Clark is beginning to make the H16 Lotus really go and as he lifts off after putting up a lap time of 1'54"06 the bolts in a crankshaft balance weight brakes and bits come out of the top of the engine in a cloud of steam, hot oil and metal particles which scorch the back of Clark’s neck and necessitate an overnight engine change. This engine has run the 200-mile United States GP and about 100 miles in practice which is the same distance Stewart’s engine in the USA has gone when a balance weight has destroyed it. Also stops out on the circuit with a wrecked engine is Spence with the Lotus-B.R.M. Just as practice is closing Gurney goes out in the 2.7 Climax car and laps about two seconds faster than Bondurant. Brabham also goes out in the closing minutes and as if to prove he is not world champion for nothing he dips 0.11sec from Clark’s time to give him a time of a 1'53"95 a speed of 157.964 km/h. When practice ends Bucknum is puzzled by the peculiar handling of his car. Through left-hand corners it is now almost stable while through right-hand curves it skates all over the place. Looking through the tyre temperature chits it is noticed that the centre of the left rear tyre is much hotter than the centre of the right rear. A closer look and the use of a straight edge finds this left tyre to have a well-rounded profile while the right tyre is flat as it should be. This fault is caused after moulding when those particular tyres have to be quickly inflated to an exact pressure and left to cool. Second practice on Saturday is again from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and very noticeable are the increased nose sizes and airscoops. Most cars are suffering from overheating and fuel vaporisation due to the liquid’s lower boiling point. To stop vaporisation while in the pits wet rags and slowly poured water are for the most part doing the trick. Surtees, Hill, Stewart, Bonnier and Solana are off the moment the track is opened.
The private entries are all suffering from fuel vaporisation and overheating which they are beginning to overcome. Pratice ends and there are a lot of work to be done before the mechanics push the cars out on to the grid. A Goodyear track tyre has been flown in overnight and is found to be one second a lap faster than the new Dunlops so both B.R.M.s are fitted with them. Race Race morning is warm and sunny. Surtees’ new engine is not functioning very well as the mixture is well out and there is no way of getting it right except by luck. Brabham is having similar problems and at any rate his engine is 15bhp down on the practice engine. Gurney has made the decision to switch cars and both cars are re-numbered on race day. McLaren has been forced to move the rear-mounted fuel-pump to a cooler position, putting it in the airstream just behind the driver’s right shoulder. Only other activity in the pits prior to the start is the welding up of the cracked lower wishbone mounting on the H16 Lotus. Sharp at 2:30 p.m. the flag drops and the race is on. Ginther makes a good start and is in the lead as the 18 cars go into the first corner. At the end of lap 1 Ginther still leads from Rindt. Brabham, Hulme, Surtees and Clark, the two on the front row have not been able to hold their places. Next in a long string come Stewart, Rodriguez, Bucknum, Siffert, Solana, Hill, Gurney, Bonnier, Ireland, McLaren and with Arundel last. As they go off on their second lap, Surtees and Hill’s engines sound off-song, while Clark is having gear trouble. At the end of the second lap Brabham has gone past both Ginther and Rindt and is pulling away. Rodrigucv drops two places, to he behind Bucknum and Siffert when he spins at the hairpin. Bondurant, in the Eagle-Weslake drops from 15th to last as vaporisation caused Misfiring froth the end of the first lap.
As the 3rd lap starts Surtees has moved up two places and the woolly note in his engine has gone; afterwards he says it clears as soon as it get really hot. It only takes two laps for him to pass his team-mate Rindt, and then he is right on Brabham’s tail. Brabham keeps him there for one lap only, then he is in the lead with Brahham having to work hard to keep in the slip stream. For some laps the leaders settle down. Stewart, who has lain seventh for the first three laps, begins to get more confidence in the BRM’s handling and although he has a permanent plume of oil smoke from the left rear of the car, he is beginning to pull through the-field. First he gets by an unhappy Clark who is having gear trouble, then next lap he is past Ginther. It takes a few laps to come up with Hulme but on the 10th lap he comes round in front. The first car to the pits is Solana who has very high water temperature; after a short while he goes on for one lap then retires on lap 9, when he also notes that the oil pressure is well down. Also on the 9th lap, Clark comes into the pits and retires with a broken gear selector. Gurney is well down in the 2.7 Climax-engined Eagle at the start but as the race begins to settle down he starts to pull up. Between laps 4 and 9, he goes by Solana then Siffert and Bucknum to put himself in the slipstream of Hill’s H13 or 14. As the B.R.M. gets worse so Hill is unable to hold Gurney any more and when an old 4-cylinder goes by this seems the last straw and he retires on the 18th lap when a metallic clanking starts. Three cars are now out and the fourth is to follow soon, as it is lying last and misfiring badly due to vaporisation. This is Bondurant in the Eagle-Weslake and he finally gives up on the 24th lap. The leaders have all closed up again there being only about 200 yards between the first four places.
Stewart in fourth place is right on Rindt’s tail and with a big effort on lap 25 he is in third place and closing the gap on the leading pair at just under a second a lap. However, before he can get really to grips with the Brabham his oil gives out due to the slow but continuous leak and he retires at the hairpin on lap 26. Rodriguez has been delighting the Mexican crowd as he closes on Hulme and makes several attempts to pass him. On lap 23 he gets by to the cheers of the crowd and two laps later Hulme who is trying to get back the place, spins and as he has no clutch he has a lot of difficulty trying to restart, which loses him almost a full lap. Ireland pushes his BRM V8 back to the pits when something goes in the gearbox. However, this is of no avail and the car is retired. Two identical failures take place on the 32nd and 33rd laps. Rindt, lying in third place, slows as he comes off the slightly banked 180 turn before the pits with his left front wheel leaning in at a crazy angle and he pulls in on the grass beyond the pits with a ball joint having broken. One lap later, Siffert comes slowly into the pits with an identical fault to his left front suspension. The halfway stage is now passed and the field is reduced to 10 cars. Surtees and Brabham are still fairly close and Brabham is really working very hard to reduce the gap making use of the wide grass verges on many occasions. Third, half a lap behind, is Rodriguez; behind him, now going fairly well, come Ginther and Gurney. Lying sixth and slowly is Hulme, seventh and misfiring badly come Bucknum, then Bonnier, Arundell and McLaren. For a few laps this order remains unchanged then on lap 38 McLaren moves out of last place by passing Arundell but two laps later he retires with a dropped valve. Bucknum’s is the next car in trouble. As he goes down the straight he thinks he smelts burning, but can not be sure.
Then as he gets away on the other side of the circuit, smoke begins pouring up from between his legs and glancing down he sees flames. Braking and scrambling out before the car stops, he finds the seat on fire. When the burning bits are pulled out it is found that an electrical connection has touched the frame and caused a short. Leaving the burnt seat where it is, Bucknum bends the connection away and sits on it until he reaches the pits, where the bare connections are taped, a new battery fitted and the Honda rejoins the race in last position. Hulme is still making progress and he passes Gurney into fifth place behind Ginther and begins slowly closing the gap on the Honda. On lap 49, to the dismay of the crowd, Rodriguez comes into the pits and after only a brief examination he retires with gearbox trouble. This left only Arundell running for Team Lotus and when he pulls in on lap 55, it looks as though the whole team is out, but Arundell’s fault is the water temperature gauge giving inaccurate readings and in last but one place he trundles on until the end. Brabham gives up any hope of catching Surtees and when he laps his team-mate and then Ginther, who are both going very hard, he stays just ahead of the Honda, until three laps from the end Hulme passes Ginther and then both Brabhams draw away and cross the finish line 0.25 seconds apart but with Hulme one lap down. Surtees in first place drives a perfect race, never putting a foot wrong and deserves to win. Brabham and Hulme bring a complete Brabham team into second and third places, fourth came Ginther and to him goes the fastest lap at 1'53"7, a speed of 158.241 km/h. Fifth, and still only one lap down, is Gurney, then two laps down comes Bonnier, four laps down Arundell and eighth and last is Bucknum. And so the 1966 season is over; the start of the 1967 season should be at Kyalami in South Africa on January 2nd.
A series of unprecedented movements between the Formula 1 drivers, beginning with former World Champions John Surtees and Graham Hill, are announced on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1966 in England. Graham Hill left B.R.M. after seven years to become Lotus' number two after Jim Clark, with a contract of 45.000.000 lire per year. John Surtees will probably switch from Cooper-Maserati to the new house Lola (but it is not definitive). Jackie Stewart becomes the number one driver of the B.R.M.: it is said that he will be joined by Richie Ginther, but this depends on the withdrawal from competition of the Japanese Honda. In the meantime, 23-year-old Amon from New Zealand is expected to sign a contract with Scuderia Ferrari. Clark and Hill will start the season with the Lotus-B.R.M. 16-cylinder H, but will finish with the more powerful Lotus with Ford engine, currently under construction. After this series of announcements and rumors, Monday 28 November 1966, as rumors of previous days had predicted, the Scuderia Ferrari hires for next season the New Zealand driver Chris Amon, winner in June of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, paired with fellow countryman Bruce McLaren. Enzo Ferrari, left without drivers for the 1967 season, would ask the managers of Shell, supplier of fuel and lubricants, for help. They would have proposed the hiring of Chris Amon or Denny Hulme, to whom both contracts are managed by the multinational oil company. Enzo Ferrari comes to the decision to hire the talented New Zealand driver Chris Amon, instead of his compatriot Denny Hulme, because he is younger.
The news is not officially released (Ferrari probably waits for the traditional conference at the end of the year to do so), but it is derived logically from a statement issued by the Maranello team. In it it is said that Amon will leave Wednesday 30 November 1966 for the United States with Bandini, Parkes and Scarfiotti. The four, accompanied by engineer Forghieri and a group of mechanics, will try a new car set up by Ferrari for the 24 Hours of Daytona. Amon was born in Bulls, New Zealand, on 20 July 1943 to a wealthy family of farmers and began driving at the age of fifteen. He was already participating in motor racing when he was still in school (club racing). Reginald Parnell, owner and director of an English team, was so impressed that he took him to England in 1963. The following year he was racing for him: he was the youngest driver of Formula 1. Always in the Ferrari environment arouses much interest the news that Lorenzo Bandini will participate next May at the Indy 500. He was offered to fly a Ford or an Offenhauser by the American Walter Weir. At the same time, in Japan, in Tokyo, also on Monday, November 28, 1966, Honda announced today that it will hire John Surtees as the first driver of its cars. The contract - which will be signed on Wednesday 30 November 1966 - concerns only Formula 1 cars. In the other categories the former World Champion will be free to race for other brands. Surtees, who has been in Japan for a week, will start racing for Honda in the South African Grand Prix.
Wednesday, December 7, 1966 the Automobile Museum of Turin welcomes the traditional conference of the Automobile Club Sports Commissions. After a brief welcome by the President of the Automobile Club of Turin, Dr Emanuele Nasi, three hundred participants including organizers, drivers, manufacturers, race commissioners and representatives of teams - led by the president of CSAI, engineer Pietro Campanella - are working to draw a balance sheet of Italian Motorsport in 1966 and to lay the lines of future activity. The results of this year are positive: the number of drivers has increased, the thicker the participation in the championship or social tests, have had a considerable increase in national and international competitions, ended with the victory of Scarfiotti and Ferrari at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix of Formula 1. About next year’s program, the CSAI - as we read in the report of engineer Campanella - intends to defend the prestige and interests of sport and sportspeople in the Italian country and abroad, ignore existing circuits and create new ones, strictly comply with the competitive calendar, simplify and clarify the regulations; decrease the number of championships. There is a lot of debate on this last subject. Drivers, teams and constructors are opposed to bringing the national titles from twenty-eight to seven, as suggested in the report presented by engineer Cristillin. Diving felt the need for a reduction, but reproached the CSAI for dealing with the problem with a certain haste. Conductors, for example, say:
"We are only a few weeks away from the beginning of 1967, we should change our plans when we have already bought cars and organized our business".
Anfia, Ancai and Fisa, that is the three associations that group Houses, drivers and stables, expose their doubts in a motion calling on the Sports Commission to keep the number of Italian titles unchanged for next year, to study carefully the proposal for 1968, and in the meantime to increase the minimum number of starting participants required in the race for classes of all categories, now limited to three. In this way many classes would no longer be disputed, for lack of a sufficient number of members. No decision has yet been taken, the CSAI will meet shortly with interested parties. This will probably lead to an arrangement, with a partial reduction. The conference of the Automobile Club Sports Commissions ends Thursday, December 8, 1966 in Turin with the launch of the competitive calendar of the 1967 season. In the halls of the Automobile Club of Turin, which in recent days has taken on the role of host against the more than three hundred congressmen who have come from all over Italy, organizers and enthusiasts have gathered to assert their reasons. A car race is never a stand-alone event, but also involves tourist and local interests. After an examination of the vain requests, the dates of about 270 tenders are fixed. These are mostly speed (150) rather than regularity and rally. And it’s a logical fact. as the first ones include races more appreciated to the public and to the same drivers - private or professional - like the tests in circuit of Formula 1, Formula 2 or Formula 3 and those uphill, while the second ones are restricted to the specialists.
We note, however, a vigorous revival of the rally, a type of competition that combines in itself speed and regularity, and that is becoming popular in Italy. In the calendar, compared to last year, there are no significant changes, as was natural to predict: the organizers always tend to keep the same dates from year to year or at least the same period. The races will open on Sunday, January 10, 1967 with the Lazio kart trophy and the Autosciatoria dell'Automobile Club of Domodossola. This is a formula that is meeting very favor, especially in the North: skiers-drivers are tens of thousands. The most important news concerns the fact that in 1967, according to insistent rumors, Enzo Ferrari will do without the collaboration of Eugenio Dragoni, the sports director of Scuderia Ferrari. The divorce, in the air for a long time, seems to take place in the coming days. A few days later, interrupting a tradition that lasted a long time, Enzo Ferrari will not hold this year the usual press conference during which he used to make programmatic statements on the activity of his car manufacturer for the following season. The meeting was this year replaced with a televised broadcast during the evening of Tuesday, December 13, 1966 on the program Sprint. Enzo Ferrari - quiet, not at all polemical, rather almost jovial - takes lessons from what defines the bluntly defeat of Le Mans in front of Ford.
"Sportily we bow in front of the winner, but we immediately say that we are not at all willing to consider the match between Detroit and Maranello closed. We are preparing for the rematch with new machines and, in part with new men".
Ferrari announces the composition of its official team, which will see Lorenzo Bandini, Ludovico Scarflottl and the new acquisitions Chris Amon and Jonathan Williams, as well as the tuner-tester Mike Parkes who will race when possible. Moreover, a very promising young Tuscan driver, Nanni Galli, will be tested. As for the cars, a couple of brand new 4000 cc prototypes are being developed, three Formula 1 single-seaters of 3000 cc in turn completely new, three cars of the new Formula 2 (2000 cc) with the Fiat Dino engine. Priority was given to the Prototype cars because already Saturday, February 4, 1967 they will compete at Daytona, in the first clash of the season with the Fords. Technical details, the manufacturer of Modena does not provide. Other important announcements concern the replacement of the sports director Eugenio Dragoni with the journalist Franco Lini, the agreement with the tyre company Firestone Bremen (which also has a factory in Bari and which brought to Ferrari the driver Chris Amon, affiliated with the same Firestone), and the possible participation in the Indy 500, but not before 1968. Also for this reason Lorenzo Bandini will be left free to participate next year in the classic Indiana race at the wheel of an Anglo-American car. Ferrari is asked if he will continue the program of the Dino 206 GT berlinetta: the manufacturer answers in the affirmative.
"While deliveries of the Fiat Dino are about to begin, our prototype with Pininfarina bodywork, presented last month at the Turin Motor Show, will have to reach the 500 units built in the second half of next year, in order to obtain the homologation in the category Gran Turismo 2 liters. By May we think we are ready also with the Formula 2 car".
In the last season, the racing department of the House of Maranello found itself in difficulty because of the union unrest; from this point of view things will improve, because Enzo Ferrari has concluded an agreement with the FIOM under which the workers assigned to the department will be excluded from any strikes. Enzo Ferrari reads in this regard the preamble of the agreement, in which the two unions explicitly recognize the value of Ferrari’s victories and the contribution that derives from them for prestige in the Italian working world. To the question about relations with Fiat, Ferrari answers:
"Most cordial, and in full mutual independence. From Mirafiori comes a precious help for the instrumental verification of the calculations of our technical office, for metallographic laboratory tests, etc".
On the telescreens, therefore, appears a quiet, confident Ferrari, more than ever launched towards new initiatives.
"I would never give up racing, because I am always convinced of their technical function and the validity of the experiences that they allow us to transfer in production".
Translated by Francesca Risi