host the 1000 Kilometre race, valid for the World Sportscar Championship and the International Prototype Trophy. There were initially some doubts about racing on the internal ring, due to its very close turns (especially the southern one) which are rather rough to do at full speed, but these concerns did partly disappear using a chicane (a sort of S-shaped bottleneck that forces the drivers to slow down considerably, in order to go through the obligatory passage one at a time) at the end of the straight, before tackling the southern turn.

 

The issue of the chicanes is not new: in the years of the heavyweight Formula (1934-1937), the enormous power of the racing cars of the time forced the organisers of the fastest races (including the Grand Prix on the Monza track) to introduce chicanes to limit the dangers. But this was a poor compromise from a technical point of view; in the case of Sunday's race, it might as well have been run on the road course alone. The 1000 kilometres is therefore the third event of the year, after Daytona Beach and the 12 Hours of Sebring. It is run by Grand Touring and Prototype cars (i.e., with no capacity restrictions); for the former, however, it is required to produce a minimum number of units - and rarely respected, as we know - in the classes up to 1600-cc, 2000-cc and over 2000-cc. The fundamental theme of the race is the comparison between Ferraris and Fords. The Maranello line-up ended up beaten in Daytona because of the tyres, and did not race in Sebring, so has so far given the American cars free reins. But it is clear now that they intend to take their destiny in their own hands. Here is how the situation looks in the two grids. Ferrari lined up two 330/P2 Prototype cars of 3967-cc and power (presumed) of 420 hp, driven by the Surtees-Scarfiotti and Bandini-Vaccarella pairs; a 275/P2 of 3285-cc and 320 hp driven by Parkes-Guichet; and again - although not in contention for the overall victory - the brand-new Dino 166/P, 1592-cc, driven by an entirely Italian team: Baghetti-Biscaldi. The three models are all rear-engined, 12-cylinder for the first two, six-cylinder for the Dino. As for the rivals, Ford lined up four cars: two GT 40 P1 model Prototypes and two Cobra Gran Turismo with plastic bodywork; they are all equipped with the same type of engine (an 8V, 4727-cc and at least 380 hp). It is fitted on the rear of the car in the case of the former and in the traditional position on the berlinettas. The teams are as follows: Bruce McLaren-Phil Hill and Miles-Ginther will drive the Prototype cars, while Bondurant-Schlesser and Chris McLaren-Sparrow will drive the other two. A big battle, therefore: logic says the powerful and well-prepared Italian manufacturer shall win, they also benefit from a very homogeneous team. On the background of the most eagerly awaited confrontation, also the 1600 Prototypes class is sure to arouse interest, thanks to the easy predictable fight between the new Giulia GTA (Geki-Arcioni and Zeccoli-Zuccoli are the drivers), the Dino Ferrari and the De Tomaso-Ford, which will even have Dan Gurney as its first driver. 

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The 1000 Kilometres of Monza will start on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., finishing late in the evening. In the morning, the 16th Coppa Intereuropea will take place, only Gran Turismo cars up to 1300-cc are admitted, and it is also valid for the World Sportscar Championship. It will consist of three hours of racing on the road course only, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. On Friday, April 23, 1965, in Monza, during practice for the 1000 kilometre race, Miles goes off the track at the Curva Parabolica with his Ford GT40: fortunately the American driver is unhurt, but the car is damaged. The Ferrari prototypes dominate on this first day of practice. The rain falls insistently for almost the entire afternoon, and this forces the drivers to slow down. The fastest is Bonnier, paired with Piper, driving a Ferrari 330 P2. The Swedish driver sets the fastest lap in 3'17"2, at an average speed of 188 km/h. In the same car model, Lorenzo Bandini and John Surtees lap in 3'17"7 and 3'21"3 respectively. Slower are the times set by the Fords: the fastest is Maglioli, who laps in 3'26"1, then come McLaren in 3'35"0 and Miles in 4'07"0. The car driven by Geki and Arcioni, a Giulia GTA, also goes off the track after the North upper turn; the driver is unhurt but the car, which was to run in the prototype category class from 1300-cc to 1600-cc, is completely destroyed. The best time in this category is set by the new Dino car, in 3'42"6. Giancarlo Baghetti, who cannot even believe to be back after three years since his debut and after a long period of bitterness and disappointment, drives his Dino cautiously. In the Gran Turismo category, the 4727-cc Ford Cobra, driven by Bob Bondurant, one of the promising young American drivers, makes a good impression. Bondurant laps in 3'39"3, at an average speed of 164 km/h, confirming that he has received orders from his strategist not to overstretch the car and to get to know the circuit. On Sunday, April 25,1965, at 2:00 p.m. the Mille Chilometri, a race valid for the World Sportscar Championship and the International Prototype Trophy, gets underway. Parkes and Guichet take the lead in their Ferrari 275 P2 on lap 13, as the Ferrari driven by Surtees and Scarfiotti is forced to stop at the box for more than three minutes to replace a punctured tyre and repair the damaged bodywork.

 

After this decisive episode, preceded on lap 9 by the withdrawal of another of the tipped-to-win teams, the one formed by Bandini-Vaccarella, the interest of the 1000 Kilometres is now focused on the offensive moves of the Ferrari prototype driven by Parkes-Guichet. The Fords of Maglioli-Amon and McLaren-Miles try to resist them, in vain, since they are rather consistent, but slower than the Maranello cars, above all when trying to pursuit Surtees and Scarfiotti. They are P14 when they rejoin the race, P10 on lap 23, P4 on lap 30 and P2 on lap 40. At 4:00 p.m. a frightening and fatal accident occurs. Tommy Spychiger, Ferrari's second driver, goes off the track at the beginning of the Curva Parabolica, jumps over the embankment in front of it and, after spinning several times, ends up in the trees of a grove and his car tragically catches fire. The Swiss driver died before he crashed, during the frightful jump, perhaps his head hit the windscreen, or the horizontal sheet-metal truss that on some sports cars protrudes behind the cockpit. Thousands of people were watching as the tragedy unfolded. The Curva Parabolica, which is part of the road course, joins up with the one with banked curves to the south of the racetrack at the exit, and they both merge onto the main straight. It is therefore one of the most spectacular areas of the Monza circuit, and the crowd always throngs there, fortunately kept at a distance by protective barriers. At the time of the incident, it was lap 34, the drivers in the top positions had covered more than 340 kilometres, and pit stops had just begun for refuelling, tyre changing and the changing of drivers, who are taking it in turns, for each car. Until lap 33, the Ferrari Prototipo 4400-cc, which entered the competition using the name of the Swiss team Filipinetti, driven by Spychiger's compatriot Herbert Muller, was in second position, behind the official Ferrari of Parkes-Guichet. The two cars stopped almost simultaneously at their respective boxes and Spychiger takes the wheel of the Ferrari 66 in place of Muller, resuming the race a few moments before the other Ferrari. The Swiss driver is then in first position. It seems that at the handover Muller told his team-mate: 

 

"Be careful. The brakes are poor".

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According to eyewitness accounts, Spychiger's car arrived at the end of the straight (a few metres after the point where, during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, the tragedy of the 15 fans hit by Von Trips' car occurred) but, instead of slowing down to start the right-hand bend, continued at full speed in a straight line, crossed a stretch of grass, overturned on the embankment and ended up in a patch of plants. Creeping along, the sheets of the bodywork produced some sparks, which immediately caused the fire, fed by the 150 litres of fuel that had just been put into the tank. An ambulance, fire-fighting equipment and police cars were immediately dispatched. Relief efforts were unfortunately in vain. The crowd almost morbidly ran across the meadows and on the inner roads towards the high column of smoke indicating the place of the accident, which also hold up the rescue work. Tommy Spychiger was born in 1934 in Langenthal, near Bern, and was the son of a wealthy industrialist. He lived in Ruvigliana, in the Lugano area, and for some years had devoted himself to motor sport, in which he had managed to build up a solid reputation, so much so that he was considered the best Swiss driver of the 1960s. In the 1964 season he run a lot of races with the Abarth team, then switched to the Filipinetti team, and in Monza he drove a big car for the first time. The fatal accident spread a veil of melancholy over the race, which had begun amidst the public's great enthusiasm for the fight between the Ferraris and Fords. In the Gran Turismo race, Pon-Slotemaker (Porsche 2000 cc) gets the win, while the American team made up by Bondurant-Grant (Ford-Cobra) wins the 3000-cc class. 

 

Bussinello-De Adamich (Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ) stand out in the 1600-cc category, with an excellent seventh place overall. A good performance also by Maglioli-Amon, third overall until lap 80, then they are forced to withdraw after a tailspin at the exit of the south sopraelevata turn, from which the Ford comes out damaged. Parkes-Guichet finally get the win of the 1000 kilometres, driving the new Ferrari 275 P2, at an average speed of 202 km/h. In P2 come Surtees-Scarfiotti, followed by McLaren-Miles, Pon-Slotemaker, and Noblet-Casoni. Prior to the 1000 Kilometres, the 16th International Cup for Grand Touring Cars had taken place, for the 1000-cc and 1300-cc classes. The Abarths triumphed with Sangiorgi and Steinmetz, the latter winning overall, with an average speed of over 167 km/h. The frightening accident, in which Tommy Spychiger lost his life, cannot be blamed on the track. In such cases one can only speculate. There are rumours about the possible cause of the accident, stretched brakes, a failed gear change, excessive speed, and tyres that were too new, i.e., with no grip. Probably, as often happens in such tragic events, there was a concurrence of adverse circumstances of both technical and human nature, so nobody and nothing is to blame exclusively. In the 1000 Kilometre race, Ferrari manages to stay ahead of the Fords; the Maranello team remains on the top. On the track of the Autodromo of Monza, Ferrari put an end to the illusions of many American sportsmen, thanks to Parkes, Ferrari's skilled test engineer, and the driver Guichet on one side, and to Surtees and Scarfiotti on the other side. The US team, however, is not shaken, and Carrol Shelby declares:

 

"We have only been racing in the World Championship for Makes and in the International Prototype Trophy for two years, and in order to get better results we still need to solve a lot of problems. We are especially worried about the brakes and the transmission; fortunately, they did not cause any trouble in the 1000 kilometres race. On the whole, despite some Europeans criticising us, it seems to me that Ford has made a good deal of progress if compared to 1964, particularly in terms of what is known as distance grip".

 

Indeed, the pace of the two GT40 PTs was really constant in Monza, thus proving to be competitive - the accident of Maglioli (due to a probable steering failure) has no relevance in this sense. Compared to the 1964 model, the current Detroit-based prototype has been fine-tuned, especially regarding the suspension, the bodywork (with a new design of the stabiliser fins) and the gearbox. For Ferrari, the gap hold problem, recently solved by Ford, should be considered abundantly overcome. Maranello's latest prototype, the 4.000-cc 330 P2, fears no rivals thanks to the qualities of its rational tubular trellis frame, the aerodynamic design of its bodywork (compared to the GT40 PT, the front section is smaller, and the form coefficient is better) and its excellent power-to-weight ratio. 

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And when, as happened in the 1000 kilometres race, it is forced to stop at the box, a second prototype, the 275 P2, is added as reinforcement. This is the 3300-cc car that conquered all the major international trophies in 1964, from the VB - 4.200-cc engine to the present 4.727-cc engine, from 386 hp to 385 hp, 7.000 rpm. Soon, in all likelihood, seven-litre engines with over 500 hp will be used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a brand-new automatic transmission will be fitted. Ferrari can also count on Le Mans cars (in Monza, for example, one of these cars finished P6) whose good qualities have certainly not disappeared just because they were not homologated in the Gran Turismo category. For Shelby, on the other hand, it was all plain sailing. He can rely on the immense economic power of the Ford factory, with large, modern research centres and hundreds of qualified technicians working for him. Meanwhile, American Shelby has achieved high efficiency, both on a human and technical level. Drivers and stable men are very close, perhaps also because they are almost all natives of Texas, like Shelby, who was born in Houston. Refuelling operations during the race are carried out with exceptional speed (they only need 1'15"0 to fill the petrol tank to the brim, do the oil change and check the tyre pressure on Bob Bondurant's Ford-Cobra berlinetta) also thanks to a special hydraulic jack which until recently was used only in Indianapolis. The 1000 kilometres of Monza was meant to solve a lot of doubts of technical nature, for both makes. The answer came not only from the final classification (the Ferraris ended up in the first two places, the only Ford that made it to the end of the race came third with four laps to spare), but also from the race itself. Indeed, the American cars never gave the impression of really being able to bother the Maranello team's new 330/PS and 275/P2 cars. However, to analyse objectively the technical situation in this area of racing, one shall not underestimate the progress made by Carroll Shelby’s cars during the season. The American line-up, which has a real giant like Ford behind it, is rapidly completing its technical and organisational preparation; soon its Prototype cars will be equipped with new engines with a displacement of no less than seven litres, i.e., more than 500 hp. And it seems that they will also be equipped with an automatic gearbox, hitherto considered irrational on competition cars. 

 

The US team is now looking for revenge in the Targa Florio, but the Madonie circuit is not the one that suits best to the mechanical characteristics of their cars. This circuit, however, should show how the new Dino 166 really works. Carroll Shelby, the Texan who challenged Ferrari, is following the race from his box, wearing a black cowboy hat, a huge cigar between his lips, a blue jacket with white stripes on his shoulders and “Carroll” written on the pocket on his chest, a pair of oil-stained shorts and an orange shirt. He is considered to be the one who has rekindled public interest in competitive motor racing. As it always happens, in this field too curiosity and enthusiasm among people arise above all when there is a good fight, a challenge. Especially when the two contenders are called Ferrari and Ford, on one side a man with only 1.000 between technicians and workers, but rich in decade-experience, and on the other side a formidable organisation, with a budget of millions of dollars per year, to invest on studies and research involving ten thousand people, but only two years of experience. To keep it short, there are a thousand reasons to get passionate and to cheer. It was Shelby himself who made the US car manufacturer competitive in the World Championship for Makes and the International Prototype Trophy. Of course, there are very valid publicity reasons, but had the first car wanted and built by the former Texas racer, the now famous Ford V8-powered AC-Cobra, not clearly dominated in dozens of races in the USA, even winning the Manufacturer's Championship, Ford probably would not have made the sensational decision two years earlier. Carrol Shelby, at the time of the deal with the Detroit tycoon, was running the first American driving school for amateur racers in Riverside, so it was easy for him to gather a team of trustworthy people from among his staff. The mechanics and general workers are almost all Texans, like Smitty, the pit boss and former instructor at Riverside. The drivers, on the other hand, come from all over the United States. In Monza, before the 1000 kilometres, the entire Ford team had gathered in the parc ferme posing for souvenir photos and handing out autographs. They seemed almost students on holiday, who possibly could not believe to be in one of the most prestigious racetracks of the world.

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Instead, many of them are young drivers, such as Bob Bondurant and Alien Grant; there are also more experienced drivers such as Ken Miles. Bob Bondurant, a 31-year-old Californian from Los Angeles, a helicopter pilot as a hobby, works in the Riverside driving school. He started racing at the age of 19 in a Morgan, winning dozens of races, became American champion, and has worked for Ford-Cobra for two years. Alien Grant: he is also from Los Angeles, 24 years old, recently graduated in Economics. He is Shelby's trusted man for everything concerning the economic issues of the stable. Ken Miles: British citizen, naturalised American. He moved to America after the war, where he became a representative for BMC and Porsche. An experienced test driver, he took part in the first competitions almost for fun and is now one of the most acclaimed drivers. Having organised his team perfectly and solved the problem of the bottom endurance of his cars, Shelby now must rely on more powerful engines in order to start a closer fight with Ferrari's prototypes. The Targa Florio, scheduled for Sunday, May 9, 1965, is an important test for Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. Many years ago, Ettore Bugatti, a famous Italian sports car manufacturer who emigrated to France, wrote:

 

"You cannot say you really tested a car if it did not race Targa Florio, where a motor vehicle goes through all the most arduous situations possible, and where both men and cars undergo such a test that no laboratory is able to produce and repeat".

 

Bugatti's statement is still valid today, and explains why technicians and drivers from Ferrari, Ford and Porsche, i.e., the three manufacturers most likely to get a prestigious victory, have already arrived (with official cars or T-cars) in Sicily for the week. For Ferrari and Ford, Targa Florio represents another act in the exciting duel that began in 1964 and came to the fore in the 1965 racing season. For the manufacturer from Stuttgart, on the other hand, this could be confirmation (or not) of the success achieved in 1964. Ford wants to try to take revenge after they were defeated in the 1000 kilometres of Monza. However, it seems unlikely that its big prototypes and, to a lesser extent, the Gran Turismo berlinettas, will be able to bother the rival cars, which are more manageable in the thousand turns that characterise the twelve kilometres of the ten-times-repeated course. In 1964, for example, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney made desperate efforts to keep their overpowering Cobras on the road, and eventually they gave way in the finale. The pairings of the Ford teams are still uncertain. On the other hand, everything is certain for Ferrari: three 275 P2s and a 216 GTV Berlinetta, which was homologated in the GT category only recently, after a long wait. The driver pairs are formed by Bandini-Vaccarella, Parkes-Scarfiotti, Baghetti-Guichet and Biscaldi-Deserti. Significantly, the Modena factory did not race with the new 330 P2s (3961-cc). They did not want the new cars to undergo a test that was perhaps still too hard. The same happened to the Dino 166, whose participation in the Madonie circuit was postponed at the last moment. 

 

Naturally, Carroll Shelby took advantage of the experiences of 1964 by modifying, changing and fine-tuning many parts of his cars. It seems that Ford will compete with two GT40 PTs, driven by Phil Hill-Grant and Gregory-Ireland, and also with the brand-new Spider prototype, which first appeared in April in Le Mans during practice for the 24 Hours. Driven by Californian driver Bob Bondurant and British driver John Whitmore, this Spider is actually a GT40 PT without the roof and with a few other body modifications. It is equipped with a 4621-cc V-8 engine. In the Grand Touring category, the Detroit company is racing as usual with the two Cobras. Porsche certainly does not lack experience in Targa Florio, regarding both technicians and drivers. In 1964, their newest and most modern prototypes surrendered, while the 904, an older but much better prepared model, triumphed. The German team had two 8-cylinder prototypes: a 2400-cc, driven by Bonnier-Colin Davis and Maglioli-Linge, and a 6-cylinder driven by Müller at first, and then, five solid 904s. One of the Porsches is driven by Sicilian driver Antonio Pucci, who triumphed on this circuit in 1964. Dino is not among the 1600 prototypes hereby present, but there shall be an interesting fight anyway, between Abarth (Herrmann and Cella), the two ASAs (Pianta-Bassi and Sartori-Crivelli), Alpine (Mauro-Bianchi) and the Matras. In the Gran Turismo category, the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ (Auto Delta) is racing for the up to 1600-cc class, while the Abarth-Simca and the Giuliette SZ are racing in the up to 1300-cc category. 

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Plus, there is a respectable outsider, an MG Midget driven by Hedges-Hopkirk. Targa Florio, which is valid for the Sportscar World Championship, is held on the Madonie circuit: 10 laps for a total of 720 kilometres. The 1965 Targa Florio will be the 49th edition. It is the oldest car race in the world, as it was first held in 1906. Alessandro Cagno won the first edition, with an average speed of 52 km/h. Nearly sixty years later, the average speed has raised up to 100 km/h. The gap might seem rather little, considering the enormous progress of the cars, but precisely these speeds give an idea of the difficulty of the Madonie circuit, which is a succession of bends and drops. Some time ago, the Targa Fiorio was considered the most classic of road races and represented a kind of a “graduation” for the participating marques. Then the Sicilian race experienced a slow decline, from which it recovered after 1950, with the return to the small 720-kilometre Madonie circuit. When the Mille Miglia was cancelled in 1957, Targa Florio remained the only speed race on public roads, and its popularity is consequently almost back to what it once was. The greatest interest is for the prototype category, with Ferrari and Ford taking part in it. They have been the main protagonists in the trials held so far this season, up to the 1000 kilometres of Monza on Sunday, April 25, 1965. The cars of the Maranello team and those of the Detroit colossus, through the particular organisation of Carrol Shelby, are thus competing to get the win in the Prototype category. In Monza, Ferrari showed that they still have a considerable advantage for the moment, especially in terms of exploitable power. This is a reason more for the Italian team to try to dominate on the Madonie circuit, also thanks to their greater handling qualities. At the beginning Ford should have participated with many cars, but instead they line-up only one car, driven by Bondurant and Whitmore. Clearly Shelby's team does not realistically hope they have some chance of winning Targa Florio, and perhaps they consider it mostly a test to gain technical experience. On the contrary, Porsche has a much better chance of bothering the Ferrari strong team, which, after all, is not new to success, since they won the Sicilian race in the last two years. 

 

On Sunday, May 9, 1965, the 49th edition of Targa Florio finally begins. Ferrari (with the Italian duo Vaccarella-Bandini) will win in the end, confirming the predictions made the day before the race. The German Porsche cars defended themselves well, and the only Ford in the race, despite a fairly serious mechanical accident, made a good impression, proving that the American manufacturers had learned from their 1964 experience. The second, third, fourth and fifth places are all for Stuttgart cars. This edition of the classic Sicilian race met with huge success, also thanks to the splendid sunny day. 250.000 people gathered to watch the race, which has some drama in it, due to two accidents, which fortunately turn out to be not as serious as was first feared. Grandsire-Bianchi's Alpine apparently skids fearfully when its brakes fail, hit a kerbstone, and then just bursts into flames. At the time of the accident Grandsire, who suffered injuries and burns, was in the pilot's seat. The health service helicopter comes to his aid and takes him to the race medical station. Palermo driver Gilberti also has an accident: his Abarth catches fire, and the driver gets burnt. The poor performance by Cobra in 1964 was redeemed by the Bondurant-Withmore duo, which managed to get a good position until the fourth lap, when they were P3 overall. Then the Ford lost a wheel, but the Californian driver, who was driving the car in that moment, managed to keep it on the track, but practically they were already out of the fight. A worth mentioning detail: the Ford's wheel sliced cleanly through the power supply line of the Palermo-Messina railway line, causing some trains to make a forced stop. However, Bondurant himself gets the wheel back and reassembles it, continuing on to the box, where the mechanics allow him to resume the race. However, a subsequent mechanical failure after a few laps forces Bondurant to stop again. The Ferrari factory cars gave way to the Porsches in the top positions, but proved once again to be unbeatable. The dynamo of Baghetti's car and a wheel lost by Scarfiotti are the causes of the withdrawal of the two cars that, otherwise, would have entered the fight with the German cars in the prestigious positions. The new Abarth 1600A surprisingly had an excellent race, they ended up P6 overall with Hermann-Cella. Asa also had a good race, they were very regular in their timing. 

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In Targa Florio, the slowest and lighter cars usually perform better than the bigger cars. And also for this reason, Ferrari's victory has special significance, showing the great balance achieved in every mechanical part, in order to use the huge power developed by the 3300-cc 12-cylinder engine of this winning car in the most rational way possible. The overall race record was not improved, because the leading pair decided to drop the pace in the final laps. But the record over the 720 kilometres of the Madonie circuit was improved, Vaccarella beat it by 39 seconds, touching an average speed of 110 km/h. Ferrari overtook Ford in the world prototype ranking. However, we will have to wait for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to give a final judgement: Ford participated in Targa Florio with just one car, while they are going to line-up more cars in Le Mans. Shall Ferrari pass the tough French test just as brilliantly as they just did, we will therefore conclude that their lead remained unbroken in 1965. On Sunday, May 16, 1965, British driver Attwood (Lola-B.R.M.) wins the Formula 2 Rome Grand Prix. Drivers from six countries take part in the race, many of them arriving only in the same morning in the Italian capital; the race is run over two heats of 30 laps each. Attwood wins the first heat ahead of Maggs, while Hawkins, whose car caught fire, and Italian champion Giacomo Russo retired. The winner's average speed was over 131 km/h. Attwood and Maggs are also the protagonists of the second race, which sees the two Britons cross the finish line very close together. Logically, the final classification is given by the sum of the times and that does not change, with Austrian driver Rindt coming third. In the Prototype car race, 1600-cc category, which takes place in between the two heats of the Rome Grand Prix, finally we have the chance to see the new Ferrari Dino 166. The second time it’s out, the Modenese car driven by Lorenzo Bandini brilliantly secures victory. Starting off strongly from the very beginning of the race, with the warm support of the Roman public, Bandini gives an example of superb driving, always maintaining lead at an average speed of 125 km/h and also setting the fastest lap in 1'30"4, at an average speed of 127.433 km/h. Behind him come Maurizio Corona (Porsche 904), with a 2 laps-gap, and De Sanctis (De Tommaso), with a 3 laps-gap. The 500-kilometres of Spa Francorchamps and the Rome Grand Prix are taking place at the same time. 

 

At the race start, Parkes (Ferrari 330 P), takes the lead. The British driver maintains a constant pace until lap 17, giving the impression that no one can really bother him since he outdistanced everyone else. But when Parkes is forced to stop at the box for refuelling and for some checks that cost him a good three minutes and 45 seconds, Willy Mairesse manages to take the lead. Even though Parkes has been unlucky, he manages to set the fastest lap: in the attempt to go after Mairesse, despite this was in vain, he covered the 14.100 metres of the circuit in 4'01"3, at an average speed of 210 km/h. The only one not to be lapped by the winner is David Piper, in a Ferrari 250 Le Mans, who finishes just under two minutes behind the Belgian driver. A lap down, followed by the Iso Grifo prototype driven by Noblet who, especially in the final stages of the hard-fought race, managed to take a brilliant third place. The day records two serious accidents. The first occurs when Frenchman Roy Von Vost crashes his Porsche into the straw bales delimiting the course and frighteningly spins round, being sent out of his seat. Von Vost then gets promptly rescued and is brought to the hospital by helicopter. Later, British driver Tony Negbourne gets injured in an accident with his Alfa Romeo. The driver's life is unfortunately in danger due to a spinal cord injury. American driver Bob Bondurant (Ford-Cobra) wins the up to 3000-cc class and British driver Pittard wins the 1600-cc class of the Gran Turismo category; Dutchman Swart (FiatAbarth) gets the win in the 1000-cc class of the Turismo category. A week after the Rome Grand Prix and the 500 kilometres of Spa, the 1000 kilometres of the Nürburgring takes place, on Sunday May 23, 1965. Surtees' Ferrari is the first to take off at the start, in front of a crowd of 300,000 fans. Halfway through the first lap, the World Champion already has a ten-second lead over Phil Hill's Ford. Surtees finishes the first of 44 laps with a 20-seconds lead over Phil Hill and Graham Hill, the latter driving a Ferrari 275 P/2. On the second lap, Surtees sets a new lap record at over 155 km/h. British driver John Sparrow's Ford-Cobra overturns, the driver fortunately gets out unhurt. On lap three, in the two-litre prototype category, Bandini is in the lead, second comes Bonnier in a Porsche and third comes Maglioli, also in a Porsche. On lap eight Phil Hill's Ford withdrawals due to engine problems. 

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Surtees is still in the lead with an 84-second advantage over Parkes who, in the meantime, has overtaken Graham Hill. On lap 15 the Ferrari driven by the Belgian duo Langlois-Boulanger and the Abarth 1600 driven by Germans Herrmann-Ahrens both leave the race. At mid-race the Ferrari of Surtees-Parkes leads unbothered at an average speed of 148 km/h. Shortly afterwards, sadly a fatal accident involves Honoré Wagner: he goes off the track in his Alfa Romeo; the car jumps over an embankment, ending up into a ravine. The driver is sadly extracted lifeless from the wreckage of his car: the immediate help he receives is useless. Whitmore's Ford finally withdrawals, so only Amon, who is far behind, is still in the race for the US team. The leading positions then remained unchanged until the end. For the fourth year running, Ferrari triumphs, with Ludovico Scarfiotti as their driver. The Modenese manufacturer had already won in 1964 with Nino Vaccarella and world champion John Surtees. The 330/P2 dominated amongst the fierce field of competitors in the large-capacity prototype category, heading for a clear and well-deserved win in the International Championship for Makes. The Maranello team's success is confirmed also by the excellent second place by British driver Mike Parkes and Frenchman Jean Guichet. Third came the eight-cylinder Porsche of Swedish driver Bonnier and Austrian driver Rindt after an exciting race, which saw the withdrawal of the Ford prototypes. Indeed, they only managed to overtake Lorenzo Bandini and Nino Vaccarella’s Ferrari Dino 166 in the end, who nonetheless drove a spectacular race. The winning pair's time was 6 hours 53'5"0, plus a record average speed of 145.9 km/h. It is the first time in the history of the race, in its 11th edition in 1965, that someone completes it in less than seven hours. In the Grand Touring category, the winner is the Bondurant-Neerpash duo (Ford-Cobra). On Tuesday, May 25, 1965, 23-year-old driver Bruno Deserti from Bologna tragically loses his life in a dramatic accident, occurred at 7:10 p.m. on the Monza circuit track. Deserti was driving a 4000-cc Ferrari 330 P. 2 prototype: he had taken the wheel of this powerful car about fifteen minutes earlier, taking over from Andrea de Adamich. The young driver had joined the Ferrari team two months earlier. He lost his life during a normal test, scheduled for the most important engagement of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

 

As had been done also the year before on the Alfa Romeo track in Balocco, the car is facing an uninterrupted twenty-four-hour test. The car only stops for refuelling and the drivers take turns at the wheel, training and perfecting themselves. Before the fatal accident, calm was reigning in the boxes, nearly a light-hearted boredom of the routine work. The only concern is about the weather conditions, which portend a stormy night. A hard condition for those who will have to drive until 8am the next morning. The first to leave for practice is Andrea de Adamich. During practice, the Italian driver returns to the box and the mechanics refuel 140 litres of petrol. At this point Eugenio Dragoni goes looking for Giancarlo Baghetti, who should take Andrea de Adamich's place, but the Italian driver is not ready yet. It is in this moment, around 6:55 p.m., that Deserti feels a tap on his shoulder. In an instant, the young driver puts on his helmet, slides into the driver's seat, starts the car, waves goodbye, and goes down to the track. The boy is not well-known in the circle, but Eugenio Dragoni often speaks of him. Deserti had come to Maranello a short time before, the day after the press release announcing his invitation to the Le Mans tests, together with Biscaldi and Baghetti. On that day, Bruno Deserti was not summoned by Enzo Ferrari; the Modenese constructor avoided receiving him because he sensed the mood of that moment from having experienced it first hand, so many years before. Ferrari knows very well what heap of different feelings the young Italian driver was captive of; emotion, gratitude, elation. He therefore tries to avoid adding to anything that was already in him. Ferrari tries to prevent Bruno from feeling awe, or from committing himself to any kind of word, carried out by enthusiasm, for future resounding feats, as if to anticipate the trust that had been placed in him. For this reason, Ferrari preferred to make him believe he was busy, almost rudely, in order not to elate him too much, as he himself had experienced in his own time, in a way that seemed to him both beautiful and terrible at the same time, and so intense that he thought no one should ever feel such an emotion. Ferrari was not aware at the time that such passion is innate to the human spirit, and when it bursts, it is stronger than life itself, and stronger than death. In Monza, a completely normal test is taking place, but it is rather interesting from a technical point of view. 

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Indeed, winning in Le Mans means affirming a strong will to work, and it is the reward for a whole year of hard work, tests, studies; it gives a meaning to the sacrifice of all those who have lost themselves in this troubled path towards progress, in the pure light of that sun that is called Sport. Deserti had even bought a new helmet for this first test, for his big day, when he was realising his dream. Enzo Ferrari is not far from the box, with him are the journalist Marcello Sabbatini and Franco Gozzi, who is sent to check on the work in case the roar of the engine shall not be heard along the circuit. This is still a test, but a very important one for Scuderia Ferrari. They know that shall they fail to complete the test, getting to the end of the twenty-four hours, there will be a lot of uncertainty. Indeed, the result of this test is very closely related to the Le Mans performance, which is vital for the reputation of such an important car manufacturer like Ferrari. The hours tick by, and in the box, work goes on as usual: tyres, petrol, shock absorbers, brake pads, driver change and off we go. Meanwhile, news arrives that Andrea de Adamich is doing well. In this moment Bruno Deserti starts. The car restarts and passes the box six times, then there’s silence. At the end of the straight, after the Fiat tower, before the Curva della Quercia, a glow of a summer sunset lights up a melancholic spring. It would later be discovered that, when braking to shift from fifth to fourth gear, the brake lights had come on, so partly ruling out a possible problem with the braking system; on the ground remained the black brush strokes of a jolting braking on the grass, and then in the woods. Deserti crashes at the Curva Grande. The Ferrari goes off the grass with the right wheels and the driver loses control of the car; the car slams into the guardrails and jumps up to the trees to the left of the track, hitting a tree and catching fire. The mechanics in the box, including Giulio Borsari, and also Lorenzo Bandini, who was in the box with Ludovico Scarfiotti, immediately rushed to the place of the incident, in the team-owned Peugeot 404. As soon as they arrived on the spot, Lorenzo Bandini shouts Bruno's name, in the hope that his young colleague may have been thrown from the car and that he can therefore hear him. 

 

The mechanics and Bandini search around the car for a while, before resigning themselves to the idea that Bruno Deserti was tied to the car seat. It takes them - in fact - more than an hour to extinguish the fire, and two water tanks are required to do so. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari returns to Modena; Lorenzo Bandini also leaves the circuit. Borsari, a few mechanics and journalist Franco Lini remain on the spot. When the flames are finally extinguished, and the car is straightened out (since it was upside down), those present see with horror what remains of the car's sheet metal and the body of Bruno Deserti inside it. Deserti's father, a major importer working mainly with England, learned the news of his son's death the following day, on Wednesday, May 26, 1965, while reading the newspaper on the plane. This is exactly ten years after the death of Alberto Ascari, who also lost his life in Monza. The causes of the accident will never be clarified: even nowadays, there are those who speak of human error, someone else of the failure of a suspension, some others of a tyre blow out. On Sunday, May 30, 1965, Jim Clark (Lotus-Climax) wins the Monaco Grand Prix, the second round of the World Championship, after the South African Grand Prix, which had taken place on Friday, January 1, 1965. The event is very important for the world of motor sport, because they expect to get precise data about the efficiency of the mechanical means of comparison. In 1965, Indy 500, which is now arising great interest amongst the Europeans, is held the day after the Monaco Grand Prix, so there is no possibility for any driver to compete in both events, as it could be done in past years. Consequently, Jim Clark and Dan Gurney cannot participate in the Monaco Grand Prix. Team Lotus proposes to replace Clark with Pedro Rodriguez and Brabham replaces Gurney with Denis Hulme. Since the starting grid is limited to sixteen cars, the organisers guarantee certain places to each factory team, depending on their drivers' results in the 1964 Championship, the remainder of the places being assigned based on the practice times. Team Lotus wants both Spence and Rodriguez to have their position in the starting grid secured. However, the organisers can only guarantee one place, so Team Lotus withdraws their entries and finally do not take part in the Monaco Grand Prix. 

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This reduces the starting grid to seventeen cars, so that only one car will be eliminated in the three practice sessions. Unfortunately, the absence of the official Lotus team, and in particular of its first driver Jim Clark, threatens to make the Monaco race lose half of its appeal. Chapman, who cannot count on Clark because he was committed to participating to the Indianapolis race (the Indy 500 is run on Monday, May 31, 1965) felt that this decision by the organisers would jeopardise the chances of success, and so the official Lotus cars did not race in the Monaco Grand Prix. However, the British manufacturer's stance seems to be a ruse. Clark, who was attempting the great Indianapolis adventure for the third time, preferred the mirage of the many millions at stake to defending his lead in the championship standings. On Thursday, May 27, 1965, a one and a half hour practice session takes place in the afternoon, during which everyone shall adjust to the circuit and so be ready for the two shorter sessions in the following days. Just as soon as the circuit is opened for practice, it begins to rain and gets worse over the afternoon. So that only those drivers who were quick off the mark got anything like a reasonable lap time, the rest of them being extremely slow in the soaking circuit. For a lot of drivers, the problem is to keep all the cylinders working, for spray is getting everywhere: most of them sits despondently in the boxes. Significantly, number one works drivers Graham Hill and Surtees are lapping pretty consistently. B.R.M. team (Hill and Stewart) has three cars in the circuit; all of them are of the latest model, with central exhaust system. Ferrari has two V8 cars for Surtees and a flat 12-cylinder car for Bandini; the two V8-cylinder cars for Surtees are equipped with different types of Dunlop tyres. Stewart is a 25-year-old Scottish driver who comes from the ranks of Formula 3: since 1965, he is working as second driver for B.R.M. official team. His “calling card” was the victory in Silverstone ahead of world champion John Surtees. It is clear that one victory or a lap record is not enough to make one a champion, but is equally certain that in Stewart's case a huge potential can be seen. The young British is a real revelation and could be one of the protagonists of the Grand Prix, perhaps making up for the disappointment for Clark's absence and the consequent lack of the show he usually provides in his racing performances. 

 

Jack Brabham’s own car is fitted with a new four valve per cylinder Coventry-Climax V8 engine, while Hulme is given an earlier model, as do the two Coopers, driven by McLaren and Rindt. The Japanese Honda team seems to be in good health, having three cars in the box for drivers Bucknum and Ginther, these being improved versions of last year’s car. The rear suspension has been simplified and is now aligned with the ones of Lotus or Brabham, and Dunlop is no more providing them with brakes, wheels and tyres. They are now equipped with Girling disc brakes, Honda alloy wheels and Goodyear tyres, while fuel tanks are now placed on the sides of the cockpit, giving a slightly fatter section. The transversely mounted 12-cylinder engine still uses Japanese fuel injection into the ports, with a system of wires and pulleys to connect the throttle slides and the mixture strength control, while the battery has been moved within the wheelbase from its previous position on an outrigger behind the rear suspension. The non-factory entries are Anderson (Brabham-Climax V8) and Hawkins (Stoop’s Lotus 33-Climax V8), gathered under the name of DW Racing Enterprises Ltd, both cars are green with a central white stripe. Gardner is driving a Willment Brabham-B.R.M. V8. Rob Walker’s team will line up the usual pair, Bonnier and Siffert. The Swedish driver is driving the Brabham-Climax V8, while Siffert is coming back to racing after his crash in Goodwood, despite his foot still aches. His Brabham B.R.M. V8 had to be completely rebuilt after the accident and is now virtually brand-new. To complete the list, Hailwood and Attwood will race with the Parnell team cars, equipped with the ex-works Lotus 25 chassis, B.R.M. V8-engines, and Newland gearboxes. The team has built up a third car with the same characteristics, to be used as a training car and as a spare, starting from a collection of mechanical parts and fabricating many parts themselves. With only seventeen entries, there is not the usual anxiety and ferment to qualify, for only one unfortunate driver will be excluded. Before breakfast in the morning, on Friday, May 28, 1965, an hour practice session is held and the weather is perfect, the circuit is dry and the sun is shining, so everyone begins to push to record good times and get a good position in the two-by-two starting grid.

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The B.R.M. team seems not to have any troubles or complications and it is noticeable how forceful Stewart’s driving is, his speed in jumping from one pedal to the other is outstanding. When taking the Station hairpin, he keeps pushing on the accelerator until the very last moment, and then he pushes hard on the brakes, whereas other drivers reduce the throttle progressively as they come down the hill. The same he does out of the right-hander onto the sea front; no hesitation with stepping on the throttle, or with shifting gear, the only question is whether the B.R.M. can stand this sort of extreme driving. Graham Hill is driving equally fast, his sideslips round the hairpins are a joy to watch. Brabham is using the same strategy: the 32-valve Climax engine opens up splendidly out of the hairpins. Bandini is obviously driving in the same happy and confident mood as Stewart, the flat-12 Ferrari engine goes really well, but Surtees is not completely happy, and both his cars seems fluffy on pick-up. The Hondas are clearly unsuited for the circuit, being all revs and gears, both of which are undesirable at Monte-Carlo, and there is too little time for them to re-adjust themselves. With the good circuit conditions, it is no surprise that lap times are well below previous years, the record being 1'33"9, set by Graham Hill during the race of 1964. Brabham improves this time, soon enough Hill goes one better, but right at the end of practice, Stewart shakes everyone, including himself, with a lap in 1'32"9. Bandini is also well below the old record, and having seen them in action in several sectors of the circuit, it is no surprise that these four drivers are the fastest. Attwood’s performance (with Parnell Lows B.R.M. V8 engine) could deceive, due to his apparent smoot and rather slow driving. On the contrary, he gets down to 1'34"5, the best time among the non-factory entries, and better than a number of drivers from official teams as well. The Hondas are slow in a discouraging way, and very rarely they perform well on twelve cylinders. On Saturday, May 29, 1965, in the afternoon there is the third and final practice session, again an all too short hour, and on the opening lan Bonnier’s car lays a stream of oil round the circuit, which does not help matters. It soon dries up, and conditions are splendid, so that there is some pretty intensive motoring going on to get on the front of the reduced starting grid. 

 

The noisy V8 Ferraris are going well, but the flat 12 sounds even better and the 32-valve Climax engine almost splits the car-drums when Brabham stands on the loud pedal. With Stewart in pole position, Graham Hill pulls out all the stops and has a real go, with the result that he gets down to 1'32"5. Brabham can see a possible win on the horizon, so he responds accordingly and clocks 1'32"8, these two being on the front row of the grid. While other drivers are under-steering themselves off the course at the Gasometer hairpin, or are rolling round in a neutral attitude like Surtees or Bandini, Hill and Brabham are flicking their cars into a tail slide when approaching the hairpin, putting on opposite steering lock and applying full power almost front the apex, all the other drivers being a long way out of the corner before they can use any power. These two obviously got their cars adjusted to the special conditions that characterise Monaco. Stewart does not improve his previous time, but Bandini does, which gets him ahead of his team-mate Surtees on the V8 Ferrari. Attwood, who looked so discrete, does it again, equalling the existing lap record and getting the sixth fastest time. The Hondas are lucky to have more than just one cylinder due to some injection problems and are bog-slow compared to the other official teams, even though Rindt, in the second official Cooper, never gets into the pace set by McLaren. Finally, it is Rindt who gets left off the starting grid, for even though he is faster than Ginther, the Hondas are guaranteed two places on track, irrespective of their times. Graham Hill and Jack Brabham set the fastest times and will start on the front row in the 23rd Monaco Grand Prix; on the second row are Stewart and Lorenzo Bandini, ahead of John Surtees. However, race against time to gain even a few tenths of a second during practice was but a foretaste of what was to come in the Grand Prix. Indeed, we will see two hours and forty-five minutes of chasing and excitement for a success that is only a race, but is very important for manufacturers and drivers, because this Grand Prix opens the season. On Sunday, May 30, 1965, in the afternoon, the weather is awful in Monte-Carlo, but is perfect for racing. It is dry and cool, completely covered by clouds, so that the usually bright town takes on a grey drab colour. After the arrival of the Prince and Princess of Monaco and a rather disorganised parade of historic cars and drivers, the 16 starters in the 100-lap Grand Prix line up on the dummy starting grid. 

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When the signal is given, 15 of them move forward to the proper starting grid, leaving Bucknum still trying to start his Honda engine, which has got over-heated. As soon as the chequered flag falls, all the drivers are off like a shot. Bucknum joins in a few seconds later, and straight away the two official B.R.M.s dominate the race, leading over the two Ferraris and Brabham. After everyone has gone by on the opening lap, Ginther goes into the box with a broken universal joint in a drive shaft on his Honda. Graham Hill sets a fast pace and Stewart stays in his slipstream, these two drivers leave everyone behind in a fine display of team power and strength. Bandini leads over Surtees and Brabham is harried by McLaren and Attwood; then come Anderson, Siffert and Hulme in a close bunch, Gardner and Hailwood together, Bonnier and Hawkins with Bucknum bringing up the rear. The two B.R.M.s gain nearly a second a lap over the two Ferraris and it seems like a complete tour de force for the Bourne team. Stewart runs almost too close to the team leader, but seems determined to keep up with him, even after hitting a kerb with his nearside rear wheel on one lap. However, after 12 laps they lap Bucknum, and Stewart gets held up by the Honda, so that once past, there is a more reasonable gap between the two B.R.M.s, and their lead over the Ferraris increases all the time, though Brabham closes on Surtees, who seems unable or unwilling to overtake Bandini. There is a wisp of smoke coming from Brabham’s new Climax engine, due to a bolt coming out of the rev.-counter drive letting oil onto the hot engine, and this later turns into a serious trouble. After 20 laps, the ranking is as follows: Hill (B.R.M.), Stewart (B.R.M.), Bandini (Ferrari), Surtees (Ferrari), Brabham (Brabham), Attwood (Lotus), McLaren (Cooper), Hulme (Brabham), Anderson (Brabham), Gardner (Brabham), Siffert (Brabham), Bonnier (Brabham), Hawkins (Lotus) and Bucknum (Honda), the last two have already been lapped, while Hailwood was forced to withdrawal because of gearbox trouble. Shortly after this, Anderson is clearly in trouble, because he drops back and on lap 25, as Hill comes out of the tunnel, Anderson is going slowly towards the chicane leading on to the quay, a universal joint breaking up in a drive shaft. He is bringing the car back to the box for repairs, when Hill arrives at full bore and finds Anderson’s car going slowly through the turn. 

 

There is no room for the two cars, so Hill sensibly takes the escape road, but this means that he has to get out and push the car back before he can rejoin the race. Meanwhile, Stewart takes the lead of the race, followed by Bandini, Surtees and Brabham, so that Hill finishes the lap in fifth place, with a very black and angry look on his face and his moustache fairly bristling. This little change in positions seems to inspire Brabham, and as Bonnier is lapped by the leading group, the Australian driver overtakes Surtees and begins chasing Bandini. However, the Italian is not impressed and takes no notice of Brabham’s waving fist. Stewart has a comfortable lead, but on lap 30 he throws it all away by getting into a wild spin while coming out of Sainte Devote turn. He then drives backwards up the hill at high speed before stopping on the footpath. This gives Bandini the lead, so he obviously is not going to let Brabham past as easily as Surtees has done. Stewart rejoins the race just ahead of Graham Hill, and the two slightly angry B.R.M. drivers are now 4th and 5th instead of 1st and 2nd. Gardner drops out with a broken engine bearer, which also ruins the B.R.M. crankcase, and Bucknum withdrawals with the second Honda, which was in last place, when the gear-lever linkage gets disassembled. Anderson is getting his drive shaft repaired, and Attwood is still ahead of McLaren and the rest of the field. On lap 34, Brabham takes the lead from Bandini and goes round the Gasometer hairpin in the biggest sideslip imaginable, so that, had the 12-cylinder Ferrari pushed a little more, the Brabham would have had no room to get by. Surtees seems content with third place, even though Graham Hill has picked up a furious pace and goes on relentlessly, his young Scottish team-mate being his first “victim”. One look in the rear mirrors is enough, and Stewart moves over and lets Hill through, making no attempt to try and keep up with him, for it is obvious that in the opening laps Hill was clearing off. It is a different story at this point of the race, and when Surtees sees him coming up in his mirrors, he makes a bit of an effort to get by Bandini, but the young Italian is too busy hanging on to Brabham to take much notice of this. Unbeknown to anyone, Brabham has a hard time, for the loose rev-counter drive has finally broken the cable, so he is driving without knowing what rpm his engine is doing. 

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Being in the lead he cannot ease up, for he has both the Ferraris and the B.R.M.s chasing him, and he tries to judge his rpm by ear, try to keep it in 10.500rpm when shifting gears. For fifteen laps he does this, but without a rev-counter, it is impossible not to over-rev, also in the middle of a fight, so finally his Climax engine gives up and brakes and Brabham is forced to get back to the box, letting Bandini back in the lead once more. Hill is chasing the two Ferraris very closely, and Stewart is quite a way back. McLaren gets ahead of Attwood again and they are now P5 and P6t, with Hulme some way behind them. Siffert, Bonnier and Hawkins are still in the race, while Anderson has rejoined the Grand Prix. On lap 44, as Attwood is braking to enter the Gasometer hairpin, his left rear suspension brakes, and the wheel and brake come off, so that his foot goes down and hits the accelerator pedal. The car shoots forward and goes straight up onto the straw bales: the driver is unhurt, but he is very lucky, for he had gone straight across in front of McLaren’s Cooper that was just turning into the hairpin. While the crowd and the race commissioners are just dealing with this situation, Hulme arrives, and he is about to lap Hawkins, and at the same time Bandini, Surtees and Hill also arrive at the same hairpin. There is a moment of complete chaos with cars all over the place, but luckily nobody does anything silly, and it all sorts itself out, but from close quarters the scene makes hair stand on hand. So many exiting episodes and the race has not even reached half-distance. At the 50-lap mark, Bandini still leads in the 12-cylinder Ferrari, closely chased by Surtees in a V8 Ferrari. Hill is also very close to them with his B.R.M. Stewart is driving rather lonely in 4th position and McLaren is 5th and about to be lapped. Then come Hulme and Siffert, with Bonnier, Hawkins and Anderson bringing up the rear. Graham Hill is trying relentlessly to pass Surtees, and on lap 53 he can no longer keep him behind. Hill so puts his B.R.M. in between the two Ferraris. If Surtees gave up quite easily to Hill’s attempts, Bandini has no intention of doing the same, and keeps the lead splendidly. However, given the determination in Hill’s driving, it seems unlikely that the Italian can keep up the pace, if the cars can bear this way of driving. Surtees makes a few feeble attempts to bother Hill, to no avail, and the B.R.M. is right behind the 12-cylinder Ferrari, the driver waiting his chance to attack.

 

On lap 64, as they brake for the Gasometer hairpin, Hill looks all ready to overtake Bandini, and sure enough on the next lap, his B.R.M. will be in the lead, but Bandini does not give up and fights hard to stay with him. No one can challenge Hill seeing the confident mood he is, and the B.R.M. is performing splendidly, relentlessly leaving the two Ferraris far behind. These three drivers are really fit: they are the only ones still in the race, the rest having been left far behind, and Hill keeps lowering the lap record. Surtees begins to bother Bandini and on lap 78 he chops his way past his team-mate, but it seems a bit late in the race for such tactics. He obviously isn’t going to close the gap with Hill, for the B.R.M. is performing better than ever, and on lap 82 Hill sets a new all-time lap record in 1'31"7. Bandini eases off and reduces his maximum rpm by 1.000rpm, as there is a risk of running out of fuel because he has kept such a furious pace for so long. At 1.000rpm below the maximum, the Ferrari engineers have calculated the fuel consumption during practice laps, compared to the consumption when lapping at maximum rpm regime. So, rather than risking running out of fuel or making an additional pit stop, Bandini settles for third place and eases off. At this point, there is a bit of a chaos at the chicane, for Hawkins has hit the wooden barrier at the entry and ended up on the straw bales and over the edge of the quay, and right into the harbour. The Lotus sinks to the bottom, and the vigorous Australian driver makes it to the to the surface and strikes out for shore, while boats go to his rescue. Graham Hill maintains firmly the lead and though Surtees is able to keep the gap constant at a few seconds, showing that there is not much to choose between the two cars, he cannot close the gap. Bandini drops well back, preserving fuel, and Stewart is nearly a whole lap down, in 4th place. McLaren is still a steady 5th and Hulme has to stop at the box as his right rear wheel is wobbling badly. Two of the four fixing studs have sheared right off, so he sits and waits for Hill to start his last lap before he sets off slowly to drive round to the finish. Hill almost laps his team-mate. As he starts his last lap, Surtees coasts down the straight behind the boxes, he is taking his Ferrari to the finishing line to complete his 99th lap, but there the engine stalls, since it is out of petrol, as the injection system is completely dry. 

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Graham Hill completes his 100th lap of the winding street circuit, he is a very tired but happy man, having completed one of the best races of his career to win the Monaco Grand Prix for the third year running. Bandini comes in second, followed by Stewart, while a sweat-soaked and bedraggled-looking Surtees is an unhappy 4th. Hill’s victory leaves no room for doubt about the superiority shown both by the driver and the car. Graham Hill sets the lap record and the race record. Ferrari was certainly not lucky, as Surtees ran out of petrol just one lap from the end, when he was in second position just a few seconds behind Hill. After the first two races of the championship, the ranking sees Graham Hill leading with 13 points, followed by Jim Clark and Surtees both with 9 points, and Lorenzo Bandini with 6 points. As has become traditional, on Saturday the Formula 3 event took place on the famous street circuit. A lot of drivers took part, divided in two groups, the best 11 drivers from each race are going to the final. As for the first heat, Mairesse (Alpine-Renault) jumps into the lead, but the British F3 regulars gradually wore him down with their more powerful Ford engines. In the second heat Pike (Brabham-Ford) sets a very fast and smooth pace, until Bondurant (Tyrell Cooper-BMC) overtakes Revson taking P2, and begins to close up on the leader. With only a lap and a half to go, Pike spins and Bondurant hits the Brabham, both cars ending up out of the race. In the final part, Cardwell (Brabham-Ford) seemed to have the victory in the bag, but incredibly he spins as well, on what he thought to be water coming from a previously crashed French-owned Cooper, but actually it was oil. This left the race to the American driver Revson (Ron Harris Lotus-Ford) and to Irwin (Merlyn), the former coming home the winner. The next day, on Monday May 31, 1965, Jim Clark, the Scottish Lotus driver who has dominated so many Formula 1 Grands Prix, wins the world's most prestigious race, the Indy 500, again driving a Lotus with a powerful Ford-Cosworth engine. Clark is the first European driver to win the race since 1916, followed in this particular ranking by an Italian, Dario Resta. Clark races as is his wont, always remaining in the lead, at the maximum speed allowed by his powerful car and overcoming the most dangerous competitors, such as Foyt, or clearly distancing them, such as Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti. 

 

Clark's victory, which was fairly predictable after the Scottish driver’s brilliant performance in practice, is even more valuable if considering how many cars were forced to withdrawal, 22 out of 33 starting drivers; the winner was able to keep his car within a safety margin from the other drivers, despite being unfamiliar with the track and having no point of reference in front of him. The average speed achieved by Clark is also a record. His Lotus-Ford covered the 500 miles, or 805 kilometres, at 212.153 km/h, improving by more than 5 km/h Foyt's record, which had been set the previous year. It must be considered that this calculation also includes refuelling times, which although reduced to a minimum (around twenty seconds to refuel and a little more for a general check) require quite a lot of time, which is reflected in a reduction in the average speed. Clark achieved this success, the same cannot be said about the placing of the well-known driver Parnelli Jones. The performance of the very young Italian driver Mario Andretti, just 25 years old, was also remarkable: he finished third driving a Ford Brewner. After he moved with his family to Nazareth in Pennsylvania, Mario, together with his brother Aldo, resumed the business and, after a series of successes, debuted this year at Indianapolis. His good placing in the race came totally unexpected, and he is borne shoulder-hight by the crowd at the end of the race. The Italo-American driver and Parnelli Jones were involved in an exciting fight for three quarters of the race, as Clark took the lead and the two drivers tried to chase him, continuously overtaking each other. Andretti has lived in the United States for a few years, but he has got the Italian citizenship. He was born in Trieste and then lived in Florence until he was eighteen. The Italo-American driver started racing at the age of thirteen in Italy, and together with his brother Aldo, participated in the most important American touring car races in recent years, finishing third overall in the North American national championship. Now his placing in Indianapolis puts him into the select group of American driving aces and there is already talk of him being hired by Ford if, as now seems certain, the American manufacturer will officially participate in the Grand Prix of the new Formula 1 next season. Other racers known in Europe, such as Dan Gurney and Masten Gregory, which took part in Formula 1, have had no luck, and were forced to retire. 

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Gurney was in the lead for the third and fourth laps, while Gregory came out on top but for another reason. While turning towards the pits, after 350 miles of racing, to refuel, he unintentionally cut off Clark, forcing him to brake violently: the Lotus Ford got up on its front wheels but fortunately, instead of capsizing, it fell back to its normal position without the slightest damage. As far as the American-made cars were concerned, it was a real meltdown. In addition to missing out on the overall success that they had won without interruption since 1940, the American makes had to record a real debacle, since out of seventeen Fords that started, only six crossed the finish line, and of ten Offenhausers, only three completed the Indy 500. Of the cars built by Colin Chapman, but also equipped with Ford engines, only Foyt's car suffered a transmission failure, about two-thirds of the way through the race, and the other two finished first and second. Jim Clark has therefore won at Indianapolis. The news relayed by all the American news agencies quickly reached every part of the world and particularly spreads everywhere in the United States, where the outcome of the race was eagerly awaited. The eve's predictions came true and after forty-nine years a European driver finally overcame the American specialists in the event which is still the world's most exciting car race. Clark's triumph was applauded by an overflow crowd that had reached the Indianapolis circuit by every means since the previous day. Over 250.000 entrance tickets were sold, and the television coverage broadcast, as usual in closed circuit, covered some two hundred venues scattered across several states, with an average of 5.000 people each. The Scottish driver's success pairs with the splendid performance of his car, built by Colin Chapman especially for the purpose, which fitted the powerful engine designed by Ford for these competitions into a special Lotus chassis. Chapman had prepared four cars: he won with Clark, came second with Parnelli Jones, eighth with Bobby Johnson, and the only car forced to withdrawal, the one of Foyt, had been the protagonist up to that moment in the fight for the final success. Even in this particular sector of motor racing, very important on a technical level, the Americans had to suffer a setback, as the first classic car at Indianapolis, the Ford Brewner, only finished third. Clark was awarded the incredible sum of over 90.000.000 liras as the overall winner; plus, a further 10.000.000 liras, as prizes for driving the race, and for setting the fastest lap. Parnelli Jones received 37.000.000 liras, and Mario Andretti just under 25.000.000 liras. All the drivers are rewarded, including Dan Gurney, one of the tipped-to-win drivers on the eve of the race, who was forced to withdraw. Clark and Gurney will return to England the day after tomorrow to fulfil their commitment in Formula 1 races: they are bound to Lotus and Honda respectively.


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