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#131 1964 Mexican Grand Prix

2021-08-10 01:00

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#1964, Fulvio Conti, Nicoletta Zuppardo,

#131 1964 Mexican Grand Prix

On Tuesday, October 6, 1964, starts in Paris a new CSI reunion, in order to talk about the events that involved Scuderia Ferrari in the summer, relate

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On Tuesday, October 6, 1964, starts in Paris a new CSI reunion, in order to talk about the events that involved Scuderia Ferrari in the summer, related to the missing homologation of the model 250 Le Mans, which would have run in the Championship for Makes. The polemics about this also involved ACI, guilty for not having defended Scuderia Ferrari. So, the day after John Surtees’ victory in Monza, Enzo Ferrari returns the card of CSAI competitor and of partner of Automobile Club of Italy, that he had since 43 years.

 

"Too late I understood how the idea that my little factory’s interests could represent not only a personal advantage, but also an advantage for my country’s colours and the Italian sporty directors’ prestige at international level, was nothing but my presumptous illusion".

 

Also Ferry Porsche, son of the fournder and General Manager of the Dutch Factory, is on the side of Enzo Ferrari, and affirms:


"All the constructors who homologated GT were out of rule. In this situation the most regular was Ferrari, so it was incredible the decision taken against him".

 

Despite this, the homologation of the 250 Le Mans is denied until when Enzo Ferrari will show that he has constructed 100 models of it, as the new regulament requires. On Wednesday, October 21, 1964, is inaugurated in London, from the Princess Margaret, the 49° Motor Show, defined by the English press the most interesting, important and attractive of all the previous editions. The event is held in an atmosphere of general satisfaction and trust for the future of the English car industry, which during the year reached a level of production higher than any forecast. During the first eight months of 1964 1.247.170 vehicles were built, to the rhythm of 35.634 units per week. The previous year, in the same period of time, this number was of 897.000. Also the construction of industrial vehicles has grown from 252.719 to 297.755. These record numbers have been reached thanks to the big investments of the English car industry in the plant modernization and the qualitative improvement of its products. It is to underline that also the decentralisation of the new plants in the south of Galles, Meyerside and Scotland, is starting to give the first good results.

 

From January to August 1964 overall 588.610 vehicles have been exported, most of all in the United States, South Africa and EFTA countries. The exportations of English vehicles is the six countries of the common market declined. The president of the Association of the cars constructors, William Swallow, says that this is due to anti-inflationary restrictions imposed by the Italian government. English car constructors foresee that, if the production continues like this, until the end of the year it can be reached the absolute record of 2.250.000 vehicles of every type, of which 850.000 are exported. If we look at the Show, where are exposed 350 vehicles of 12 different countries, including Russia, Czechoslovakia and Israel, it can be said that there are few news, but a lot of technical innovations, improvements and simplifications. But meanwhile the attention of Motorsport, ad in particular Formula 1, fans is at the end of the World Championship. We are at the Mexican Grand Prix’s eve, last stop of the 1964 World Championship, and still remains the doubt about who will be the World Champion: the title will be assigned in the last race. Hardly there has been a Formula 1 season so fought and uncertain and the merit goes to the big technical balance of the cars, even if in the long run the selection brought on the top of the scale of values Ferrari and B.R.M.

 

Lotus appeared fragile, after three following victories of the Scottish driver Jim Clark, who on the circuit of Watkins Glen, teathre of the USA Grand Prix, took home the fastest lap at an average superior to 188 km/h. Premising this, it is easy to predict that in Mexico will take place an hard battle between Graham Hill and John Surtees, because both drivers have the necessity to win or precede the other. There have been only three the times throughout Formula 1 history in which the last race has been decisive for the title assignation: in 1950 in Monza, in Italy, between Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio, in 1958 in Casablanca, In Morocco, between Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn, and in 1962 in East London, in South Africa, between Jim Clark and Graham Hill. In each of these cases the race has been exciting for the expectations added for the Championhip’s end, and the battle was between two British drivers in two rival teams. This year the Mexican Grand Prix will be the decisive event that will establish the victory between three British drivers in three rival teams: Jim Clark and Graham Hill for Lotus, and John Surtees for Ferrari. The race in Mexico City will be held over the artificial 5-kilometre circuit situated in a 600-acre sports park on the outskirts of the city. One of the major problems of the Mexican race is the altitude: we are 7,400 feet above sea level and it gives a barometric pressure reading of 23.09 as against a normal reading of 29.90 at sea level. 

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The effect of the rarefied air means a 20% weakening of mixture, which gives a drop in power of approximately 25bhp at peak revs. So we pass from 195 bhp to 170 bhp for what concerns Ferrari and Climax engines. Also affected by the lower pressure are the tyres: to get the same or similar handling characteristics it is necessary to lower the tyre pressures. Drivers and mechanics are affected by the altitude, too, but the human system acclimatises itself fairly rapidly to its new environment. The cars arrive from Watkins Glen on three huge open transporters, each car wrapped in polythene wrappers. On Wednesday, October 21, 1964, during the arrive in Mexico City, the cars are unpacked and the mechanics set about changing engines and mixture cams, and putting right damage done during the American Grand Prix. The entry, which is basically the same as at Watkins Glen, of Team Lotus consisted in three cars for Clark, Spence and Moises Solana, a local driver who drove a Centro-Sud B.R.M. here last year. The Lotuses are two 33s and Clark’s old 25B, with which he won here with last year and in which he led the American Grand Prix. The Lotus 33 for Spence is fitted with a flat crank engine and a new exhaust system, the four-into-one pipe on each side now passing through the rear suspension and being supported by struts from the back of the gearbox. The other 33 is as driven by Hansgen at Watkins Glen. B.R.M. are running three cars for Graham Hill and Ginther, a new car for Hill with the same engine he used at Watkins Glen, plus the old car for spares and stand-by.

 

Ginther’s car, which had been adapted for the new engine, was now back with an old engine, as there were no spare high-exhaust engines. Hill’s new car has some front suspension modification which consisted of slight angle changes on the front wishbones. The Cooper cars for McLaren and Phil Hill are unchanged. McLaren’s car had an engine change but as Hill broke down after only four laps at Watkins Glen, his engine is as good as new. The fault which dogged him throughout practice and the United States Grand Prix is found to be a broken earth lead. The wire had broken inside the insulation and when touched connected itself and worked perfectly for a time. The two Brabham cars for Brabham and Gurney are unchanged, and the engines which gave trouble in the USA are both changed. Team Ferrari, their cars still painted blue and white, are subscribed under Luigi Chinetti’s team NART, and consists of four cars, two V8s for Surtees to choose from, a flat-12 for Bandini, and the V6 for Pedro Rodriguez. On Surtees’ V8s, one had a new engine, and the other was the Watkins Glen practice car. The rest of the field is made up of BRP’s two cars for Ireland and Taylor, the former’s not needing any attention other than replacing the gear-lever Ireland broke in the first three laps at Watkins Glen. Parnell’s cars for Amon and Hailwood are unchanged, while the enlarged Walker Team with Bonnier, Siffert and Hap Sharp are unaltered.

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The weather during the first of the two practices from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Friday is dry and sunny. Clark is first out, his last year’s fastest lap a 1'58"1 at a speed of 152.413 km/h represents the target to be aimed at. Spence is next away in his Lotus car. Ginther, Siffert and the whole Ferrari team are soon rushing around, to be followed within the first half-hour by everyone else. Ginther is first back and mechanics are soon trying to weaken the mixture a little more. Hailwood comes in complaining of lack of gears in his Lotus-B.R.M., and finds a split pin had broken in the gearbox. Ireland finds his ratios not quite right and has them changed. Clark takes his car in after getting down to 2'2"16 and takes out Spence’s car with the new exhaust system. Straight away he begins getting better times, until he has fastest time with 1'59"19. Surtees is trying very hard but his V8 cars are not behaving properly: the first one has an internal breakage which necessitates an engine change, while the other car is not going very well. Bonnier’s Brabham-Climax has the metering cam break. The peg that fixes its position breaks when being altered to weaken off the mixture a bit more. Taylor’s BRP is boiling merrily, as was Hailwood’s. The former is also losing oil pressure. All along the pits plugs are examined carefully to ascertain whether the mixture control is getting better and hardly a car is not having some trouble due to the rarefied air. Phil Hill is last on the first 2-hour time sheet. His engine is misfiring, especially at the top end, and it is not until the amplifier damaged by the earth short is replaced that he begins to get going properly. Graham Hill goes out in his old car when he finds he is not making a lot of headway with the new one.

 

Clark is having some unusual trouble with his 25B, because the fuel pressure is too high. Lucas boffins has no sooner started to sort things out than Brabham stops suddenly with the same trouble. After clearing dirt from the system it is expected to work perfectly all right but then it is found that the pump is taking too much current from the battery for the amount of fuel being pumped. Brabham is soon out again, his trouble having been rectified, but the Lotus is still not right. After two hours Bandini is second fastest to Clark with 0.04 of a second over the 2 minutes mark. The number of laps done straight off is well down, as little troubles keep stopping the cars. Bandini, who keeps his lead over Surtees, changes the inlet pipes on his engine for new ones flown in from Modena. The new inlets have a much shorter distance from the injectors to the inlet ports than the previous ones. This proves a success, as the car opens up a lot easier from the hairpins. As practice goes on, Gurney begins to get his car going well, and although Clark’s and Bandini’s times improve very slowly, he quite suddenly starts getting under 2 minutes, finishing up with a time of 1'55"5, a tenth of a second faster than Bandini and 0.2sec ahead of Surtees, but still 0.9 of a second behind Clark in the 33 and 0.3 behind the 25B. With the end of practice no-one except perhaps Clark seems very happy, and a lot of work is needed to clip off those last few tenths that make so much difference on the grid. When the final time Sheet is issued, it is found that five drivers have been given 1'57"0, including Graham Hill, who knows he had only managed one lap under 2 minutes, and that about 1'59"8 in the old car. These times are scrapped as the battery went flat, and hand times are substituted, which are nearer the mark.

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Saturday’s practice weather is again hot and sunny but with more cloud over the distant hills and it is not possible to see snow-capped El Popocatepaetl, the volcano that dominates the southern horizon. Team Louis switches car numbers on Clark’s and Spence’s cars. The reigning World Champion will drive the 33 with new exhaust system, while Spence the 25B that won here last year. Surtees has a new engine in the chassis from which the broken engine is taken. Once again Clark leads out and does two laps before being joined by Surtees and Spence. Graham Hill is next away in the new car, which still has not been under 2 minutes. In these first few minutes of practice a dog suddenly appears and runs across the track in front of Amon’s car, which do not help his concentration. It is some time before the dog is caught, although further excursions across the track do not inconvenience drivers. Both Parnell’s cars are having gear trouble, which keeps their times down. Surtees is out in both cars but is unable to improve on his previous day’s time, in either car. Bandini’s flat-12 is also slower than the previous day. Graham Hill is in and out changing tyre pressures, but to no avail - he just cannot get below 2minutes. Then as practice is drawing to an end he takes the new B.R.M. in with a broken valve, goes out in the spare car, and takes that in with falling oil pressure. After this Graham becomes quite happy, as does Surtees, for after trying all they can they are nowhere near Clark’s time and it is no use being despondent indefinitely. McLaren improves his time but Phil Hill is having slight troubles which keep him from bettering his first day’s time. BRP wheeled Taylor’s car away to change the engine, which had deteriorated due to continual overheating. Ireland’s car was going quite well and he improves on his previous time. Spence, who has  got under 2 minutes in the Lotus 25, is still in difficulty with his fuel pump, which is using more amps than it should, and after practice the whole lot is once again stripped down.

 

Siffert and Bonnier both improve their times, the latter’s Climax engine making him faster than Siffert’s B.R.M. This seems general, for both B.R.M. and Ferrari seems to be losing more power due to the height than the Climax-engined car. The two Mexican drivers, Rodriguez and Solana are both going quite well and are ahead of a lot of Formula 1 veterans such as Phil Hill, Ireland and Taylor. Hap Sharp, in the spare Walker car, is the slowest with a first day’s time of 2'6"9. With practice finished, B.R.M. mechanics are hard at work on replacing Hill’s engine with an untried unit, still cased, from England. BRP change Taylor’s engine, while throughout the pit lock-ups consultations and preparation work go ahead. On Sunday, October 25, 1964, is held Mexico Grand Prix. Race day is hot and sunny and, after a race for local drivers, the cars are brought out to the dummy grid. For the race Clark’s Lotus has reverted back to the rubber drive-shaft couplings instead of the Mercedes splines used in practice. The cars are on the dummy grid for an hour while the drivers are presented to the President of Mexico. As the presentation finishes, thousands of gas-filled balloons are released in singles and clusters, with doves flying in and out of them. As the balloons float higher, right in the path two small planes hold the interest of the crowd as they fly amongst the balloons, bursting them with their wings and propellers. As the cars stay for so long they are allowed one warming up lap. A stray dog, one that escaped the Army sweep in the early hours, goes round the track, to the disgust of the drivers. Ginther’s B.R.M. has difficulty starting. When the last car is in position the flag is dropped and the 3rd Grand Prix of Mexico is under way.

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Clark makes his usual brilliant start, with Gurney just behind. Graham Hill has the elastic on his goggles go just as the flag is about to drop and before he can get them on properly after a quick adjustment, the cars around him are moving off and he is not even in gear. McLaren and Bonnier both make very good starts, moving up some places before the cars are out of sight. Surtees gets off the line all right but the car is missing badly on the first lap. As they sweep past the pits the order of the 19 cars is Clark, already 2 seconds in the lead, then Gurney, Bandini, Spence, Bonnier, Brabham, Rodriguez, McLaren, Ginther, Graham Hill, Siffert, Phil Hill, Surtees, Amon, Ireland, Solana, Taylor, Hailwood and Sharp. On the next lap, Graham Hill and Surtees start to make up for their bad start: the B.R.M. driver passes team-mate Ginther, while the Ferrari driver passes Ginther, Siffert and Phil Hill to close up on Graham Hill’s tail. Siffert is in trouble almost from the drop of the flag. Although lull at the end of the first lap, he drops to 16th in seven laps with overheating of the fuel pump. He comes into the pits on lap seven, goes out again for four laps, and then retires. Taylor’s race comes to an end before this: alter running three from the end for six laps, he retires with chronic overheating, the trouble that he had in practice. In front, Clark is lengthening his had with every lap. The 2.5 seconds lead over Gurney on lap three is opened to 7.5 seconds by lap six, while the gap between Gurney and Bandini goes from 4 seconds to 5 seconds over the same period. On lap six, Spence, Brabham and Graham Hill are locked together in a tight bunch for fourth place, with Surtees a short way behind. At this stage Bonnier’s Brabham-Climax is getting some violent front-wheel vibration, and on his 10th lap, just alter being passed by Rodriguez and McLaren, his front wishbone breaks in the hairpin, putting him out. On lap 12 Hailwood retires with overheating.

 

On the eighth lap Graham Hill passes Brabham, and two laps later he gets past Spence, and two laps later still he is past Bandini into third position. Brabham slips ahead of Spence and Surtees. The Ferrari driver wants to get his V8 up behind the flat-12 of his team-mate but Brabham is difficult to pass, and it is not until the 18th lap that the field settles into a groove for nine laps, with Clark 9.5 seconds ahead of Gurney, who in turn is 12 seconds ahead of the next bunch of five cars, consisting of Graham Hill, Bandini, Surtees, Brabham and Spence. Eighth comes Rodriguez, a short way ahead of McLaren, while behind him are Ginther and Phil Hill. The last four places are held by Amon, Ireland, Solana and Sharp. The first position to change after the lull is that of Spence, who spins on lap 29, losing one place to Rodriguez’ V6 Ferrari. On laps 28, 29 and 30, Bandini was very close to Graham Hill, and at the hairpin the Englishman has shaken his fist at the Italian for getting dangerously close. On the 31st lap neither driver wants to give way at the hairpin, which results in one of Bandini’s wheels hitting Hill’s exhaust pipes and folding them over, which spins the B.R.M. and also spins the Ferrari. This let Surtees through into third place. While Bandini recovers quickly, Hill’s car, with damaged exhausts, is forced into the pits to have the ends of the two exhaust pipes cut off. Any chance of holding third place, and so the Championship, if Clark wins, seems to fade completely. On lap 33 Brabham, who is fifth after Hill’s pit stop, also makes a pit stop; his engine has cut dead on lap two but restarted, and it was starting to miss again, so he makes a long pit stop which puts him back to last place, behind Sharp. Nothing obvious is found to be wrong and he goes out again, only stopping finally it laps later when the trouble is diagnosed to be an amplifier failure. Also into the pits came Ireland, saying he thinks something is falling off the car as it is handling in a peculiar way on certain corners. A quick look round shows nothing wrong and he goes out again in 15th and last place, where he remains until he catches Sharp on lap 56.

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After the Bandini-Hill mix-up Surtees slips through into third place, but three laps later, Bandini, in the faster 12-cylinder car, is past him. Things are settling down now for the last half of the race, Spence fighting back alter his spin, passes Rodriguez. Amon, who has driven a very steady race in 11th place, retired on lap 46 with no gears left. For the whole race he has no 1st or 2nd gear, and this costs him 2 seconds a lap. One more pit-stop before the end is to replace Hill’s throttle spring which levered off due to the broken exhaust, and this drops the B.R.M. to 11th place. Even as the press, mechanics and spectators waited for the chequered flag to give Clark the World Championship and winner of the 1964 Mexican Grand Prix, the Lotus driver realises that a Spa 1964-type drama can approach. In fact, seven or eight laps from the end Clark sees an oil-streak at the hairpin. He goes wide and on the next lap a second oil streak on his last lap’s line appears, and he realised the oil is his own: easing back slightly is of no avail, for a rubber oil pipe has split and it is a matter of how long he can last. In the pits this drama is unknown until the start of the last lap when Clark comes slowly past with both hands in the air. Gurney goes into the lead, with Surtees second, Bandini dropping back, as planned previously. Speculation as to who can get the World Championship is rife. If Clark limps in before Surtees, Hill gains his second Championship. If Surtees comes in second ahead of the faster Bandini, the ex-Motorcycle World Champion gains the World Drivers’ Championship, therefore giving him the first double. Everyone were on the rails watching the chequered flag. Gurney comes past almost in silence, a great shame, for he drove brilliantly, then after what seems an interminable time, Surtees comes in for his second place and his World Championship.

 

Clark’s car seizes solid on the last lap. Half the crowd and Mexican officials are still trying to understand why there is more fuss being made of the second man than the first, as the third and fourth cars of Bandini and Spence finishes their 65 laps. Clark is given fifth place although he did not take the chequered flag, with Rodriguez, McLaren and Ginther each completing 64 laps. Phil Hill, who battled with Ginther for lap after lap, drops back in the last three laps as his engine goes sick. He crosses the line completing 64 laps, 25 seconds ahead of Gurney, then go into the pits with a hole in his piston, so he never receives the chequered flag. Clark wins the Belgian Grand Prix by a stroke of unusual luck, Dan Gurney has driven a steady race, deserving his win. John Surtees raced judiciously and the press affirms that the title of World Champion went to the most regular driver and the most brilliant Formula 1 car, the one of Scuderia Ferrari. The world ranking’s final score sees John Surtees winner of the 1964 World Championship with 40 points, followed by Graham Hill with 39, Jim Clark third with 30 points. Jim Clark won three of the nine stops of the Championship, while John Surtees and Graham Hill two. This is an important victory for Scuderia Ferrari which, together with John Surtees, has taken the fruit of a technical superiority shown in the second phase of the long battle, and culminated with the triumph of the Italian Grand Prix, in Monza. On the track of Mexico City Ferrari has shown its excellent sealing properties, also demonstrated by Lorenzo Bandini’s brilliant third place. He, on the wheel of the new 12-cylinder car, remained in the first positions caring about the team mate’s race who was in difficulty, by ceding him the pace in the last laps.

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Scuderia Ferrari managed to adjust, thanks to its technics’ talent and tenacity, a situation that in the early summer seemed to be hardly compromised. The Maranello team, after the recent disappointments suffered because of the ones who hold the power in the Motorsport, got the best revenge possible: the one in the race track. And after the title of World Championship for Makes for prototypes cars, it has now gained the most prestigious one: the title of Formula 1 World Champion, detained for two years by English teams. John Surtees rightly conquered the Drivers World Championship, entering the history as one of the bigger drivers. Surtees’ competitors - the reigning World Champion Jim Clark and Graham Hill - were out of competition because of mechanical issues, confirming the fragility of Lotus-Climax and B.R.M., that could be seen during the season. The Scottish driver only had a possibility: to win the Mexican Grand Prix and hope that John Surtees and Graham Hill could occupy the places of honour. Jim Clark kept his task in mind, dominating the race until the last lap, when an issue blocked him. Since the start of the Formula 1 World Championship, there has never been a final so hard fought, where in the last moment there was also a contestation about Jim Clark’s real score. This, according to the FIA’s President statements, Baumgartner, in the Monaco Grand Prix ended fifth, not fourth. Better satisfaction with M.V., from 1956 to 1960 won seven World Championships, four with 500 cc class and three with 350 cc class. He won the races with chronometrical precision, and for this reason the fans did not like him and called him hot ice. Surtees had a particular style which did not know improvisation. He also did not have Jim Clark o Stirling Moss’ impetuosity.

 

At a certain point Surtees did not have competitors, so he ran to break his records; so, in 1960 he said he knew everything about motorcycles and that he was interested in cars because it was a new world. His debuto on the four wheels happened on March 19, 1960, with a Cooper F1 on the circuit of Goodwood, where he arrived second. After two weeks, he arrived second also in the circuit of Oulton Park. In July of the same year he was ranked second in the British Grand Prix, driving a Lotus in Silverstone. He closed the season with a victory of two motorcycling world titles. In 1961 and 1962 he had excellent placements in the World Championship’s races. In 1963 he came back to Italy where Ferrari gave him his single-seaters with with he won the German Grand Prix and an international race in South Africa. This year, after the first tests, no one would have bet on the English driver as World Champion on Ferrari. But then same satisfactions arrived, as the ones in Nurburgring and Monza, and the perspective of the maximum world title. On Wednesday, December 2, 1964, the new World Champion Surtees has a car accident in Vallorbe, Switzerland: his powerful sport car, after swerving in a corner covered by a sheet of ice, goes out of the street and rolls down the 5 metres high hill. Fortunately, the champion and his young wife, who was on his side, manage to leave the car’s wreckage. The horrible accident happens in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. John Surtees and his wife, some days before, went in Modena to take a Ferrari sport, and they wanted to go in London, where some friends were waiting for them. After crossing, in the late afternoon, the tunnel of San Bernardo, Surtees goes to Vallorbe. In a corner near to a level crossing, the champion’s car slips on ice and, altough the driver’s skills, goes out of the street very fast, ending its crazy race in the hill below.

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Some drivers who follow him at a brief distance go in the crash site, fearing the worst. Luckily their thoughts are far from the truth: Surtees - who first tries to hide his identity - and the wife are safe. A nearby garage is called and the Ferrari is taken with a gru to an workshop in Vallorbe. After the police’s investigation, the World Champion and his wife are taken by some fans to Vallorbe station, where they take a train to London. The traffic police officers of the canton of Vaud say that the accident has been caused by the excessive speed of the British champion’s car together with the condition of the road, almost completely frozen. Suurtees himself says that he never went over 70 km/h. but probably, in the next day, the police will elevates a contravvention against the British driver. On Sunday, December 6, 1964, in Perugia, ends the meeting of the Sporting Commissions of the Italian Automobile Club. Several motions are approved in the final session. Mantovani’s motion, after identifying the high meaning of the results achieved by the Italian constructor Enzo Ferrari and the contribution made by the driver Lorenzo Bandini for the conquest of the Formuula 1 World Championship, offrers its sincere thanks to the president of the Italian Automobile Club Sportig Commission, senator De Unterrichter, to the president of the Karting Commission Costantini, together with the engine constructor Parilla and the motorcycle driver Guido Sala for the World Championship victory. In the motion presented by Van Der Borre there is a petition for the Csai to provide that the word Rally could describe only manifestations valid for the related Championship, or that have the requirements for the Championship itself, while to all the other regularity trials is allowed to use every other name (cup, criterium, trophy). It is also asked that the president of the Csai promotes a reuinion fully opened to all the car sportsmen, for the study and the concrete formulation of the activity programmes. On Saturday, December 5, 1964, the first day of the meeting, senator Guido De Unterrichter, shows in his relation the series of 1964 sporty events and various initiatives, remembering the difficulties that the Csai faced, especially during last years, after the unlucky events in Le Mans, Guidizzolo and Monza. After that, the president of Csai face the disputed topic of the missed homologation of the Ferrari 250 LM.

 

"It is true that some previous homologations have been obtained with surprise of the International Sporting Commission’s good faith about the number of vehicles built which do not correspond to the regulaments. But who can ask, and least of all obtain, that a wrong atmosphere of indulgent comprehension acquires a binding legal effect, especcially if it is done the other mistake of giving to the topic the aspect of showdown between SEFAC Ferrari and Csai? The proportionate reaction to the International Sporting Commission’s decision, whch was legally right, made more difficult to heal the position of Ferrari’s 250 LM, and was our intention to promote it the most, if only to the contribution to the improvement of the automotive industry and the prestige that gives to Italy the Modena-based industry’s work".

 

Next year Scuderia Ferrari will build a new Gran Turismo car: the Dino 166P, with 1600 cc 12-cylinder V engine. This is the most interesting news announced on Saturday, December 12, 1964, in Modena by Enzo Ferrari, during the traditional year-end meeting, with journalists, collaborators and Scuderia Ferrari’s friends. The constructor has not communicated other technical details about the new car, whose production has been decided also tu enable Ferrari to realize then a single-seater corresponding to the required standards for the new Formula 2 (which will enter into force in 1966), according to which the engine has to be of 1600 cc but derived from a Gran Turismo vehicle in regular production. Enzo Ferrari draws a balance of the year that is about to end; the cosntructor from Modena remembers the Constructors World Championship’s victory, the Gran Turismo Championship for Makes, the Cup of Formula 1 constructors, Vitesse Trophy et endurance, and France-America Trophy. This brilliant balance does not include the international Trophy for Prototypes, despite the maximum score gained by the Modena-based industry against the others, with the complicity of that topic which concerns the missed homologation of the model about which a lot was said and written.

 

"Our protest for the non-recognition of the 250 Le Mans is not against the law. We arise against its discriminatory applications, against the protection of interests which we believed were our heritage only partially. Unfortunately, we realized we hoped a lot. So we decided to change the color of our cars: but, despite this, we are faithful to a tradition which is the main goal of our life, we continue our road, despite the maneuvers adopted, the interpretative ambiguities, the easy promises. The results obtained are a valid active reality, among the passivity of the 1964 political and sporty balance".

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If we talk about the SEFAC’s programmes, for 1965, Enzo Ferrari confirms that the production will be articulated on the 330 GT, 275 GT spider and berlinetta, 200 Le Mans, 500 Superfast models, mentioning that this year the 76 % of the vehicles built has been exported. For what concerns the sporty activity, the constructor declares:

 

"We are out of the control of Csai and we remain as this. This does not mean that we want to obtain a card of Italian participant: it would be against our feelings".

 

At most, the official Ferrari cars - or unofficial - that will participate to the big tests will be two, always driven by Surtees and Bandini in Formula 1, next to other young men who have alread raced with the vehicles from Maranello in endurance races. In Formula 1 will be present the famous models 8-cylinder 158 and 12-cylinder 512; for the races of the Prototypes category, Ferrari has realized two completely new cars: the 275/P2 (3300 cc) and the 330/P2 (1000 cc). Talking about Formula 2, which will enter in force in 1966, Ferrari expresses some doubs about the technical and financial problems (in the previous sporty season the factory spent 601 million lire) that the study of a new car could require. Finally, the drivers who trained in 1964 season on the wheel of Ferraris are rewarded, starting from World Champion John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini. Amon the speakers there are the engineer Sergio Pininfarina, the doctor Luigi Giovannetti, diligent of stables, and finally the drivers Vaccarella, Parkes, Baghetti, Mairesse, Maglioli, Abate, Scarfiotti, Guichet and Lualdi. Lorenzo Bandini, actually the best Italian driver, does not seem upset for the controversy that flared up in the last weeks about him. Indeed he said to be convinced about the fact that the controversy will fade soon, even if he shows disappontment for the recent letter which Peter Garnier, Honorary Secretary of the Gran Prix Drivers Association, sent to him. As everyone knows, Lorenzo Bandini has been involved in a crash with Graham Hill without severe consequences during the Mexican Grand Prix, last stop of the World Championship, which sanctioned John Surtees’ final victory. Graham Hill, after the race, gave his hand to Lorenzo Bandini, not showing grudge for the accident, which was completely involuntary. Some time later, form England come hard critics about Bandini’s racing behavior, and Grahm Hill himself sends to the Italian driver some disks containing driving lessons. It may be a joke between colleagues - as it is then described by the English driver, who renews his esteem for the Italian champion - but Peter Garnier’s letter suggests otherwise. In this, Mr. Garnier says that the drivers who met in London examined the case concluding that this and other similar accidents, in which Bandini was recently involved, created a lot of apprehension. Lorenzo Bandini put Eugenio Dragoni, Ferrari’s sport dicector, in charge to answer, but on Wednesday, December 16, 1964, can not help pointing out the situation.

 

"First of all I am not a gangster, as Mr. Garnier and Jo Bonnier, president of the Drivers Association, want us to believe. So far I only had three accidents: in 1963 at the German Grand Prix, on the wheel of a B.R.M., starting from the front row I have been buffered and I went out of track, so it was not my fault; always in 1963, in Pergusa, a competitor who was by my side went out of track in a corner and I realized it on the next lap. The only time when I was guilty - and I say it even if it was a fortuitous accident, which can happen to anyone and in the past happened also to great champions, starting by Fangio - was during the race in the circuit of Solitude, in Stoccarda. The track was wet and I spun, provoking a collision behind me between three or four competitors. I wonder if according to these three injuries I could be accused in good faith to be a hit-and-run driver. I have peace of mind, so all these voices, polemics and critics to me are not material".

 

Then he conludes:

 

"In addition, it is clear that Jo Bonnier’s action is for marketing. Altough, at the first meeting of the drivers’ Association, that will be held in occasion of the South Africa Grand Prix, scheduled for the 1st January, I will not participate, even if I will race there, valid as first step of the 1965 Formula 1 World Championship. I think that the collision between me and Graham Hill in Mexico was part of the marketing strategy for more than one reason. I repeat: I know I am not guilty so I am on my way. But I do not admit actions like those of Garnier and Bonnier, especially those of this last one from whom I have nothing to learn".

 

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Bandini and World Champion John Surtees tested in Monza the new Ferrari Prototype vehicle with V12 back engine of 4000 cc; the engine develops a power of 400 bhp. The new Ferrari vehicle will run the next season’s long-distance races like the 12 Hours of Sebring, 1000 Kilometres of Nurburgring, 1000 Kilometres of Monza, Targa Florio and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Surtees and Bandini were enthusiast of the car, for the power of the engine and the stability. Unfortunately, the bad weather (heavy rain and fog) do not allow the two drivers to race a lot, as they wanted. Altough, John Surtees admits:

 

"This exit was enough to let me know that with the new Prototype we can beat all the records. But the experience leads me to not say other things, also because the car is in the process of development; I can declare that this vehicle seems to be born under the best auspices. Under the rain we ran over 300 km/h. we are satisfied of today’s test and, for the moment, there will not be other testing, because of the weather".


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