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#140 1965 United States Grand Prix

2022-05-07 00:00

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#1965,

#140 1965 United States Grand Prix

The World Drivers’ Championship for 1965 is clinched before the circus crosses the Atlantic, so the US Grand Prix, hold for the fifth year in successi

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On Friday, 24 September 1965, British driver John Surtees was injured at Mosport during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, 26 September 1965. The British ace was admitted in serious condition to the Toronto hospital, whose doctors have not yet given a precise prognosis. The frightening accident occurred in the first corner of the circuit, a downhill left-hand bend, while the racer was at the wheel of a Lola T70. The car lost a wheel and, after skidding several times, ended up against the guardrail, and plunged down the slope, overwhelming the driver who remained under the overturned car. Mechanics and race officials rushed to the scene of the accident and gave first aid to the injured man. Surtees was unconscious when he was pulled out from under the overturned car, but almost immediately regained consciousness. After a summary dressing, the British driver is loaded into an ambulance and transported to the Toronto hospital. The hospital doctors have not yet completed their examination of the injuries sustained by the former World Champion and reserve the right to issue a definitive prognosis after the necessary X-ray checks.

 

"Surtees has numerous fractures and a wound on his back. We hope that there is no internal bleeding".

 

It is clear, however, although more precise news is lacking so far, that Surtees' condition is worrying. The car is completely destroyed. Surtees had already been the protagonist of a spectacular accident in August 1964, while racing on the English track of Goodwood during the Tourist Trophy. The racer, travelling at 160 km/h at the wheel of a Ferrari, had collided lightly with Ireland's car and in an attempt to steer had ended up off the road. With a superhuman effort the driver managed to pull himself back onto the track but crashed into Lanfranchi's car. Surtees was taken to hospital in a state of shock, but the doctors found him to be nothing more than confused. In the course of the night John Surtees was in a very serious condition at Scarborough Hospital. It was learnt that the doctors had - at least for the time being - refrained from any surgery, precisely because of the extremely critical condition of the injured man. For the same reason it has also been decided to suspend any further examination, but it has been reported by a hospital spokesman that John Surtees suffered several fractures to his spine, with spinal cord dislocation, a comminuted pelvic fracture and injuries of varying degrees. Unfortunately, in the opinion of the doctors, even if he survives, the 31-year-old British champion driver will not only no longer be able to race, but not even lead a normal life as, given the severity of his spinal injuries, he will be paralysed at least from the chest down.

 

About an hour after being admitted, John Surtees regained consciousness for a few moments and, according to nurse Marie Meuisier, first asked what had happened, and then invoked the mesh, plunging back into unconsciousness. On the almost seventy-kilometre journey from the racetrack to the hospital, the doctor on duty in the ambulance gave the injured man a generous transfusion of plasma, and blood transfusions were administered at the hospital. But the haemorrhage, however severe, did not worry the doctors so much as the existence of fractures to the spine, pelvic bones and ribs, and the fact that there were certainly very serious internal injuries that could not be accurately diagnosed. According to some experts, and on the basis of part of the testimonies collected so far, the accident was caused by the sudden locking of the car's front disc brakes. The sudden braking action exerted only on the front wheels of the light and powerful car would have caused the car to wheelie and go off the track. According to other witnesses, the tragedy was caused by the loss of one of the wheels at full speed, for unknown causes. Malcolm Malone, the British driver's chief mechanic, says he is unable to give an explanation. But the Montreal newspaper La Presse published that Surtees was dissatisfied with the braking system of the Lola T70 and had telegraphed Ferrari asking for a car to be sent to him for his participation in the Canadian Grand Prix. He would be answered that there was not enough time for the shipment. Then, on Saturday, 25 September 1965, it was learned that John Surtees was out of danger and would not be paralysed, as the doctors at the Scarborough Institute had feared on the basis of the first hasty examinations.

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The Ferrari driver did not suffer any head injuries and the fractures to his spine and pelvic region turned out to be much less serious than expected. Perhaps Surtees will be discharged within three weeks and, after a period of convalescence and rest of about four months, he will even be able to resume his activities at the wheel of the racing cars produced in Maranello. Surtees, the only racer to have managed to win world titles in motorcycling and motor racing, remembers nothing of the frightful accident that occurred to him, but otherwise speaks normally, conversing with the doctors and nurses who are constantly attending to him. In the evening he is visited by his wife Patrizia and his parents, who have flown in from England. His spirits, already high, were greatly improved by the meeting with his family. The English champion married in 1962 and has no children. Mrs Patrizia, who usually follows her husband's races from the refuelling boxes at the side of the tracks acting as timekeeper, had not travelled with Surtees to Canada, held up in London by work commitments. Thus, in one day, what looked like it would become another motorsport tragedy acquired - fortunately - more limited proportions. Of course, the English driver's condition still remains quite serious, and he is receiving frequent blood transfusions. However, the dramatic hours following the accident, when the life of the 31-year-old ace, who was trapped under his overturned car, seemed to hang by a thread, already seem far away. Dr O'Kelly of Scarborough Hospital says Surtees will have to remain hospitalised for at least three weeks, adding:

 

"It is almost certain, however, that he will be able to start racing again...if he wants to".

 

Surtees suffered a spinal cord injury, a pelvic bone fracture and numerous other internal fractures, however, the doctor points out, none of these injuries touched any vital organs, albeit by a matter of millimetres. With the worst averted, attention now turns to the Formula One circuit, and more precisely to Watkins Glen, a quiet resort town on the outskirts of New York, which will host the penultimate round of the World Championship, the United States Grand Prix. Organisers expect more than 100.000 spectators to attend the event, scattered around the edges of the distinctive 3.780-kilometre-long, teardrop-shaped track. Thousands of fans come from all over the United States, many grouped in picturesque caravans that crowd the spacious car parks around the circuit. The greatest interest surrounds the Lotus team: Jim Clark and Colin Chapman have acquired a fame comparable to that of song and film stars after their triumphs in the Championship and, above all, in the Indy 500, the car race par excellence of the American sporting world. Clark, as always, is the big favourite, even though Champan claims that his driver has recently lost that spectacular form that could make him win any competition with a tuned car. For the Scot, absent John Surtees because of the notorious accident in Canada, the most dangerous opponents will be Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. The two B.R.M. drivers, separated in the World Championship standings by just one point, would try on Sunday 3 October 1965 in the United States and Sunday 24 October 1965 in Mexico to take an honourable second place behind Clark. A family duel, therefore, that fits into the wider context of the race, as it did at Monza.

 

In Italy, Jackie Stewart won over his rival-companion in the last few hundred metres, thus achieving his first Formula 1 success, but at Watkins Glen for the young Scot the feat will be more difficult. Hill, in fact, has won the last two US Grands Prix, also setting the official circuit record last year at an average speed of 177.760 km/h. The task for Ferrari, which is without Surtees, will be difficult. Pedro Rodriguez is called in to replace the former World Champion. The Mexican is a very good driver, but he is at his debut on single-seaters, having so far only driven Sport and Prototype cars. Lorenzo Bandini will race alongside Pedro Rodriguez, and for the first time in his career will start as number one for the Maranello team. Ferrari's third man, through the American name of NART, will be Bob Bondurant, winner of the Sportscar World Championship in the powerful Ford Cobra granturismo. At Monza, the Californian driver outdid everyone in the Formula 3 Autodromo Cup, a spectacular prologue to the Grand Prix. The test of the new twelve-cylinder Honda entrusted to Richie Ginther is awaited with some interest by American and European sportsmen and women. The car arrives at Watkins Glen on Wednesday, 29 September 1965 by plane from Japan. On Thursday, 30 September 1965 Ginther, with the help of his companion Ronnie Bucknum (who will drive an older model) and a dozen Japanese mechanics wearing curious red military-style caps, work for fourteen hours straight to fine-tune the silver racing car. Over the course of the next morning, however, the car still suffers a few problems with its braking system. Ginther and his team are confident, however, that they will eliminate any defects in time for the race. The weather is good, as it usually is this season. Only in 1959, the year Stirling Moss won, was there a blizzard of snow and hail, which forced several racers to retire. The Watkins Glen race is the only Formula One race in the United States. The start, on Sunday 3 October 1965, is set for 2:00 p.m.

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The World Drivers’ Championship for 1965 is clinched before the circus crosses the Atlantic, so the US Grand Prix, hold for the fifth year in succession at the Watkins Glen Circuit, is not surrounded with quite so much daily paper “ballyhoo” as usual. Autumn at the Glen is not so far advanced as in some previous years and the beautiful rolling wooded countryside has not taken on the brilliant hues for which the area is noted. All who have attended this race in the past enjoy the returning, for this is the friendliest of all the racing venues. This year 18 cars and drivers are invited to participate in the seventh US Grand Prix. The Ferrari team has three cars entered. The No. 1 driver is Bandini as Surtees is in hospital at Toronto following his accident there the week before when an upright in the front suspension broke on the Lola 70. Although still very ill, reports from the hospital indicate that he is on the mend although he will be out of racing for sonic time. Bandini takes over the car Surtees would normally have driven and has a spare Flat-12 as well. Rodriguez is entered in a Flat-12 by North American Racing team, as is Bondurant in a V8; however, both cars are in the hands of Italian mechanics and under the control of Dragoni. Bondurant is driving in his first Formula One race and on a circuit on which he has not previously raced. Team Lotus has three entries for Clark, Spence and Moises Solana. Clark’s car is the one he used at Monza with the 32-valve Climax engine.

 

Spence and Solana are both using short-stroke, flat-crank-engines in the 33 chassis. Solana is the Mexican driver who has raced in Formula One previously only in Mexico City and will be Lotus’ No. 3 driver in both Grands Epreuves this side of the Atlantic. The BRM entry is identical to Monza; two cars, one for Graham Hill and the other for Jackie Stewart and a spare in case of accidents. No alterations have been made for this end-of-season race. Two Brabhams, for driver/constructor Jack and Dan Gurney, are unchanged. Gurney once again has a Climax 32-valve engine, but is not over-excited as it is evidently not producing anything like the power it should. After Monza, the engine, which is not used in the race, is returned to Climax, who finds that it is peaking at 180bhp. Brabham’s own car is using a normal flat-crank engine. Cooper, Walker and Parnell all have two-car teams unchanged since Italy. The drivers, McLaren and Rindt are in Coopers, Bonnier in the Brabham-Climax and Siffert in a Brabham-B.R.M., and Ireland and Attwood both in Lotus B.R.M.s. Honda flies in a third car to make up their team. The other two cars are as raced at Monza with the engine and suspension modifications described in that report, drivers Ginther and Bucknum being unchanged. The third car, which is using the same engine, is slightly modified; the wheelbase has been increased by two inches to try to improve handling, also the spline in the rear wheels has been re-designed to incorporate a torque absorber inside the hub.

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Practice is split into two 4-hour sessions on Friday and Saturday, and the lap times from last year of 1'12"7 set during the race and the fastest practice lap, 0.05sec faster, are the targets. The drivers examine the circuit to see the new black and white kerbing which has been placed all the way round at the suggestion of the GPDA, and at 1:00 p.m., with a wet track and low cloud threatening more rain, Attwood starts the ball rolling in Ireland’s car, the latter having returned to his Motel with flu. Hill, Bandini and Stewart are next out while Honda are trying to find all twelve cylinders. During the first hour all are out except Bucknum and Brabham who is concentrating on getting Gurney’s car to work. Attwood is practising in both the Parnell cars, going faster in his own car than his team mate’s. In the opening laps eyes are focused on Stewart, who is driving round the circuit for the first time. The wee Scot is out at the same time as his team mate, Hill, who knows the circuit very well, having won the last two races here. On their first lap, Hill does 1'26"6 to Stewart’s 1'31"0. Five laps later it is 1'21"3 to 1'23"0, another five steadily improving laps and it is 1'17"9 to 1'19"6 and when they come in at twelve and thirteen laps respectively their times are Hill 1'17"5, Stewart 1'17"6. These times are done on a drying track and once again prove the speed at which Stewart can learn a circuit. Honda has wheeled out their new spare car but are not using it as the two normal machines are not behaving properly and both cars complete many car-shattering laps in the pits while mechanics with wet brushes daub the exhausts to see which cylinders are not firing. Rodriguez shows Bondurant the way round for several laps. Hill dos several laps in the spare car doing a time only 0.2sec slower than in the race car. B.R.M.s also do a test with R6 and R7 tyres and find the new pattern R7 to be between 0.3 and 0.5sec a lap faster than the R6.

 

McLaren is using the wrong ratios and has them changed, and when mechanics start to change Rindt’s ratios they find that the rear main oil seal has gone and wheel the car off to repair it. Clark and Gurney are both having troubles with their 32-valve engines. In the same way that Gurney’s engine has oozed oil in practice at Monza, so both engines are doing it in practice here. Each time Clark comes into the pit, oil dripped off the back of the car all over the pit road. The Brabham is in similar trouble but also Gurney is complaining at lack of power. Clark goes out for a few laps in Spence’s car and when arriving at the right-hander before the pits he selects fourth instead of second, leaps the new kerb with a nasty graunch and careers along the grass with all his brakes locked on. This episode causes many a witty comment from the pit staff, who finds it amusing that the new World Champion should do this, especially under their eyes. Siffert follows Clark’s example and spins in front of the pits, then comes in to change ratios. Bonnier in the other Walker Car is going very well putting in some good times. Gurney’s car is driven away after two hours’ practice and Brabham brings his car out only to find his gearing is wrong, so this is changed in time for a few laps in the last half-hour. With an hour to go rain begins to fall and most cars scurry back to the Tech. Building leaving only a few stalwarts to continue to the end. McLaren coasts to a stop by the start line with a broken driveshaft as the rain is stopping. A last burst of activity by Hill equals his best time to date, 1'12"5, which is to prove FTD Clark and Stewart are 2nd and 3rd with 1'12"7 and 1'12"8 respectively. Ginther is faster in the larger, training Honda and his time of 1'14"2 manages to equal his team mate’s time in the normal car. Bandini is fourth fastest with Bonnier and Brabham with equal times in fifth place. B.R.M. with first and third fastest times are slightly undergeared; they have hoped that the slightly larger tyres would compensate for the increase in power but it is not enough.

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Saturday’s practice is preceded by a filming session with Stewart rushing round with a camera filming the back of his neck and a group of cars overtaking a camera car. Overnight B.R.M.s have changed the ratio on the training car but are leaving the others well alone. Clark’s 32-valve engine has a new block made for the cam chain carrier which has almost stopped the oil leak. When filming stops a mast of cars rushed out onto the circuit. Clark at this time is driving Solana’s car while his own is being finished off. Ireland is practising although still not feeling very well and when he has completed a few laps he leaves to go back to bed. Spence is trying hard and succeeds in spinning in front of the pits. Right early on a scrap for fastest time begins to develop between Hill and Clark. Hill starts to bring the times down by setting a time of 1'11"8. Clark goes out to better this but before he can do so Hill again clips a bit more off with a 1'11"7 lap. This is almost immediately equalled by Stewart. Clark’s engine is misfiring and certain electrical components are replaced before he goes out again. This time he records 1'11"6 which starts B.R.M. making slight alterations to Hill’s front suspension in the hope of finding another tenth of a second. Ferrari has all four cars in the pits and Bandini is trying both his and the training car most of the time. Later in practice he also tries the spare while Bondurant plods on learning the circuit as well as the car, his two practice sessions for both days being in excess of 150 laps. McLaren and Rindt both improve on the previous day’s times, as do Bonnier and Siffert, the former still slightly faster. At this stage in practice Bucknum is consistently faster than Ginther who is going out in his own and the training car. Attwood improves his time and Solana comes down from 1'20"7 in the first day’s times to 1'13"7 for the second day.

 

Spence manages to get a good tow from Clark and does a lap of 1'11"5; this stirs things up and Hill goes out and betters Clark’s improved time of 1'11"35 with a sizzling lap of 1'11"25. This looks as if it would be the fastest as the 32-valve Climax engine has gone sick and is wheeled away. However, Clark goes out in Spence’s car and Spence takes over Solana’s car. The Lotus changes seem to start changes in the Honda team. Ginther is certain Bucknum has the faster car and insists on trying it, so Bucknum takes out Ginther’s car and vice versa. Bucknum knocks one and a half seconds off Ginther’s time in his car while in a wild dice with Clark in Spence’s car Ginther gets down to 1'11"4, while Clark has to pass him, and due to Bucknum’s Honda being slightly unstable has quite a job; however, when he does, his time of 1'11"16 is most impressive and the fastest time of both practices. So practice finishes with a flurry of excitement and the Mustang Owner’s Club dos a lap of honour before the circuit is finally closed until race morning. The Lotus team has a lot of work to do overnight. Clark has stripped the teeth off the timing gear, and they have no spares. Fortunately for them Gurney’s 32-valve engine is losing so much oil that it is being scrapped in place of a more conventional unit and therefore the Lotus mechanics rob the parts they want from that engine. This, of course, means Clark has to be satisfied with second fastest time on the grid, although he receives the prize for the fastest lap, done in Spence’s car. Brabham’s engine change keeps the record straight, that Gurney has not started with the 32-valve engine this year and has had an engine change just before each race, not a very good record for Coventry-Climax. Honda finally settles on Ginther in the car which Bucknum uses most in practice, while Bucknum takes over the new car.

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Race day is cold with low cloud and occasional bursts of sunshine. The cars are lined up on the grid, and three quarters of an hour before the 2:00 p.m. start the cars are flagged off to do a warming lap. The rush up the hill is almost like a proper start except for the crowds of hangers-on cluttering the start area. At 2:00 p.m. precisely the cars roll down from the dummy grid and the purple-suited starter sends them off to a perfect start. Hill and Clark vanish over the hill side by side. At the end of the first lap Hill leads from Clark with Stewart just behind. Stewart is in trouble already, although no-one but he knows, for while up by the side of the Honda on the opening lap he is pushed onto the grass and hit a kerb end. This buckles the top left-hand wishbone but doesn’t seem to alter the handling. Next, very closely bunched, come Banditti, Spence, Brabham and Gurney. Then a short gap and there follow Ginther, Bonnier, McLaren, Siffert, Bondurant, Rindt, Rodriguez, Ireland, Solana, Attwood and lastly Bucknum, whose engine sounds horrible from the first lap. The next lap Hill and Clark are very close, with Stewart still close behind. The next four cars are in the same order, but are now clear of Bonnier’s. Ginther drops from eighth to 14th place when he goes wide at the top end of the circuit. On this second lap Clark gets his opportunity to move ahead. Hill runs very wide on the sharp right-hander before the pits and, quick as a flash, Clark is past with both B.R.M.s in hot pursuit. Two more laps and Stewart’s B.R.M. is no longer in its third position. The throttle cable has broken and the Scot brings the car to the pits, hand-operating the throttle over the back. The cable is eventually repaired and he regains the race only to find that on the wet roads on which he now has to drive the car is completely unstable due to the bent wishbone, so he retires.

 

In the second group Gurney passes Brabham on the third lap and closes right up on Bandini and Spence. These four cars are now well clear of the next group. As the next few laps slip by, the rain begins to fall or, rather, to travel horizontally to the ground, driven by a gale force wind. Hill re-takes the lead on lap five and narrowly holds it for the next six laps. On lap 10, two cars come slowly into the pits. Spence, who has been lying sixth, has a broken engine and retires, while Ireland, who follows him in, is feeling ill and has twice left the circuit, so he decides to call it a day. The track is now very slippery and the marshals are showing oil flags all-round the circuit, as they do after every shower. On lap 12 Hill goes past in the lead, and Clark pulls into the pits to retire with a broken piston. Behind him into the pits comes McLaren with no oil pressure and he too retires on lap 12. The fled by now is thinned down to thirteen cars with Hill out in the lead by 14 sec. from Gurney, who is just ahead of Bandini and Brabham. Bonnier, Rodrigues, Siffert and Bondurant are still in a tight group now fighting for fifth place. Rindt has dropped to ninth place after spinning twice in four laps in front of the pits. On this same corner, Attwood, too, spins but got going again without damage. In the next two laps on a wet track, Gurney drops back and Brabham moves to second place ahead of his team mate. Bandini holds his fourth place ahead of Bonnier who is being pushed by Rodriguez whom he let through on lap 19. Siffert and Bondurant were still breathing down Bonniees neck. Next, with big gaps between, come Rindt, Ginther and Attwood, while being lapped for the first time are Solana and Bucknum bringing up the rear. On his 22nd lap, Siffert comes into the pit with a slipping clutch, and after some adjustments he goes out again, now in last place.

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Gurney re-takes the second place on the 19th lap and stays ahead of Brabham for the next 28 laps. The leaders are now settling down but Rindt, who drops back with his earlier spins, has now got the wet road taped and passes Bondurant and Bonnier on the 27th and 28th laps. The Cooper driver then slowly overhauls Rodriguez and moves into fifth place on the 45th lap. As Hill completes the 37th lap a squall swept over the fast right-hand corner at the end of the back straight, so when the B.R.M. arrives there next lap the road is like glass. Taken by surprise Hill takes to the grass on the outside and does not regain the track for another 200 yards. The 15-sec gap between Hill and Gurney drop to four seconds and before Hill can get back into his stride Gurney is right on his tail. Gurney overdoes it on the 48th lap and while he is sorting himself out Brabham passes into second place. On the next lap Bucknum goes into the pit with electrical trouble and when he comes to start again, the battery is dead. The mechanics push-start him and he continues to the end, being given 13th place with 92 laps to his credit. However, the regulations state that no car shall be push-started and to keep the records straight he must be assumed to be disqualified. Brabham holds Hill for a few laps and on the 53rd lap the B.R.M. gets badly baulked by Attwood’s Lotus-B.R.M. First he tries to pass on the inside, then on the outside, only to be cut off each time, and this gives Brabham, with his extra momentum, the chance to take the lead. However, this is short-lived, for the Australian goes wide on to the grass in front of the pits and Hill is once more in the lead.

 

Gurney moves into second place as his constructor/manager scrabbles back on to the road. This position remains until the end, although before the track dries out Hill is pushed by Gurney very closely. As the track dries so Hill increases his lead and prays that the rain would stay off. Bonnier goes into the pits on lap 61 with a broken exhaust flange but goes out again very quickly. Attwood makes a pit stop on lap 67 to complain that his car is handling badly; as there is nothing obvious he goes out again. Bandini has for some laps been catching Rindt, who is lying fourth, and on lap 69, he passes him. The Cooper driver seems to be having gearbox trouble. Rodriguez is signalled by his pit to go faster as there is a chance that he might be able to catch Rindt. This he does, and on the 103rd lap he pushes the Cooper back to sixth place. No other alterations takes place as the race comes to an end, Hill put in a very fast lap on the 105th lap with a time of 1'11"9, a speed of 185.328 km/h. So; for the third year in succession, Graham Hill, in a B.R.M., wins the United States Grand Prix, with Gurney 12.5sec behind and Brabham 57.5sec behind. These three cars are the only ones on the same lap. Bandini, Rodriguez, and Rindt are next, one lap down. A good race spoils by the very cold, strong wind and the rain, but even this can not dampen the efficiency and enthusiasm with which the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Corporation run their event.

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Englishman Graham Hill repeated the exploits of the last two years by triumphing in the United States Grand Prix, the ninth round of the Formula One World Championship. At the wheel of his B.R.M., Hill led the race from lap five, that is, from when JimClark began to experience problems with his Lotus. In fact, the Scot was forced to abandon on the eleventh lap. On the finish line, Graham Hill overtook the American Dan Gurney's Brabham-Climax by ten seconds, the protagonist of an exciting duel with his team mate, the Australian Jack Brabham, for the place of honour. After Brabham, Lorenzo Bandini, at the wheel of a Ferrari, finished fourth, at the end of a race that saw him practically always among the leaders. The times set were not very good due to the rain and wind. As at Monza last September, it was the fuel system of the Lotus that gave out, worn down by the relentless pace of the first laps. On the fourth pass in front of the grandstands, Clark was seen raising a hand and making some gestures towards the pits that housed Colin Chapman and the mechanics. The Scot, however, continued the race, taking the car to the limit of its performance, so as not to lose contact with Graham Hill and Dan Gurney. And on lap 11 he had to melancholically stop, going to join Jackie Stewart, who was stranded by a mechanical failure already on lap four. Not a lucky day for the two Scottish drivers. In fact, Jim Clark's retirement now clearly indicates that the Lotus, when committed to its full potential, does not hold up to the distance. From this consideration follows another: the B.R.M. and Brabham, who fought on equal terms, have finally reached optimum performance.

 

It was a pity that this new balance of drivers and means was touched too late, when by then the World Championship went - deservedly - to Clark, according to the regulations of the event, whereby half plus one of the races run (and therefore in 1965 only six) count for the final score. Graham Hill won by racing with extreme calm and skill, in conditions of considerable risk due to the very bad and unforeseen weather conditions. The circuit, in fact, was battered for the entire duration of the race by rain and raging Atlantic winds. The average, given the bad weather, was not as bad as it might seem: 167 km/h. Ferrari, without its first driver John Surtees, could not do much. However, Lorenzo Bandini's fourth place should not be underestimated, as he is increasingly proving to be an above-average driver, even if he lacks the class of Jim Clark, Graham Hill and John Surtees himself. Bandini, as in so many other rounds of this World Championship so stingy with satisfaction for the Maranello team, was always able to bring his car into the top positions. Even at Watkins Glen the Italian driver fought tenaciously, overtaking his partner Pedro Rodriguez and Rindt in his Cooper after a long struggle. At the US Grand Prix the new Honda was also awaited with some curiosity. The car, named, Mark II, driven by Ritchie Ginther, finished the race in seventh place, two laps behind the winner. It was still a disappointing test for the Japanese engineers, who continue their efforts with admirable perseverance and sportsmanship. The road to success is a long one, and Ford's engineers in the United States, busy with Prototypes and Granturismo, know this well. With his victory in the United States, Graham Hill moved up to second place in the final World Championship standings, reaching 40 points (14 points behind unreachable triumphant Jim Clark). If the Englishman also wins in Mexico on Sunday, 24 October 1965, he could reach 45 points. Jackie Stewart remains third with 33 points: the young Scottish driver still has to be patient.

 

Giulia Noto

 

Translated by Sara De Stefano

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