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#148 1966 Italian Grand Prix

2021-12-16 00:00

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#1966, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Alessia Bossi, Federica Dondo,

#148 1966 Italian Grand Prix

Brands Hatch, a cinquanta chilometri da Londra, è sede d'un magnifico autodromo: quello dove il 16 Luglio 1966 s'è disputato il Gran Premio di Gran Br

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Brands Hatch, fifty kilometers from London, is home to a magnificent circuit: the one where the Grand Prix of Great Britain was held on 16 July 1966, won by the Australian Jack Brabham. Some sequences of the exciting competition will be included in the film Grand Prix that the director John Frankenheimer shot, for the English competitive part, precisely on the fabulous British track. Subsequently, other famous European circuits hosted the film crew, whose drivers, after competing in Monte-Carlo, Spa and Zandvoort, have now moved to the French Clermont-Ferrand circuit to shoot other important scenes.The film is certainly the most spectacular that has been dedicated to motor racing, never before shown in the cinema. The curvature of the ultra-giant screen seems made to increase the dynamism of the projection, which other prestige certainly will get from the color, for which the director makes use of the collaboration of Lionel Landon, one of the most capable operator of Hollywood.

 

"Driving a car is the only way to feel free and independent in today’s world. Mine will not be a film of the kind made on the subject in the past: those in which James Cagney starred against the backdrop of Indianapolis. What I propose to do is something similar to what Francesco Rosi did with the film The moment of truth, which tells in the most realistic way possible what a bullfighter feels and thinks in facing a bull".

 

In the case of Grand Prix the bullfighters are the racers; the bulls, the race cars. John Frankenheimer, with the 7,000,000 dollars that have been budgeted for this production, will try to make the truth of the racing world: the danger, the struggle, the hardness of the preparation, the continuous risk.

 

"This is why Cinerama is irreplaceable. In the next film, changing the needs of the story, I will also change the technique, but for the Grand Prix I believe that Cinerama is the best solution".

 

Grand Prix tells the story of the men and racing cars who, during the racing season, risk their lives on the tracks of the World Championship. The film is well advanced in the production, but the sequences set in Monza are still to be shot and will be next month during the dispute of the Italian Grand Prix. Unfortunately, in the stages of the Italian race will no longer appear Giuseppe Farina, the unforgettable and great Turin driver who recently passed away. However, he will relive in other moments of the film and will not be seen without emotion by the spectators who for years were passionate about his achievements as a runner among the most daring post-war. Since there has been almost a month of free time between the German Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix, all teams have had plenty of time to improve their cars or complete new ones in time for the race to be held in Monza, the latest of the classic European events. The result is a participation of the highest technical interest and the best ever seen in this new era. There are new cars from Brabham, B.R.M., All American Racers and Honda, while Ferrari and Maserati produce new versions of existing engines.the spectators who for years were passionate about his achievements as a runner among the most daring post-war. There are new cars from Brabham, B.R.M., All American Racers and Honda, while Ferrari and Maserati produce new versions of existing engines. Scuderia Ferrari has registered three cars with new V12 engines, driven by Lorenzo Bandini, Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti. Team Lotus also presents a team of three cars, driven by Jim Clark (with the new Lotus 43 with B.R.M. H16 engine), Peter Arundell (R1 car with B.R.M. V8 2-litre engine) and the young Italian driver Geki (pseudonym of Giacomo Russo) on R14 with Coventry-engineClimax V8 of 2 liters. Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme will instead drive the standard Brabham-Repco V8 cars. Jack Brabham will race with the original prototype, with oval section tubes in the chassis, and Denny Hulme with the second car of 1966. The two drivers of the Brabham team will also have a brand new car, identical to that of Hulme, to be tested in Brabham, also with the proven Repco V8 engine.

 

The Cooper team consists of the usual Surtees-Rindt pair, and their cars are equipped with new Maserati V12 engines with the intake ducts tilted inwards, to make the engine more compact. The B.R.M. is presented with three cars equipped with 16-cylinder engines: the original Monaco prototype and the improved one that appeared at Spa, plus a third brand new car. The two newer cars have improved gearboxes and a new layout, and the clutch operation has been revamped, while the Hill car has a significantly revised engine that works as a single 16-cylinder unit, rather than as two 8-cylinder units. Of these new engines there is only one (Clark’s Lotus has the previous type of engine, like the one Stewart uses). The B.R.M. the team comes with the intention of racing at all costs with the cars equipped with 3-liter engines, since the 2-liter Tasmans have finally been retired, even if one is not very far from them, being exposed to the exhibition in the park of Monza organized by ACI. The all-new Honda V12 makes its first appearance in the hands of Richie Ginther, and you expect a lot from this powerful - but also big and heavy - car. In mid-August, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers team tested the new Gurney-Weslake V12 engine, and the results were so encouraging that they were quick to install it on a new chassis, 102, and to present it in Monza together with the 101 car with 4-cylinder Climax engine. As Bruce McLaren’s two entries were withdrawn at the last minute due to engine problems, Gurney enrolled Phil Hill in his Climax-powered car, provided the new V12 worked well enough in practice to enter the race. Tim Parnell registered his two Lotus 25, number R3 and R4, respectively for Spence and Baghetti, both with 2-liter B.R.M. V8 engine and Hewland gearbox. Jo Siffert is enrolled in the Cooper-Maserati V12 of Walker/Durlacher, Bob Bondurant is enrolled by Bernard White driving his Tasman B.R.M. V8 and Jo Bonnier and Bob Anderson registered their cars, respectively the Cooper-Maserati V12 and the Brabham-Climax with 4 cylinders. With no McLaren to drive, Chris Amon acquired a Brabham-B.R.M. V8 from MGM and signed up as a serious competitor.

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Testing for the Italian Grand Prix began on Friday, September 2, 1966 at 3:00 p.m. in perfect weather conditions, with Ferrari, Honda and B.R.M. already testing earlier in the week. The official lap record was set in the race last year by Jim Clark (1'36"4) on a Lotus-Climax V8 from a liter and a half, while currently in practice the drivers drove in 1'35"9. Considering the quality of the cars equipped with 3-liter engines it is obvious that these times will be widely beaten, especially because the new Ferrari has already turned in 1'31"7 unofficially, and also Honda and Cooper-Maserati have run in 1'34"0 without too many problems. Given that most of the cars are new, one wonders if there may be a certain reluctance to push too much, but this is a wrong impression because during the afternoon the fast pace is very fast, with Ferraris appearing unchallenged. At one point the Honda and the Cooper-Maserati V12 of Surtees seem to have the same pace, with the Japanese engine emitting a magnificent sound. Jo Siffert is in the middle of his first lap when a connecting rod breaks and makes a hole in the crankcase of his Maserati engine, while Graham Hill does not make many laps with his B.R.M. before the gearbox breaks. Jackie Stewart’s B.R.M. is pretty good, but Jim Clark’s Lotus 43, which has a similar engine, is much better and shows encouraging reliability, completing a total of twenty-eight laps by the end of the afternoon without presenting any serious problem, although the gearbox seems to lose a lot of oil. Dan Gurney delays the exit with his Eagle because the car is being finished to the intent of the paddock; when he manages to start, the engine works well and emits a very strong sound, but the installation of the fuel pumps and pipes causes a lack of acceleration and the mechanics cannot finish the modification to the plant before the end of the tests. 

 

Meanwhile, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill did some tests with the Eagle with a 4-cylinder engine, but the fact that it carries the same number as the car with a V12 engine caused some confusion among timekeepers. Jack Brabham experimented with new Goodyear tyres, and one of these experiments made him spin and then spin over the sand at the South Bend. The B.R.M. is in a bit of a pickle, because the 16-cylinder 3-litre reserve engine had a broken gearbox earlier this week, and with the newer car having gearbox problems, despite improvements, Graham Hill has no car left to drive. The car equipped with a 2-litre V8 engine was then withdrawn, although Hill used it to get some practice in the afternoon. Although the Lotus 43 is fine, the British team does not have full confidence in it and the faithful Lotus 33 with 2-liter Climax engine is held for Jim Clark in case of need; as a result, Geki cannot make even a test drive. During this first day of official practice of the Italian Grand Prix, the Englishman Mike Parkes, at the wheel of the 3000 cc Ferrari achieves the best lap time in 1'31"3 at the average of 226,725 km/h, beating last year’s record scored by Jim Clark. After the English, the fastest are Ludovico Scarfiotti (1'31"6) and Lorenzo Bandini (1'32"0), also on Ferrari. The American Richie Ginther, in the brand new Honda V12, set a time of 1'32"4, while the Englishman John Surtees, in the Cooper-Maserati, achieved the fifth best time (1'32"6) and seems to fail to match the cars of Maranello in terms of speed. Saturday, September 3, 1966 the practice starts at 3:00 p.m. and lasts until 6:30 p.m., so as to give enough time on track to all competitors. The Ferrari trio ended the first practice session in first, second and third place,and today none of the three drivers improve their previous times.

 

The morale of the team is a bit upset by Surtees who gets in the middle of the Ferrari drivers, beating Bandini’s time by 0.1 seconds; then Clark beats Surtees' time, so Bandini is relegated to fifth place, failing to improve. For this test Surtees returns to use the old Maserati engine with wide angle air intakes, equipped with a Marelli coil ignition system, while Rindt continues the tests with the new engine.Since Baghetti breaks the gearbox of the car that the Parnell team lent him, the Scuderia Ferrari team manager, Eugenio Dragoni, lends to the Parnell team the 2.4-litre Ferrari V6 that the Italian team used at the beginning of the year, as long as Baghetti leads it. Throughout the afternoon there is a lot of movement on the track and often interesting situations occur, such as when rival teams meet and drivers try to discover the speed of opponents, or to get in the wake of the fastest cars.For a few laps Jackie Stewart (B.R.M.), John Surtees (Cooper-Maserati), Jack Brabham (Brabham-Repco), Jim Clark (Lotus-B.R.M.) and Jochen Rindt (Cooper-Maserati) give life to an interesting duel, forgetting to be in a practice session. But the result is that lap times are reduced and last year’s race record (1'36"4) is easily surpassed by anyone with a competitive car. Seventeen of the twenty starters beat the old lap record, and the first twelve cars are all 3-litre cars of 1966. Some of the new official cars still have many problems: Dan Gurney is still plagued by the fuel problem, but the Weslake V12 engine makes a nice sound when he manages to solve it. 

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For a few laps Jackie Stewart (B.R.M.), John Surtees (Cooper-Maserati), Jack Brabham (Brabham-Repco), Jim Clark (Lotus-B.R.M.) and Jochen Rindt (Cooper-Maserati) give life to an interesting duel, forgetting to be in a practice session. But the result is that lap times are reduced and last year’s race record (1'36"4) is easily surpassed by anyone with a competitive car. Seventeen of the twenty starters beat the old lap record, and the first twelve cars are all 3-litre cars of 1966. Some of the new official cars still have many problems: Dan Gurney is still plagued by the fuel problem, but the Weslake V12 engine makes a nice sound when he manages to solve it. As a result, Colin Chapman is confident enough to allow Geki to start practicing with the 2-litre Climax car. Towards the end of the afternoon, Jim Clark was seen on the back straight with an obvious difficulty, and moments after the Lotus 43 stopped for a slight defect in the gear shift mechanism. Jack Brabham trains with both the new and the old car and changes the numbers so that each fast lap is credited to his race number. While the Lotus Team is very satisfied with the performance of its B.R.M.-powered car, the B.R.M. team is almost miserable because during the afternoon the 2-litre engine breaks down, and on four cars the British team remains with only one working car: the car with the last engine on which Graham Hill started the tests, which for this second session of tests has mounted the gearbox group of the car of Jackie Stewart adapted to the young Scotsman, who is only ninth in the overall standings. Jim Clark, on the other hand, takes his car to the front row, in third place, next to the official Ferrari of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti.

 

The Honda V12 engine performs well on its first outing, but not as well as some expect, as handling is poor and the suspension and steering are far from ideal. The Japanese mechanics make many small changes to the geometry, but the drivers of the slower cars continue to find it difficult in the corners. The 20 fastest cars earned a spot on the grid, excluding Phil Hill and Chris Amon. The Lotus Team was able to repair the 16-cylinder car, allowing Geki to participate in the race with the V8 Climax engine.After a long session of work, the B.R.M. the team managed to fit two H16-powered cars for Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart, with the first again on the more recent car, as during Friday’s practice sessions. In particular, the results of the official tests on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 September 1966 confirm the excellent preparation of Ferrari, which with Parkes and Scarfiotti get the best lap times, exceeding the 225 km/h average (in the last round of training Scarfiotti is the fastest, without improving the performance of the day before). The World Champion in charge Jim Clark, on Lotus-B.R.M., John Surtees on Cooper-Maserati, and Lorenzo Bandini on Ferrari are separated by a few fraction of a second in this indicative ranking.With the 37th edition of the Italian Grand Prix, which will be held on Sunday, September 5, 1966 in Monza, there will be for the first time an almost complete line-up of the cars built according to the scheme required by the new Formula 1, prescribing engines with a maximum displacement of 3000 cc and a minimum weight of 500 kilograms. In previous tests of the season, as this applies to the World Drivers Championship, the forces were more heterogeneous.

 

At Monza, however, the technical situation enters a phase of greater balance, with the debut of the British B.R.M. and Lotus driven by the same sixteen-cylinder engine, the Japanese Honda and the American Eagle, alongside the already known and tested Ferrari (which in turn mount on this occasion engines of unprecedented type), the Cooper-Maserati and the Brabham. It is however a general impression that it will still be the cars of this second group to impose their superiority, if only for the longer experience in racing. In particular, the results of the official tests confirmed the excellent preparation of the Ferrari, which with Parkes and Scarflotti achieved the best lap times of 5750 meters, exceeding the 225 km/h average. Separated by a few fraction of a second in this ranking simply indicative are the reigning World Champion, Jim Clark, on Lotus-B.R.M., Surtees on Cooper-Maserati, and Bandini still on Ferrari. The forecasts are therefore in favor of the Maranello team, which this year has seen itself deprived for a complex of technical, organizational and human reasons of the superiority that its cars equipped with twelve-cylinder engines gave to hope. For the world title, however, there is nothing more to do, being in practice - although not yet mathematically - passed into the hands of the Australian Jack Brabham, that with the machine he himself built (a small miracle of craftsmanship) has won four of the six races held so far. The interest for the 37th Italian Grand Prix therefore lies in mainly technical reasons, in the indications that will result for the racing season 1967. However, we cannot keep silent about the concerns that on the human level arouse these powerful machines of double displacement compared to recent years, with powers that in some engines reach 380 horsepower and speeds not far from 300 km/h. The drivers do not hide the difficulty of dominating, making the most of these cars. Among the novelties of the eve of the race in Monaco there is the offer of the manufacturer Enzo Ferrari of his car to Giancarlo Baghetti, who was registered with a Lotus 2000.

 

Baghetti has naturally accepted with enthusiasm, and on Sunday will be at the start on a car equipped with a six-cylinder engine, 2400 cc, as the fourth driver of the Maranello team. Finally, a rumor gathered in environments close to Ferrari: next year the young Austrian driver Jochen Rindt would be hired. Every year the ACI shortens the length of the Italian Grand Prix; in fact, on this occasion the race distance is reduced to 68 laps, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday 4 September 1966, when the sun is no longer so hot. On Sunday morning the Eagle team is struggling with changes to the power system of the car equipped with a V12 engine, while Jack Brabham decides to drive his old original car of 1966 and Clark and Geki change race number, but not the respective car. With Chris Amon not playing, Mike Spence takes #32 instead of #42. Rob Walker borrows another engine for Jo Siffert’s car, which qualified on Saturday, while Jo Bonnier’s Maserati engine has problems with the injection pump. John Surtees still uses the first type of Maserati engine, while Jochen Rindt uses the more recent one. All the starters, except four, make a warm-up lap: Jo Siffert is content to bring his car on the starting grid, while Dan Gurney is late leaving due to a last-minute adjustment and John Surtees has problems at home of a leak from the rubber fuel tank. Jackie Stewart’s car also suffers from a similar, if more serious, problem, as the fuel is poured into the cockpit and causes him a very uncomfortable sitting. Given the complicated nature of many engines and the fact that they cannot be kept in neutral for too long, the start is not good because the starter keeps them on the fictitious grid for too long. As the drivers get closer to the actual starting grid, Jim Clark is anxious because the fuel pressure swings a lot, prompting the Scottish driver to fear that there may be a leak. Ludovico Scarfiotti is slightly late, as is John Surtees, both keen to start well, while Richie Ginther manages to keep the number of laps of the Honda engine at maximum. 

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As the national flag lowers, Ludovico Scarfiotti is already moving from a few meters behind the starting line and leads, with Richie Ginther following him closely. Jim Clark misses the start and the B.R.M. The engine goes down from the power curve, so much so that he moves away with his arm raised to warn the drivers who follow him to be in trouble. Jo Bonnier also slowly drifts away due to the breakup of the throttle, but everyone else drifts away in a cloud of smoke. The initial advantage of Scarfiotti lasted little; during the initial lap the Italian driver lost positions. The group of cars in front of the Curva Sud sees Bandini leading (Ferrari), followed by, Parkes (Ferrari), Surtees (Cooper-Maserati), Ginther (Honda), Brabham (Brabham-Repco), Scarfiotti (Ferrari), Rindt (Cooper-Maserati) and Stewart (B.R.M.). Jim Clark is last among them, but the Scottish driver pushes his car to the maximum after the terrible start. Graham Hill did not complete the initial lap due to the engine failure of his B.R.M. Gurney also brought his Eagle-Weslake to the pits, followed by Bonnier. The next lap Bandini heads to the pits with a broken fuel line, leaving Parkes in the lead. The British driver is now followed by Surtees, Brabham, Hulme, Ginther and Rindt. At the end of the line-up, Jim Clark climbed up two places and gained another on the third lap, when Surtees took the lead in the crowd. Although the leading group is grouped, the cars are not turning in line with the standards of the tests, and Brabham manages to take the lead without too many problems, turning a little more than 1'37"0. On the fourth and fifth lap the Australian driver takes the lead and starts to break away from the other competitors, while in the meantime Clark takes to the bottom of the group of official cars. At the end of the sixth lap, when Brabham passes in front of the pits there is a disturbing fog of blue smoke coming from the Repco engine, and even if it does not lose speed Parkes, Surtees, Hulme, Ginther, Scarfiotti, Rindt and Clark understand that the Australian race is almost over. 

 

Brabham’s problem lies in a control plate on the distribution cover that is unscrewed and dropped, and although it is possible to screw another one, the engine is losing a lot of oil, which cannot be replenished according to FIA regulations. As the smoke continues to escape from the engine, Jack Brabham manages to make another lap always with an impressive advantage, but at the end of the eighth lap he heads towards the pits, letting Parkes pass in the head accompanied by the great cries of the crowd of Italian fans. As if to encourage the Brabham team in the moment of discouragement in which they see their boss go to the pits, Hulme overtakes Surtees and leads in the wake of Ferrari in the lead.Gurney and Bonnier returned to the race. Scarfiotti began to improve his performance and Bandini returned to the race. At the end of the first ten laps the order sees Parkesin head, followed by Hulme, Surtees, Scarfiotti, Clark, Ginther and Rindt, still very close together, lined up along the straights and side by side in some corners. They follow Baghetti and Spence, in close company, and then Arundell, Anderson and Siffert, with Bondurant further back and Geki in the queue, already voiced. Stewart is forced to retire on lap five due to a fuel leak from the tank that has lodged on the driver’s seat, while Gurney still has problems with the Eagle-Weslake power plant. During the thirteenth lap Scarfiotti passes in the lead, closely followed by Ginther and his fast Honda on the straight, while Surtees gets in front of Parkes. At the same time, Clark heads to the pits with an inclined rear wheel due to the rupture of the safety tube of the tubeless tyre, which ends on one side of the outer cover, unbalancing the car. The wheel is replaced and Clark resumes the race in last position, one lap from the leaders and without any hope of recovery. Bandini waits for his chance and joins the leading group, albeit seven laps late, and does his best to help Parkes and Scarfiotti in their battle. 

 

Thanks to the help of the Italian driver Scarfiotti, he takes the lead in the race, with Ginther’s Honda firmly maintaining the second position, followed by Parkes and Surtees, who in turn are followed by Bandini. The overall pace of the race is increasing, but it is still not as fast as in the tests, so much so that Hulme and Surtees are able to keep up with the Ferraris and are hindered by Bandini. In the meantime Dan Gurney enters and leaves the pits and finally the Eagle of the American driver begins to work regularly, allowing the latter to score a lap to just over 1'35"0, but then the oil temperature begins to rise alarmingly and the car is withdrawn at the end of the seventh lap. During the sixteenth lap a Honda rear tire driven by Richie Ginther deflates; while the car begins to oscillate, the American driver brakes to try to stabilize it, but loses control and exits the track finishing in the trees at over 200 km/h in the curve after the straight of the grandstands, touching two commissioners of the race. The accident occurs at the Curva Grande, the curve that opens at the end of the long straight of the grandstands. It is a point where cars are launched at over 200 km/h. Richie Ginther is immediately transported by ambulance to the field hospital inside the Autodrome, a few tens of meters from the pits, while the race slows down for a few seconds. The American pilot does not lose consciousness: even if he has his suit torn to shreds, he is without shoes and has a bloody face. After the first dressings, the runner is transported, always by ambulance, to the civil hospital of Monza, where they hospitalize him in one of the internal pavilions. At the end of the twentieth lap Scarfiotti continues to lead the race, with Surtees, Hulme and Parkes compact behind him; Bandini is with them, while Rindt begins to show signs of subsidence. Baghetti and Spence continue to run close to each other, and Arundell and Anderson also lead a good race together, constantly swapping positions, with Siffert a little further back to observe the battle in progress.

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Bondurant, Clark and Geki are all one lap behind the leaders and, although the Lotus 43 is good, the Scottish driver can only continue to do a test race, as he is too far behind to take any of the leading drivers. If there was a Ferrari car in the lead, it is obvious that Enzo Ferrari would prefer that to win as one of his Italian drivers. At the end of the 27th lap Mike Parkes leads the group passing in the lead, but at the end of the next lap Scarfiotti is back in the lead, while Surtees pushes Parkes in third, but only for one lap. The two Ferraris are faster than the Cooper-Maserati and the Brabham, but the skill of Surtees and Hulme compensates for the lack of speed. At the end of lap thirty-one, Surtees noticed that his car was behaving strangely and had to lower the pace. Thinking he had a slow puncture, the British driver headed to the pits, where he discovered that the problem on the Cooper-Maserati was caused by a tank failure, and the gasoline was ending up on the rear tires causing a feeling of instability. Meanwhile Lorenzo Bandini passes in front of the pits with the engine that emits a bad sound, and stops during the thirty-third lap for a fuel injection problem. So, Ludovico Scarfiotti is in the lead, with Parkes and Hulme behind him, but the New Zealand driver does not want to settle for a third place and fights brilliantly with the British Ferrari driver, often passing in the lead. Halfway through the race distance, at the end of lap 34, Scarfiotti is still in the lead and there is nothing to stop Ferrari from winning the Italian Grand Prix, because all Hulme can do is to get in front of Parkes from time to time.

 

Every time he succeeds, the New Zealand driver is again relegated to third place by the superior speed of the Maranello car. In the meantime, the problems of Jim Clark, who is having problems with the gearbox, continue. Rindt is in fourth position solo, while Baghetti and Spence have not changed position and continue to be voiced by the leader. Arundell and Anderson continue to struggle, passing and going over and over, with Siffert still behind them and Bondurant pulling back further due to the slip of the clutch of the engine B.R.M. While the problem on the engine of Lorenzo Bandini is solved and the Italian driver returns to the race, waiting for the leader to join him to help Mike Parkes to face the attacks of Denny Hulme. The times are now constantly below 1'34"0 and the New Zealand driver is working hard to fight the two Ferrari drivers, often passing outside Bandini when he is in the way in the fast corners. Thanks to this exciting battle Denny Hulme improves the lap record twice, with a time of 1'33"0 on lap thirty-second and 1'32"5 on lap thirty-fifth, but despite that Scarfiotti accumulates an advantage that can now be measured in seconds. During the forty-seventh lap Bandini found once again an engine ignition problem and was forced to return to the pits, this time permanently, thus allowing Hulme and Parkes to race without interference. Scarfiotti has ten seconds of advantage, so Parkes can let Hulme dictate the rhythm, limiting himself to stay behind to try to demoralize him; a difficult task, however, because the New Zealander is certainly not an easy driver to counter on the psychological level.

 

Shortly before the end of the fiftieth lap, the scene is very eventful: the leaders double the duo Baghetti-Spence, who in turn pass the combative Anderson and Arundell, so that some parts of the track are very crowded, with seven cars enclosed in a mixed group, while Ludovico Scarfiotti sets the new lap record in 1'32"4. Giancarlo Baghetti overtakes Mike Spence, and Bob Anderson overtakes Peter Arundell, but the Lotus-B.R.M.has problems with the gearbox and often skips gears, resulting in an abnormal increase in engine rpm. Jim Clark continues to impose a very high pace with his Lotus-B.R.M., although he is many laps behind the summit, and reaches Ludovico Scarfiotti covering several laps at the same pace of the Italian driver before overtaking and detaching him, giving Team Lotus great hopes for the future of this car. During the fifty-fifth lap Giancarlo Baghetti begins to have problems with the throttle pulling system and must return to the pits; this delay makes him fall from fifth place to last, allowing Mike Spence to subtract the position.In the last laps of the race Ludovico Scarfiotti manages to relax, letting his advantage of over 15 seconds is reduced to less than 6 seconds, but there is no danger that the Italian driver can be overtaken, since Mike Parkes overtakes Denny Hulme on the straight every time Brabham takes the lead in a corner. Jim Clark was forced to retire on lap 58, as the gearbox stalled. The previous pit stops meant that the Scottish driver did not have a sufficient number of laps to qualify in the final ranking. Only five laps to go, Arundell’s Lotus V8 B.R.M. engine breaks as it drives past the pits. 

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Ludovico Scarfiotti has realized in Monza the dream of life, although full of successes in the sport of the car: racing in Formula 1 and win a Grand Prix. Lulu, as his friends call him, is thirty-three years old, has been in the breach for six or seven years. There was no Grand Prix, and - as always happens - this absence weighed more for Scarfiotti than positive results. It seemed that the driver from Marche was more at ease on the large prototypes of 4000 cc or the Dino, than on the fast single-seaters. The same Enzo Ferrari, was of this opinion, so much so that last year, at Monza, he preferred to leave his driver on foot at the last moment. But Scarfiotti is not an easy man to surrender, he was patient, he proved in recent months to be in great shape and place, thanks to the departure of Surtees. came out. So, after fourteen years, a conductor and an Italian car won in Monza. Fourteen years: from the days of Ascari and Ferrari two liters. It doesn’t matter that the world title has now gone to the Australian Jack Brabham, forced to retire but winner of four of the six races before the Italian Grand Prix: remains the wonderful statement of an Italian driver, the hope that a new ace has risen in Formula 1, the university of car racers. Scarfiotti did not have a difficult task, his Ferrari was too superior in power and tuning compared to the various Lotus, B.R.M., Cooper-Maserati and Honda, but he also showed his best qualities: generosity, boldness and, at the same time, prudence. The driver did not get carried away by the car, he preferred to save it, even when he could accelerate and detach more opponents. A nice side of Scarfiotti’s character is modesty.

 

"I have to thank especially my teammate Parkes, who helped me a lot by curbing the Hulme offensives".

 

The New Zealander, protagonist of a very regular race, finished third, at the wheel of a Brabham-Repco. Scarfiotti also pointed out that in the first laps he did not have the feeling of being able to achieve success:

 

"The others seemed too strong".

 

They are two jokes, but they show that Lulu does not hear a star and much less a super-ace, despite the flags, the applause, the cries. the affectionate assaults and autograph requests from hundreds of people. There was even an old soldier of the war 1815-18, a curious and anachronistic character descended from the hills of Brianza on the Autodrome, who wanted at all costs to give a bouquet of field flowers to the champion of the day. Scarfiotti had to hole up in one of the Ferrari boxes, lying on a bunch of tires waiting for the storm to pass. Meanwhile, he signed licenses, pieces of paper, and programs of the race. He got out of the car very tired, in a sweat, his face tense, pulled. Then, gradually he stretched out, friends around to congratulate, and a bottle of mineral to quench his thirst. 

 

"At lunch I had a hard-boiled egg and a fruit salad, my usual food before the races, but at dinner I want to make up for it. In the race I lose two or three kilos of weight, I’m not going to get thin".

 

The Marche driver, after a visit to Modena by Enzo Ferrari, will go to Porto Recanati for a short holiday. A few swims, a few trips with his large motorboat, then training in Monza and Modena. In October there are the United States Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix, final tests of the championship and Scarfiotti does not want to miss the appointment.

 

 "I will make useful experience for next year".

 

Experience also for the technicians of B.R.MCooper-Maserati and Honda: engines and suspensions need to be tuned, currently they do not go as they should. Stewart, Graham Hill and Clark know something about it, forced to act as compress in this first season of the new formula of three liters of displacement, not to mention Surtees or Ginther. The latter went off track breaking a collarbone and smashing his Honda.will spend a fairly quiet night, doctors think that he should recover in a short time. The only happy one, with Scarfiotti and the Ferrari clan, is, of course, Jack Brabham. His single-seater, for once, betrayed him: on lap eight the engine began to smoke. A look at the pits and goodbye to the race. But on the other hand, for the game of scores, the Australian driver has the mathematical certainty of having won the World Championship. Jack Brabham is forty years old, Scarfiotti is seven years younger: he also has time to become World Champion.

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Richie Ginther, at the wheel of his daughter-in-law Honda 12 cylinders, was the protagonist of a scary accident in Monza. He went off the road during the seventeenth lap while he was in second position behind Ludovico Scarfiotti, and ended up at 200 km/h in the woods that flanks the track, touching two commissioners of the race. Ginther suffered a fractured right collarbone, a wound to the left arm, a series of cuts to the face due to windshield rupture, and a slight state of shock. The two stewards had some abrasions on their legs and hands. This is not very important compared to the danger they had. One of the two attendants tells us:

 

"I saw the Honda on me, and I saved myself by diving next to my colleague".

 

Ginther was immediately transported by ambulance to the field hospital located inside the Autodrome, a few tens of meters from the pits, while the race slowed for a few seconds the pace. The American pilot had not lost consciousness: the shredded suit, no shoes, the bloody face, murmured as they stretched it out on the first-aid table:

 

"The car slipped away, and in a moment I was off track. It hurts here".

 

By touching his shoulder. After the first dressings, the runner was transported, always by ambulance, to the civil hospital of Monza, where he is hospitalized in one of the internal pavilions. The accident happened at the big bend, the curve that opens at the end of the long straight of the grandstands. It is a point where the cars are launched, at over 200 km/h. The curve winds on the right, it is wide-ranging, apparently not difficult; in fact, it is very dangerous: in case of skidding, riders for high speeds can not attempt emergency maneuvers. It seems that Ginther’s Honda slipped on a spot of oil, but some wanted to remember that the rider and mechanics of the Japanese team had, worked the night between Saturday and Sunday to fine-tune the suspension and improve the road holding.

 

 "It is a powerful, but very heavy machine: 740 kg. On test it didn’t seem too stable".

 

A judgment worthy of faith, since Richie Ginther, in addition to being a driver of vast experience, is also a sensitive test. He’s 33 years old, and he’s been racing for a dozen years. He’s been at Ferrari, B.R.M. and Cooper. In 1960, when he was at Ferrari, the manufacturer from Modena did not want him to race in Grand Prix not to distract him from testing. Hired two years ago by Honda, the Californian driver (he was born in Los Angeles to German parents) has actively collaborated in the construction of Japanese single-seaters. The car raced in Monza was at its first test in the current championship based on the new three-litre engine. Ginther fractured his collarbone bumping into the steering wheel as his Honda finished off the track.

 

"Richie was really lucky".

 

Exclaim Dan Gurney, the driver of the American Eagle team, sincere friend of Richie Ginther. Gurney had just retired and was in the pits when he heard about the accident. He ran towards the square next to the grandstands where the emergency vehicles stop, jumped on an ambulance and rushed with the driver and the nurse towards the great curve. On his return he was perhaps paler than Ginther himself.

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The public had the intuition that it was worth attending the 37th Italian Grand Prix, and had come as numerous as on a few occasions passed on the edges of the Lombard circuit. Needless to say, this great crowd followed the stages of the race and the progressive manifestation of the technical superiority of the Ferrari and that of the winner Ludovico Scarflotti. Accustomed for some time to disappointments in the sports field, Italian fans have had something to rejoice, as coming out of a kind of inferiority complex.Who of the motor racing follows in the first place the technical findings - that they constitute the main reason to be - has had the satisfaction to see as the Italian cars of Formula 1, that is representatives of the summit of the automotive constructions, have nothing to learn from the most reputed foreign cars. And it is a first positive finding in this 1966 that, culminating in the bitterness of Le Mans, had given the impression of relegating Enzo Ferrari in an undeserved role. The day of Monza must have dispelled many doubts in this regard, relaunching with good premises the entire Italian motorsport. But we want to highlight, of the Italian Grand Prix, especially the human aspects, embodied by the figure of the winner, that Ludovico Scarfiotti that the risky sport of the steering wheel does not professionalism in the strict sense of the term, but rather a conception of life, in the vaguely romantic spirit of heroic motoring. To those who deny the weight of family traditions in the spiritual and moral formation of each one we can remember that the cavalier Ludovico Scarfiotti, grandfather of the darling of Monza, was, in 1899, one of the founders of Fiat, and indeed chairman of the first board of directors, alongside Giovanni Agnelli, Roberto Biscaretti, Emanuele Bricheraso, Cesare Goria Gatti and others. And in those days, car construction and sports practically identified. Thirty years later, another Scarfiotti, the Honorable Luigi, was an excellent gentleman-driver, placing among other things at the very first places in a Mille Miglia.

 

 It would be a trivial exercise to draw rhetorical conclusions from these biographical references. However, the fact remains that Ludovico Scarflotti lived his childhood in a certain climate, which influenced his ideals and aspirations. Born in Turin on October 18, 1933, the boy later moved with his family to Porto Recanati, where he still lives managing a cement factory. But almost every Sunday he is somewhere in the world racing in a car. His career is quite long: after highlighting his qualities in races for small and medium-sized sports cars, he was hired by Ferrari and destined for long-distance and uphill races, which seemed particularly congenial to the young man’s aptitudes. At the wheel of Ferrari he won numerous international tests for sports cars and prototypes, including a 24 Hours of Le Mans; and for two consecutive years he won the title of European champion of the mountain. Formula 1 cars, which constitute the highest aspiration for any driver, had been tested by Ferrari in 1963, on the Reims circuit; and for two consecutive years has been awarded the title of European mountain champion. On the Formula 1 cars, which are the highest aspiration for any driver, had been tested by Ferrari in 1963, at the Reims circuit; but had had an accident in practice that cost him a broken leg and, for a long time, the possibility of being again employed by Enzo Ferrari in a role of such great responsibility. This year, the game of fate has come to meet him. After participating in the last Grands Prix prior to that of Italy, he showed up on Sunday prepared, aware that he had the great opportunity at hand. He didn’t let it get away. The audience cheered him on and cheered him on as in the days of the great Italian drivers of the past. Scarfiotti is no longer very young, and does not delude himself that he can give what the Nazzaro and the Varzi and the Nuvolari and the Ascari knew. He states this explicitly, almost with humility. And this too is a nice side of the winner of the Italian Grand Prix, this guy who says to run because he likes it, simply so, without resorting to those clichés that sometimes make appear those who the sporting glory welcomes in his arms are almost always generous. 

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Scuderia Ferrari’s victory at Monza undoubtedly had the power to relaunch Italian motor racing, rekindling enthusiasm and hope among fans. In a sense, indeed, the technical significance of the statement can be extended to the entire Italian automotive industry. With some reservations.Any car, and even more so if it is a racing car, is not enough to be ingeniously designed, with superior technical intuitions, to impose itself on the commercial or, indeed, competition. In drawing, execution and for its practical use, it needs the help of materials, accessories and details in turn designed for the specific purpose by specialized companies. Only through an integral technical collaboration between the car manufacturer and the by-products industry can a satisfactory product be produced.In the specific case of Ferrari, this external collaboration is not, from the part of the Italian companies of the branch, so complete as one might believe. There are certain valid reasons of an economic or productive nature or of a commercial approach to justify the disinterest of many for competitive techniques. In the first place, it seems questionable to many that motor racing has, in absolute terms, such a high technical or propagandistic value as to justify a direct or indirect interest on the part of the motor racing industry. However, it can be argued that for example in the United States and especially in the United Kingdom there are diametrically opposed criteria, so that there is a collective effort by specialized companies, intended to assist the many local manufacturers of sports cars in achieving concrete statements. These are then widely exploited for advertising purposes. This state of affairs can largely explain the difficulties that Ferrari will have to face year by year to continue the competitive activity.

 

There is more: in the field of racing, today we are witnessing a very rapid aging of mechanical vehicles, which are sometimes overcome, technically or functionally, in a few months. Hence the need for a continuous renewal, a design tension that needs a daily collaborative contact with suppliers of detached parts. If these contacts are to take place with foreign companies, it is clear that the difficulties are multiplying. The same engineer Enzo Ferrari provided a rough list of the parts of which he is tributary from other countries. Such as steel for valves, titanium alloy for connecting rods, disc brakes and related friction seals, injection pumps, clutch discs, aluminum radiators purchased in England; shock absorbers in Holland; gaskets for heads, the material for the valve seats and still the injection pumps in Germany; the candles in the United States and in France; the bearings indionizzati in England and in USA. And finally, and above all, tires, that after the renunciation to devote themselves to the problem of racing by a large Italian House, are supplied to Ferrari by British and American companies. All this, certainly not for inability or lack of experience on the part of similar Italian companies. The problem is another, it concerns a certain way of thinking about industrial policy, whether it is right or wrong.But perhaps it would be appropriate to revise some positions, comparing them with those of other countries which at this moment in the wider picture of global car production show an aggressiveness that is probably part of a long-term plan. Missed opportunities could be harmful in general terms, especially as regards the possibility of enriching, through the experience of racing, a wealth of technical and technological knowledge useful for normal production.


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