In spite of the fact that the 1965 championship had only just begun, people were already talking about the 1966 cars; the three main constructors, Enzo Ferrari, Colin Chapman of Lotus and Tony Rudd, engineer of B.R.M., voiced some objections to the layout of the new Formula 1 and the possibility of making efficient single-seaters in time. So far, none of the three constructors has had a hand in the construction of the 1966 single-seaters, having all limited themselves to preliminary studies. Ferrari says he is in favour of the naturally aspirated engine but says he does not rule out an exploration of the compressed engine; engineer Rudd, on the other hand, envisages a four-wheel drive car; Colin Chapman would like to make changes to the rules governing minimum weight and number of cylinders. All three constructors contemplate the possibility that the new Formula might change the driving technique and the ranking of human values. At Daytona, meanwhile, on Sunday 28 February 1965 the first race valid for the International Grand Touring Car Championship was run. On the eve of the race, an exciting duel between the three Ferraris, Gurney-Grant's Lotus Ford and the Fords was expected, and the expectation was not disappointed. After fifty laps Gurney led the race, followed by the Ferrari of Surtees and Rodriguez and the Cobra of Schlesser. Surtees is put out of the race by a suspension failure, Rodriguez, paired with him, however, does not give up and asks to pass Grossman's car, which is still in the race. After only one lap, however, Rodriguez abandoned the race due to a clutch problem. The third Ferrari, that of Hansgen, on the other hand, retires due to a tyre blowout that causes a spin.
In the first positions the cars of Gurney-Grant and Bondurant-Ginther struggled. The latter took the lead when Gurney stopped to change a tyre on lap 135. On lap 158, Bondurant also stopped to change a tyre, and Gurney and Grant took the lead, but on lap 213 the first sudden engine problems began, and a broken piston took away their chance of winning. Miles-Ruby's Ford GT, protagonist of a spectacular comeback, took the lead and managed to hold it until the end. For the first time in the history of world road racing, an American car with American drivers triumphed. Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby at the end of 2000 kilometres had a five-lap lead over the Ford Cobra of Schlesser and Keck. The winners finished the race in 12'27"9, at an average speed of 160 km/h. Third were Bondurant and Ginther, in a Ford prototype that led for a good part of the race, and fourth was the Cobra Coupe of Muther and Timanus, also with a Ford engine. The Cobras performed very well, and in addition to fourth place they also took sixth with Leslie and Grant. The first car not equipped with a Ford engine is the Porsche 904 of Kolb and Heftler. For the start, instead of the classic Le Mans start, with the racers walking up to the cars and then starting them, the Indianapolis system was preferred, with the cars lined up two by two according to the order of speed of the trials, and a rolling start. Of the forty-three cars, only twenty-one arrived at the end. After the Daytona test, Ferrari and Fiat issued a press release announcing:
"Following the decisions of the International Sporting Commission regarding Formula 2 (1967), which required at least 500 units to be built within 12 months in order to obtain homologation and derive a Formula 2 engine, Ferrari reached an agreement with Fiat. To this end, Fiat will reproduce the Dino 166 6-cylinder 1600 cc engine, in a quantitative series, suitable for use on the Ferrari single-seaters under construction".
In the press conference held in Modena in December 1964, speaking about the programme of racing activities in Formula 1 and Formula 2, Enzo Ferrari had pointed out with regard to the latter that, as the International Sports Commission had changed the original regulations, prescribing that the Formula 2 cars of 1967 would have to have 1600 cc displacement, and engines derived from cars homologated in the Grand Touring category, SEFAC would find itself in great difficulty. However, Enzo Ferrari, made it clear that he had no intention of being left out of the fight, and therefore announced the construction of a 1600 cc Gran Turismo, the prototype of which was to debut in 1965. There remained, however, the problem of building the 500 units before the new Formula 2 came into force, which for a company of limited production potential like SEFAC Ferrari, fully employed in the construction of the various 3 and 4-litre 12-cylinder Gran Turismo models, would have been an obstacle difficult to overcome. So the agreement with Fiat intervened, showing understanding for Ferrari, the understanding that the Modenese manufacturer deserves, but which it has not always received from Italian motorists.
Fiat, although uninvolved directly in sporting events, decides to help Ferrari by providing its extensive production facilities to build the 500 engines needed. The Fiat-Ferrari collaboration is warmly welcomed by the Italian sporting world: the collaboration, although limited to one sector, between two of the world's most illustrious and glorious names in the automotive industry, is important and highly significant. During the month of March 1965, the Dino 166 engine was presented. This engine was born in November 1955, and was named so in memory of Dino Ferrari, son of the Modenese manufacturer. It has 6 cylinders arranged in a 65-degree V-formation, and with its 1489 cc it develops 180 hp at 9000 rpm. It is equipped with two camshafts for each wing of the twin-cylinder and three 38-DCN twin-body Weber carburettors. This type, fundamental in the evolution of Ferrari engines, was later developed in various directions, both by increasing the displacement and by varying the angle formed by the two cylinder wings, which were arranged at 60 or 120 degrees, while the displacement was increased to 2000 cc, then 2200 cc, 2500 cc and even 3200 cc. The 1500 cc version had led to Phil Hill winning the World Constructors' Championship in 1961. The 1600 cc engine, on the other hand, dates from 1958, was named 156/S and had a diameter of 72 mm, stroke 64.5 mm, displacement 1575.6 cc. It was a single overhead camshaft, i.e. a type with only one overhead camshaft for each cylinder wing, and delivered 165 hp at 8000 rpm. It is clear that with the experience of all these years, the modern Dino 166 had considerable possibilities both in the Gran Turismo version, the one mass-produced with Fiat, and in the future Formula 2 of 1967.
On Saturday 13 March 1965, Commendator Vittorio Jano, a well-known figure in Italian and international motor racing, took his own life in his home on the fourth floor of 12 Via Fratelli Carle. The engineer was 74 years old, and had been born in San Giusto Canavese. He had been ill for a few weeks: there was nothing serious, it seems to have been a slightly neglected bronchitis. However, the engineer had noticed that his weight had dropped and was convinced that he had an incurable disease. At home, he had made no mention of it and his wife, Rosina, never suspected that her husband had suicidal intentions. They slept in two separate rooms, because she too had not been well for a few days: not so well, however, that she had to stay in bed. She suffered from rheumatic pains. On Saturday morning the lady got up at dawn. At 7:00 a.m. she was in the kitchen and the maid was preparing breakfast. At that moment they heard the detonation in her husband's room. The wife rushed in first. Commendatore Jano was lying on the bed, on whose pillow there was a large bloodstain. He had shot himself in the mouth. The lady tried to rescue him, called the family doctor, but death was instantaneous. Marshal Agosto of the San Secondo police station was at the scene for the investigation. In the bedside table the wife found a letter addressed to her. The husband explains in the letter the reasons that led him to kill himself. Weakened by his hospital stay, he was convinced he was suffering from cancer, with no hope of recovery. And so, in a moment of deep depression, shocked by this idea, he carried out the tragic intention. The news of his end spread quickly through the city, arousing great emotion. Although he had been living in retirement for some time, limiting himself to technical consultancy, the memory of his exceptional activity is still vivid in many people's minds. The Jano couple's existence flowed peacefully in affluence. In addition to the house in Via Fratelli Carle, they had a villa in the hills, where he had collected many memorabilia.
With Vittorio Jano passes away one of the best-known figures in the international automotive world, even though the Turinese technician had by then withdrawn from this environment, after a valiant career as a designer of cars, especially racing cars, that lasted more than thirty years. Born in San Giorgio Canavese in 1901, Jano had begun his career as a technician at Fiat immediately after the First World War, working as a draughtsman in the racing department, under engineer Giulio Cesare Cappa. With Cappa, Vittorio Jano collaborated on the construction of the Fiat racing cars, which won the European Grand Prix with Carlo Salamano at Monza in 1913. At the beginning of 1913, Vittorio Jano moved to Alfa Romeo, where he was called by Enzo Ferrari, then driver of the Milanese team. At Alfa Romeo he succeeded in imposing his avant-garde ideas, creating in an incredibly short time a racing car that was to become legendary: the P2, winner with Antonio Ascari, Giuseppe Campari and Gastone Brilli Peri of an uninterrupted series of Grand Prix, which contributed to the popularity of the Lombard marque. After the P2 came the P3, the first single-seater Grand Prix car, revolutionary in its mechanical conception, which had in Nuvolari and Varzi its inimitable drivers. On the strength of his experience in sporting technology, Vittorio Jano designed all those Alfa Romeo touring models of the period between 1925 and 1958, including the 1500 cc, the 2750 cc, the 2500 cc and the sports-type cars that won all the Mille Miglias without interruption, except in 1927 and 1931. At the end of 1931, he returned to Turin, called by Lancia to head the design office, where he initially contributed to the model released in 1939. At that time, fate dealt him a very serious blow, the painful memory of which he would always remember in his eyes veiled with bitterness: the loss of his only son, in a disaster in the mountains. After the war, Jano directed the design of the Aurelio and Appio cars until Lancia decided to start the sporting activity: Vittorio Jano seemed to rejuvenate, and dedicated himself to it with the enthusiasm of the distant days of Alfa.
The first racing Lancia was a 3-litre sports model, which later developed, triumphed with Fangio in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana and with Alberto Ascari in the Mille Miglia the following year. Then Lancia took the big step into Formula 1 racing, and Jano again set the famous single-seater with an 8-cylinder or V engine that won its first race in Turin, in front of its public, in the Valentino Grand Prix, still driven by Ascari. That same evening, Vittorio Jano, perhaps tired, perhaps satisfied that he had proved that he was not a finished technician, resigned from Lancia, remaining however for a couple of years still a consultant for the Borgo San Paolo company. His last creation, bequeathed to Ferrari when, after Ascari's death, Lancia suspended its sporting activities, won the 1956 Formula 1 world championship. In his final years, Jano, who could not tear himself away from the world of engines and racing, was a technical consultant for Ferrari: Enzo Ferrari had wanted to have back the technician and friend with whom he had shared so much satisfaction during the Alfa Romeo years and the early years of the Scuderia Ferrari. Two weeks later, Saturday 27 March 1965 saw the 12 Hours of Sebring, the second round of the Constructors' World Championship after the 2000 kilometres of Daytona. It starts at 10:00 a.m. with the participation of 64 Grand Touring, Prototype and Sport cars. In the early stages of the race there is a duel between Chevrolet and Ford: Dan Gurney, driving the Lotus-Ford, takes the lead followed by Jim Hall's Chaparral-Chevrolet, but then the positions are reversed on lap eight. During the first few laps two accidents occurred; a Coupe went off the track, knocking over a fence and slightly injuring two spectators, but the driver was unhurt. On lap four, a Triumph Spitfire skidded into a corner and went off the track, again fortunately the driver was unhurt.
At the fourth hour of the race, the Hall-Sharp duo still led, followed three laps later by Hill-Rodriguez and the Ford GT of Miles-McLaren. Fortunately, few accidents characterised the race, which took place first under exceptional heat, around 50 °C, and then under a violent downpour. All the accidents ended with minor injuries, only Swiss driver Moser was admitted to hospital with a fractured jaw. Hall and Sharp dominate the 12 Hours at Sebring and bring their Chaparral-Chevrolet to victory, breaking Ferrari's dominance after five years. It is the first time an American car has won such a competition in the history of modern racing. Hall's Chaparral is equipped with an automatic transmission, adopted for the first time in a sports car. Rounding out the satisfactory picture for the United States was the second place of McLaren and Miles' Ford: the New Zealand driver and the US driver were first in the prototype category, while Hall and Sharp were first in the unrestricted Sports class. The prototype Ferrari of Piper and Maggs is third, seven laps behind the winners. The most feared of Ferrari's private cars is that of Graham Hill and Pedro Rodriguez, who hold second place for a long time, but with four hours to go they give it up to McLaren and Miles. Hall and Sharp complete 196 laps at an average speed of 136 km/h, and also set the fastest lap of 2'59''6. A few hours after their unofficial participation in the 12 Hours of Sebring, SEFAC-Ferrari decided to withdraw from the Sportscar World Championship on Tuesday, 30 March 1965. The new refusal by the CSI to homologate a model of the Maranello team motivates the serious decision, and a communiqué is issued documenting the inconceivable way of proceeding by the International Sporting Commission. The communiqué reads:
"SEFAC-Ferrari was informed on 20 March that the new 275GTB berlinetta had not been homologated by a decision taken on 16 March in Geneva by the sub-commission appointed by the CSI. SEFAC-Ferrari would like to note and make it known that 147 examples of this car had been produced as of 16 March. Following the case of the 250 Le Mans, the request for type-approval of the B75-GTB was rejected on the following grounds: Having noted a difference between the minimum weight of the car indicated on the data sheet and the real weight, SEFAC-Ferrari notes that the C.S.I. sub-commission In noting this decision, SEFAC Ferrari recalls that the C.S.I. sub-commission has recently issued surprising homologations, such as: a grand touring car for which neither the wheelbase nor the track width of the chassis had been indicated on the data sheet (the car also participated in competitions in the Sportscar World Championship); a touring car, duly homologated, for which a difference between the real lift of the intake and exhaust valves and the indicated lift was known while the car was actively participating in races (the C.S.I. then regularised the difference between the actual lift of the intake and exhaust valves and the indicated lift). S.I. then regularised the variant, with retroactive effect, accepting the thesis that it was a matter of a forgotten communication); gran turismo car for which neither the type of piston material nor the number of camshafts are indicated (The car participates in championship tests); gran turismo car with a difference between the minimum total weight indicated and the actual weight, as recorded at scrutineering on the various circuits. Nevertheless, the car is admitted to the championship races. At this point, SEFAC-Ferrari, refraining for the moment from any judgement on the merits, considers that it cannot insist against the aversion of the sporting justice administrators who condition the championship on regulatory interpretations rather than on technical and racing facts, and therefore announces that it will withdraw from submitting further homologation applications and abandon the Sportscar World Championship".
Ferrari once again has to suffer the consequences not only of the rigidly literal interpretations that the International Sporting Commission gives to formally and sportingly outdated regulations, but also - and this is even more serious - of blatant arbitrariness, as the above communiqué circumstantially denounces. One really has to ask oneself, even if one wants to place oneself on the plane of the strictest objectivity, outside of passionate judgments, whether the behaviour - yesterday and today - of the CSI is not deviously inspired by a preconceived aversion towards the Modenese manufacturer, whose constant superiority in the annual events of the Sportscar World Championship must evidently annoy many people. Suspicions are odious, especially if unproven, but it is at least legitimate to doubt that behind the scenes of the stage on which the holders of the highest sporting powers act, an odious manoeuvre has been taking place for some time. Who is the prompter? What big interests does it conceal? Having failed on a formal level to get to grips with opponents who are more easily bent in competitive confrontation, Ferrari has consequently and coherently taken the serious decision to withdraw from the marques championship, and to renounce asking for any more homologations of cars (the CSI would find the appropriate loopholes to reject them anyway). Perhaps that is exactly what some quarters wanted to provoke, and it is annoying that battles like this are conducted in such a humiliating way for the sport. Who is, in the grey affair, the only loser. At the same time, the crisis that had appeared on the horizon of British motor racing after the FIA's decision to adopt a new Formula 1 for 1966 was foiled by Ford's intervention. A few days after the announcement of Coventry Climax's withdrawal from racing at the end of the current season, we learn that the American company is busy designing a new three-litre engine, capable of developing 400 bhp. Work will begin in the Slough factory as soon as the data processed by a special calculating machine, dubbed the Instant Engine Factory, arrives from the United States. The new engine, which will have eight cylinders, will be made available by Ford to Lotus, Cooper and Brabham. B.R.M. has been preparing an engine of its own for some time. Until a few weeks ago, until the Geneva Motor Show to be exact, the prospects for British motor sport were not at all bright. Sir William Lyons, the chairman of Jaguar, of which Coventry Climax is a subsidiary, had declared that building racing engines was uneconomical. Jaguar is in the process of commercial expansion, it is more expedient to look after the rally sector.
"With great regret, we are forced to withdraw from Formula 1. The expenses in 1966 would be insane, we cannot afford it".
For Lotus, Cooper and Brabham it was a blow. Colin Chapman, John Cooper and Jack Brabham, owners of the three British teams, turned to the Royal Automobile Club. They had always used Coventry Climax engines for their cars and did not have the equipment or the capital to suddenly start producing engines themselves. The Royal Automobil Club considered asking the Wilson government's Sports Minister, Denis Howell, for a grant when Ford came on the scene. Ford had been trying for years to gain a foothold in international motor sport, and tried to absorb Ferrari in this regard. Now it has been presented with a good opportunity. Three major teams, the ones on which British prestige basically depends, needed an engine. If no one had helped them, they would have ended up like the British Racing Partnership, of Ken Gregory and Stirling Moss, who left Formula 1 last year. Ford made a few unofficial enquiries, Chapman, Cooper and Brabham said yes; Chapman with more enthusiasm than the others, because excellent relations already existed between Lotus and Ford. The details of the agreement were fixed during the Geneva Motor Show. No technical information on the Ford engine is yet available. Sir John Whitmore, who will drive the new Ford GT at Le Mans, believes it will be similar to the four-litre, eight-cylinder engine in his car. This four-litre is also the product of the Instant Factory Engine. It is a corrected version of the one that debuted last year at Le Mans and set the lap record. At the Slough factory, it is certain that the new Ford GT will beat Ferrari this time. The trouble for British motoring is that Ford has only a few months to build this engine. Lotus, Cooper and Brabham, should they face the next season with an unproven engine, would be relegated to the role of extras against both Ferrari and B.R.M., who are already ahead in the construction of their 3-litre; and perhaps even Honda, who are quietly preparing to beat the European manufacturers.
It is interesting to note in this regard that Brabham, at Silverstone, had fitted his car with a Honda engine a few days earlier. The result was satisfactory, although due to rain the race had to be suspended. On Sunday, 4 April 1965, the 14th Syracuse Grand Prix was won by Englishman Jim Clark in a Lotus. This represented the first seasonal confrontation between Formula 1 cars and drivers in Europe. Sixteen competitors took part in the Grand Prix, racing 56 times around the circuit, a total of 308 kilometres. The spring day and the prestigious names of the competitors, including two World Champions, particularly increase the interest in the race, and around 100,000 people arrive at the circuit. The start is given at 3:00 p.m. On the first lap the Swiss driver Siffert in the Brabham-B.R.M. takes the lead, followed by Surtees in the Ferrari and Clark in the Lotus, Bandini is in fifth. On lap 12 Surtees overtakes Siffert, and a thrilling duel ensues between the two, while Clark remains in third position. On lap 20 Surtees' average speed was 168 km/h, and the British driver also set the fastest lap. Soon afterwards Siffert retook the lead of the race, closely followed by Surtees. On lap 33 Clark went on the attack and overtook both Siffert and Surtees, with whom he formed a group fighting wheel-to-wheel, arousing the enthusiasm of the spectators arranged in the four grandstands and along the edge of the circuit, especially at the two Madonnina and Carpinteri corners. At this point the race was very uncertain: Surtees, Siffert and Clark overtook each other at every lap; on lap 35 Surtees took the lead followed by Siffert, Clark, Spence, Bandini and Bonnier. On lap 39 Bandini moved up to fourth, followed by Spence: the two were involved in a minor fight, compared to the fight for the win, for fourth and fifth place. On lap 46 Siffert did not pass in front of the grandstands, while Clark took command of the very fast race (also setting the fastest lap at an average speed of almost 187 km/h) and did not let go until the end; Surtees gave way and quickly lost ground.
Siffert's Brabham-B.R.M. then arrives slowly, hand-pushed. Clark wins the 14th Syracuse Grand Prix ahead of Surtees, Bandini, Bonnier, Scarfiotti and Anderson. Formula One is heading for an exciting season. The Lotus-Ferrari duel in the South African Grand Prix saw Jim Clark win in his Lotus. But in Syracuse the performance gap was cancelled, Clark and Surtees found themselves on an equal footing. The year 1965 did not prove favourable to the Italian cars, which were engaged in the Formula 1 manufacturer and driver championships and in the International Prototype Trophy, the three most important motorsport events. At Daytona and Sebring US cars won, in the South African Grand Prix, however, a British driver and car. In addition, a long-standing controversy between Enzo Ferrari and the International Sports Commission resulted in the withdrawal of Scuderia Ferrari from the Sportscar World Championship. In the technical racing field, the situation is not as bad as it may seem, and the Ferraris, private and official, still have many possibilities. The season has only just begun and there are more races to be held than have already taken place. In the Sportscar World Championship, at Daytona, the Fords came out on top, and the Porsches performed well; of the four Ferraris that started, however, only one made it to the end. But as far as was claimed after the race, the other three Ferraris only retired because of tyre problems, which broke out after only a few laps. The tyres had been prepared by a European company, not an Italian one, with little knowledge of the technical difficulties of the American track. In the second race at Sebring, however, the official Ferraris did not take part in protest against the participation of the Sport cars. And on this occasion too an American car came out on top, this time however not a Ford but a Chaparral-Chevrolet. The victory of this car represents a historic moment in US motorsport: it was, in fact, since the first editions of the Pan-American Car and the 12 Hours itself, that the Americans had tenaciously pursued this goal. It took some 15 years before they managed to achieve it.
In addition to the engine, the Chaparral boasts numerous avant-garde technical solutions, starting with the automatic transmission for the first time applied to a racing car, which only a large industrial complex with an efficient research department could have prepared. One assumes that General Motors, spurred on by the remarkable achievement, will commit itself more vigorously, perhaps even officially, to racing. For the Americans know the publicity value of these sporting successes. Returning to the drivers' championship, only one of the eleven rounds has so far taken place: the South African Grand Prix, which ended with Clark's victory. Another success in Syracuse, a difficult training in the too long period between the first and second round of the championship. The Syracuse Grand Prix showed that the performance gap, seen at the start of the season between Lotus and Ferrari, had been completely cancelled. For the twelve and eight-cylinder cars it was an important and positive test run after the numerous modifications made in Modena. Both models were only slowed down in the action by unforeseeable, but easily repairable mishaps. At Daytona the Ford won with a British-made chassis, while the Chaparral is an American product. Jim Hall's triumphant car belonged to the Sport category, whose inclusion in the race had led to Ferrari's withdrawal. The car was not subject to any weight restrictions, prototypes, on the other hand, must not be below a certain weight set by international regulations. While the Ford GT and Ferrari came in over a minimum of 850-900 kg, the Chaparral came in at only 620 kg, a very large difference that favoured the latter. In fact, there were three different tests at Sebring: one for the sports cars, one for the prototypes and one, finally, for the GTs. Only the last two were valid, respectively, for the International Trophy and the Makes Championship. So there were three winners: the Chaparral, the Ford GT and the Ac Cobra.
On Saturday, 10 April 1965, American driver Lloyd Casner loses his life during the first practice session of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the spectacular French motor race valid for the World Championship for Makes and the International Prototype Trophy, scheduled for 19-20 June 1965. American driver Lloyd Casner, driving a Maserati five-litre car, lost his life after going off the track, probably due to the wet road surface, and crashed into a nearby golf course. According to eyewitnesses, Casner's Maserati was proceeding at a speed of no less than 250 km/h on the Mulsanne straight, the longest straight on the circuit, and was about to enter a tight bend, when it reared into the air as if its wheels had hit an obstacle. Casner, who was pulled lifeless from the wreckage of his car, which was almost completely destroyed, died of his serious injuries a few hours after being admitted to the Le Mans hospital. The American, a former aviation pilot, was 39 years old, and was known in world sporting circles for his expertise and exceptional cold-bloodedness, even though he was not included in the shortlist of great driving champions. His year of grace was 1961, when he won the 1000 kilometres of the Nurburgring, Germany, and the Havana Grand Prix. He had also raced several times in Italy and participated in a Mille Miglia. Casner, whose nickname was Lucky for having emerged unscathed from several frightening accidents, had earned the respect and admiration of both the public and his rivals. Women's motor racing took many steps forward. In the spring of 1908, there was no French newspaper that did not publish a news item, a report or a biographical mention of Gaby Pohlen. This young sportswoman had won a long battle against the Seine Prefecture and had obtained, first in France and perhaps also in the world, a licence to drive a public car.
For many years the Monza circuit had not hosted an endurance race of the organisational and technical commitment of the 1000 Kilometres, scheduled for Sunday 25 April 1965. The Lombardy circuit lends itself like few others to car races of all kinds, possessing among other things the advantage of being able to connect two distinct courses (the road and the high-speed track), making it possible to express a track of the most probing nature. Exactly on the complete track, with a length of exactly 10 kilometres, the 1000 Kilometre race, valid for the Sportscar World Championship and the International Prototype Trophy, will take place. The reservations about using the bowl, whose elevated bends (especially the southern one) are rather rough to negotiate at full speed, have partly disappeared with the adoption of a chicane (a sort of S-shaped bottleneck that forces the drivers to slow down considerably in order to squeeze through the obligatory passage one at a time) at the end of the straight, before tackling the southern bend. The matter of the chicanes is not new: in the years of the heavyweight Formula (1934-1937), the enormous power of the racing cars of the time forced the organisers of the fastest races (including the Grand Prix on the Monza track) to resort to them to limit the dangers. But this was a poor compromise from a technical point of view; in the case of Sunday's race, it might as well have been run on the road course alone. The 1000 kilometres is therefore the third event after Daytona Beach and the 12 Hours of Sebring. It is run by Grand Touring and Prototype cars (i.e. with no capacity restrictions; for the former, however, a minimum number of units built is prescribed - and rarely respected, as we know - in the classes up to 1600 cc, 2000 cc and over 2000 cc. The fundamental reason for the race is the comparison between Ferraris and Fords.
The Maranello line-up, beaten at Daytona because of the tyres and absent at Sebring, has so far left the American cars with the reins loose, but it is clear that it intends to take matters into its own hands. Here is how the situation looks in the two grids. Ferrari lined up two 330/P2 Prototype cars of 3967 cc and power (presumed) of 420 hp, driven by the Surtees-Scarfiotti and Bandini-Vaccarella pairs; a 275/P2 of 3285 cc and 320 hp driven by Parkes-Guichet; and again - although not in contention for the overall victory - the brand new Dino 166/P, of 1592 cc, piloted by an entirely Italian crew: Baghetti-Biscaldi. The three models are all rear-engined, 12-cylinder the first two, six-cylinder the Dino. In the opposing camp, Ford fielded four cars: two GT 40 P1 model Prototypes and two Cobra Gran Turismo with plastic bodywork; they all mounted the same type of engine (an 8V of 4727 cc and at least 380 hp), arranged at the rear on the first and in the traditional position on the berlinettas. Crews: Bruce McLaren-Phil Hill and Miles-Ginther at the wheel of the Prototype cars, Bondurant Schlesser and Chris McLaren Sparrow on the other two. A big battle, therefore, which logically should be resolved to the advantage of the powerful and well-prepared Italian cars, which also benefit from a very homogeneous team. On the sidelines of the most eagerly awaited confrontation, the 1600 Prototypes class is sure to arouse interest, for the foreseeable fight between the new Giulia GTA (with Geki-Arcioni and Zeccoli-Zuccoli), the Ferrari Dino and the De Tomaso-Ford, which will even have Dan Gurney as its first driver. The 1000 Kilometres of Monza will start on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., finishing late in the evening. In the morning the 16th Coppa Intereuropea will take place, reserved for Gran Turismo cars up to 1300 cc and also valid for the Sportscar World Championship. Three hours of racing on the road course only, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Friday 23 April 1965 at Monza, during practice for the 1000 kilometre race, Miles goes off the track at the parabolic curve with his Ford GT40: fortunately the American driver is unhurt, but the car is damaged. The Ferrari prototypes dominate on this first day of practice. The rain falls insistently for almost the entire afternoon and this forces the drivers to slow down. The fastest is Bonnier, paired with Piper, driving a Ferrari 330 P2. The Swedish driver sets the fastest lap in 3'17"2, at an average speed of 188 km/h. In the same cars, Lorenzo Bandini and John Surtees lap in 3'17"7 and 3'21"3 respectively. Slower are the times set by the Fords: the fastest is Maglioli who laps in 3'26"1, then McLaren in 3'35"0 and Miles 4'07"0. The car driven by Geki and Arcioni, a Giulia GTA, also goes off the track after the North elevated curve; the driver is unhurt but the car, which was to run in the prototype category class from 1300 to 1600, is completely destroyed. The best time in this category is set by the new Dino in 3'42"6. Giancarlo Baghetti, to whom it does not seem true to be back after three years since his debut and after a long period of bitterness and disappointment, drives his Dino cautiously. In the Gran Turismo category, the 4727 cc Ford Cobra, driven by Bob Bondurant, one of the promising young American drivers, makes a good impression. Bondurant laps in 3'39"3, at an average speed of 164 km/h, confirming that he has received orders from his director not to overstretch the car and to get to know the circuit. Sunday, 25 April 1965, at 2:00 p.m. the Mille Chilometri, a race valid for the Sportscar World Championship and the International Prototype Trophy, gets underway. Parkes and Guichet take the lead in their Ferrari 275 P2 on lap 13, as the Ferrari of Surtees and Scarfiotti is forced to stop in the pits for more than three minutes to replace a punctured tyre and repair the damaged bodywork.
After this decisive episode, preceded on lap 9 by the retirement of another of the favoured Bandini-Vaccarella crews, the interest of the 1000 Kilometres focused on the offensive of the Ferrari prototype of Parkes-Guichet, vainly opposed by the Fords of Maglioli-Amon and McLaren-Miles, very regular but less fast than the Maranello cars, and above all on the pursuit of Surtees and Scarfiotti. Fourteenth when they re-entered the race, tenth on lap 23, fourth on lap 30 and second on lap 40. At 4:00 p.m. a frightening and fatal accident occurred. Tommy Spychiger, the Ferrari's second driver, went off the track at the start of the Parabolica corner, jumped over the embankment in front of it and, after a series of tumbles, ended up in the trees of a grove and was set on fire. The Swiss driver had already died before he crashed, in the frightful flight, his head had been severed cleanly perhaps by the windscreen, or by the horizontal sheet-metal truss that on some sports cars protrudes behind the cockpit. Thousands of people watched as the tragedy unfolded. The parabolic curve, which is part of the road course, joins up with the one with elevated curves to the south of the racetrack at the exit, and they both merge onto the main straight. It is therefore one of the most spectacular areas of the Monza circuit, and the crowds always throng there, fortunately kept at a distance by protective barriers. At the time of the incident it was lap 34, the drivers in the first positions had covered more than 340 kilometres, and pit stops had just begun for refuelling, tyre changes and the change of shifts between the two riders entered in each car. Until lap 33, the Ferrari Prototipo 4400 cc, entered by the Swiss team Filipinetti, had been driven by Spychiger's compatriot Herbert Muller, who was in second position, behind the official Ferrari of Parkes-Guichet. The two cars stopped almost simultaneously at their respective pits and in the Ferrari 66 Spychiger took the wheel in place of Muller, resuming the race a few moments before the other Ferrari. The Swiss driver was then in first position. It seems that at the handover Muller told his companion: "Be careful. The brakes are poor".
According to eyewitness accounts, Spychiger's car was seen arriving at the end of the straight (a few metres after the point where, during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, the tragedy of the 15 spectators mowed down by Von Trips' car occurred) and, instead of slowing down to start the right-hand bend, continued at full speed in a straight line, crossed a stretch of grass, overturned on the embankment and ended up in a patch of plants. Creeping along, the sheets of the bodywork caused long sparks, which immediately ignited the fire, fuelled by the 150 litres of fuel that had just been put into the tank. An ambulance, fire-fighting equipment and police cars were immediately dispatched to the scene. Relief efforts were unfortunately in vain, which were hampered by the public who, almost morbidly, ran across the meadows and on the inner roads towards the high column of smoke indicating the scene of the disaster. Tommy Spychiger was born in 1934 in Langenthal, near Bern, the son of a wealthy industrialist. He resided in Ruvigliana, in the Lugano area, and for some years had devoted himself to motor sport, in which he had managed to build up a solid reputation, so much so that he was considered the best Swiss driver of the 1960s. In the 1964 season he had competed numerous races with the Abarth team, then switched to the Filipinetti team, and at Monza he drove a big car for the first time. The fatal accident spread a veil of melancholy over the race, which had begun amidst the public's keenest interest in the struggle between the Ferraris and Fords.
In the Gran Turismo classification the Porsche 2000 cc of Pon-Slotemaker wins, while the Ford-Cobra of the Americans Bondurant-Grant wins the 3000 cc class, Bussinello-De Adamich in an Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ assert themselves among the 1600 cc with an excellent seventh place overall. Excellent performance also by Maglioli-Amon, third overall until lap 80, then they are forced to retire after a tailspin at the exit of the south elevated curve, from which the Ford comes out damaged. The 1000 Kilometres was therefore won by Parkes-Guichet, at the wheel of the new Ferrari 275 P2, at an average speed of 202 km/h. In second place were Surtees-Scarfiotti, followed by McLaren-Miles, Pon-Slotemaker, Noblet-Casoni. Prior to the 1000 Kilometres, the 16th International Cup for Grand Touring Cars in the 1000 cc and 1300 cc classes was run. The Abarths triumphed in front with Sangiorgi and Steinmetz, the latter first overall with an average speed of over 167 km/h. The frightening accident, in which Tommy Spychiger lost his life, cannot be blamed on the track. In such cases one can only speculate. There is talk of stretched brakes, a failed gear change, excessive speed, and tyres that were too new, i.e. with less grip. It is probable, as often happens in these dramatic cases, that there was a concurrence of adverse circumstances of a technical and human nature, excluding any responsibility on the part of anyone. In the 1000 Kilometre race, Ferrari manages to assert itself ahead of the Fords; the Maranello team remains in the vanguard. On the track of the Monza autodrome, Parkes, Ferrari's skilled test engineer, and the driver Guichet on one side, and Surtees and Scarfiotti on the other side dealt a blow to the illusions of many American sportsmen. The US team, however, was not shaken, and Carrol Shelby declares:
"We have only been racing in the World Championship for Makes and the International Prototype Trophy for two years, and in order to get better results we still need to solve a lot of problems. We are especially worried about the brakes and the transmission; fortunately they did not cause any trouble in the 1000 kilometres. On the whole, despite our European critics, it seems to me that the Ford has made a good deal of progress compared to 1964, particularly in terms of what is known as distance grip".
At Monza, in fact, the two GT40 PTs lapped with great regularity proving to be on the mark, and the accident that happened to Maglioli (due to a probable steering failure) does not count in this sense. Compared to the 1964 model, the current Detroit-based prototype has a number of refinements, especially in the suspension, bodywork (new design of the stabiliser fins) and gearbox. For Ferrari, the gap hold problem, recently solved by Ford, should be considered as a problem abundantly overcome. Maranello's latest prototype, the 4,000 cc 330 P2, due to the qualities of its rational tubular trellis frame, the aerodynamic design of its bodywork (compared to the GT40 PT, the front section is smaller and the form coefficient is better) and its excellent power-to-weight ratio, fears no rivals. And when, as in the 1000 kilometres, it is forced to stop in the pits, a second prototype, the 275 P2, is added as reinforcement. This is the 3300 cc that conquered all the major international trophies in 1964, going from the VB of 4,200 to the present one of 4,727 cc and from powers of 386 to 385 hp at 7,000 rpm. Soon, in all likelihood in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, seven-litre engines with over 500 hp will be adopted and a brand new automatic transmission will be fitted. Ferrari can also count on Le Mans cars (at Monza, for example, a model finished sixth) whose good qualities have certainly not disappeared due to the lack of homologation in the Gran Turismo category. Shelby, on the other hand, drives on velvet: behind him is all the immense economic power of Ford, and he has large, modern research centres and hundreds of qualified technicians working for him. Meanwhile, American Shelby has achieved a high degree of efficiency, on a human and technical level. Drivers and stable men are very close, perhaps also because they are almost all natives of Texas, like Shelby, a native of Houston.
Refuelling operations during the race were carried out with exceptional speed (1'15"0 was the time needed to fill the petrol tank to the brim, to do the oil change and to check the tyre pressure on Bob Bondurant's Ford-Cobra berlinetta) thanks also to the use of a special hydraulic jack used until recently only at Indianapolis. The 1000 kilometres of Monza had to answer a lot of questions of a technical nature, for both makes. The answer came not only from the classification (the Ferraris in the first two places, the only Ford coming in at the bottom, third with four laps to spare), but from the race itself, during which the American cars never gave the impression of being able to disturb the Maranello team's new 330/PS and 275/P2. However, an objective assessment of the technical situation in this area of racing requires that one does not underestimate the progress that the cars looked after by Carroll Shelby have made in the space of a season. The American line-up, which has a giant like Ford behind it, is rapidly completing its technical and organisational preparation; soon its Prototype cars will be able to count on new engines with a displacement of no less than seven litres, i.e. power of more than 500 hp; and it seems that they will be equipped with an automatic gearbox, hitherto considered irrational on competition cars. The US team is now looking for revenge in the Targa Florio, but the Madonie circuit is not one of the most suitable for the mechanical characteristics of their cars. This circuit, however, should offer concrete indications on the new Dino 166. Carroll Shelby, the Texan who challenged Ferrari, when following the race from the pits is wearing a black cowboy hat, a huge cigar between his lips, a blue jacket with white stripes on the shoulders and an inscription on the breast pocket, Carroll, a pair of oil-stained shorts with an orange shirt. He is credited with rekindling public interest in competitive motor racing. In this field too, as in all events, curiosity and enthusiasm arise above all in the presence of a confrontation, a challenge. And when the adversaries are called Ferrari and Ford, when on the one hand there is a man with only 1.000 technicians and workers, but rich in decades of experience, and on the other there is a formidable organisation, able to spend millions of dollars every year on studies and research involving ten thousand people, but with only two years' seniority, there are a thousand reasons to get passionate and to cheer.
It was Shelby himself who got the US car manufacturer into contention in the World Championship for Makes and the International Prototype Trophy. There are very valid publicity reasons, but if the first car wanted and built by the former Texas racer, the now famous Ford V8-powered AC-Cobra, had not clearly established itself in dozens of races in the USA, to the extent of winning the Manufacturer's Championship, Ford probably would not have made the sensational decision two years earlier. Carrol Shelby, at the time of the deal with the Detroit tycoon, was running the first American driving school for amateur racers in Riverside, so it was easy for him to gather a team of trustworthy people from among his staff. The mechanics and general workers are almost all Texans, like Smitty, the pit boss and former instructor at Riverside. The drivers, on the other hand, come from all over the United States. At Monza, before the 1000 kilometres, the entire Ford team had gathered in the parc ferme posing for souvenir photos and handing out autographs. They seemed to be made up of students on holiday, to whom it must not have seemed real to be at one of the most prestigious racetracks in the world. Instead, many are young drivers, such as Bob Bondurant and Alien Grant; next to them are more experienced pilots such as Ken Miles. Bob Bondurant, a 31-year-old Californian from Los Angeles, a helicopter pilot as a hobby, works in the Riverside driving school. He started racing at the age of 19 in a Morgan, winning dozens of races, American champion, and has been at Ford-Cobra for two years. Alien Grant: also from Los Angeles, 24 years old, recently graduated in Economics. He is Shelby's trusted man for everything concerning the financial side of the stable. Ken Miles: British citizen naturalised American. Moved to America after the war, where he became a representative for BMC and Porsche. An experienced test driver, he took part in the first competitions almost for fun and is now one of the most acclaimed drivers. Having organised his team perfectly and solved the problem of the bottom endurance of his cars, Shelby now had to rely on more powerful engines in order to start a closer confrontation with Ferrari's prototypes. The Targa Florio, scheduled for Sunday, 9 May 1965, is a severe test for Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. Many years ago Ettore Bugatti, a famous Italian sports car manufacturer who emigrated to France, wrote:
"A car cannot be considered truly tested, if it has not raced a Targa Florio, where all the most arduous situations for a motor vehicle exist, and where, men and machines are subjected to a test that no laboratory is able to produce and repeat".
Bugatti's judgement is still valid today, and explains why technicians and drivers from Ferrari, Ford and Porsche, i.e. the three manufacturers most likely to win a prestigious victory, have already been arriving (with official cars or T-cars) in Sicily for a week. For the Italian and American teams, the Targa represents another stage in the exciting duel that began in 1964 and came to the fore in the 1965 racing season; for the men from Stuttgart, on the other hand, it is the reconfirmation or otherwise of the success achieved in 1964. Ford wants to try to take revenge after its defeat in the 1000 kilometres of Monza, but it seems unlikely that its big prototypes and, to a lesser extent, the Gran Turismo berlinettas, will be able to bother the rival cars, which are more manageable in the thousand bends that enrich the twelve kilometres of the ten-times-repeated course. In 1964, for example, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney made desperate efforts to keep their overpowering Cobras on the road, which eventually gave way in the finale. The pairings of the Ford crews are still uncertain. Everything is certain, however, at Ferrari: three 275 P2s and a 216 GTV Berlinetta, whose homologation in the GT category took place very recently after a long wait. The driver pairs are formed by Bandini-Vaccarella, Parkes-Scarfiotti, Baghetti-Guichet and Biscaldi-Deserti. Significantly, Modena was left with the new 3961 cc 330 P2s. They did not want to subject them to a test that was perhaps still too hard. And the same fate befell the Dino 166, whose participation in the Madonie circuit was postponed at the last moment. Naturally, Carroll Shelby took advantage of the experiences of 1964 by modifying, changing and retouching many parts of their models. It seems that Ford will compete with two GT40 PTs with Phil Hill-Grant and Gregory-Ireland, and the brand new Spider prototype, which first appeared in April at Le Mans during practice for the 24 Hours.
Driven by Californian driver Bob Bondurant and British driver John Whitmore. This Spider is actually a GT40 PT without the roof and with a few other body modifications. It is equipped with a 4621 cc V-8 engine. In the Grand Touring category, the cars of the Detroit company are, as usual, the two Cobras. Porsche, in the Targa Florio, certainly does not lack experience, technicians and drivers; in 1964 it saw its newest and most modern prototypes surrender and the 904, an older but much better prepared model, triumph. The German team had two 8-cylinder prototypes, one 2400 cc, with Bonnier-Colin Davis and Maglioli-Linge, and a 6-cylinder with Müller driving first, and then, five solid 904s. Driving one of the Porsches is Sicilian driver Antonio Pucci, who triumphed on this circuit in 1964. Among the 1600 prototypes, the Dino is absent, but there is an interesting comparison between the Abarth of Herrmann and Cella, the two ASAs of Pianta-Bassi and Sartori-Crivelli, the Alpine of Mauro Bianchi and the Matras. In the Gran Turismo up to 1600 there are the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ of Auto Delta, in those up to 1300 the Abarth-Simca and the Giuliette SZ. Plus, as a respectable outsider, an MG Midget of Hedges-Hopkirk. The Targa Florio, which is valid for the Sportscar World Championship, is held on the Madonie circuit: 10 laps for a total of 720 kilometres. In 1965, the Targa Florio was run for the 49th time. It is the oldest car race in the world, as it was born in 1906, when Alessandro Cagno won, at an average speed of 52 km/h. Nearly sixty years later, the average exceeds 100 km/h. The difference might seem modest enough, considering the enormous progress of the cars, but precisely these speeds give an idea of the difficulty of the Madonie circuit, which is a succession of bends and drops. At one time, the Targa Fiorio was considered the most classic of road races, and represented a kind of graduation for the participating marques. Then the Sicilian race experienced a slow decline, from which it recovered after 1950, with the return to the small 720-kilometre Madonie circuit.
With the Mille Miglia suppressed in 1957, the Targa has remained the only speed race on open roads, and its popularity has consequently returned to almost what it once was. The greatest interest is concentrated on the prototype trophy, with Ferrari and Ford taking part in it. They have been the main protagonists in the trials held so far this season, up to the 1000 kilometres of Monza on Sunday 25 April 1965. The cars of the Maranello team and those of the Detroit colossus, albeit through the particular organisation of Carrol Shelby, are thus competing for supremacy in the Prototype category. At Monza, it was seen that for the moment Ferrari's advantage is still appreciable, especially in terms of exploitable power; all the more reason for the Italian cars to impose themselves on the Madonie circuit, thanks to their greater handling qualities. Ford's participation, which at first had been announced as quite substantial, is limited to a single car, driven by Bondurant and Whitmore. Evidently Shelby's line-up doesn't have too many illusions about the chances of winning the Targa, and perhaps it is only a test from which to accumulate technical experience. On the contrary, Porsche had a much better chance of facing the Ferrari squadron, which, after all, was not new to success in the Sicilian race, where it had won in the last two years. Sunday, 9 May 1965 saw the start of the Targa Florio in which the Ferrari of the Italian duo Vaccarella-Bandini won the 49th edition of the Targa, confirming the predictions made on the eve of the race. The German Porsche cars defended themselves well, and the only Ford in the race, despite a fairly serious mechanical accident, made a good impression, proving that the American manufacturers had learned from their 1964 experience. The second, third, fourth and fifth places overall are the prerogative of the Stuttgart cars.
A splendid sunny day and 250,000 spectators contributed to the complete success of this edition of the classic Sicilian race, which was dramatised by two accidents, fortunately not as serious as first feared. Grandsire-Bianchi's Alpine apparently skidded fearfully when its brakes failed, hit a kerbstone and then burst into flames. At the time of the accident Grandsire, who suffered injuries and burns, was in the pilot's seat. The health service helicopter came to his aid and transported him to the race medical station. Palermo driver Gilberti also fell victim to an accident: his Abarth caught fire and the driver was burnt. The poor performance provided in 1964 by the Cobra was redeemed by the car of the Bondurant-Withmore duo, which managed to make a valid entry in the classification until the fourth lap, when it occupied third place overall. Then the Ford lost a wheel, but the Californian driver, who was driving the car at the time, managed to keep the car on the track, but practically put the American car out of the fight. A truly extraordinary detail: the Ford's wheel sliced cleanly through the power supply line of the Palermo-Messina railway line, forcing some trains to make a forced stop. However, it was Bondurant himself who recovered the wheel and reassembled it, continuing on to the pits, where the mechanics allowed him to resume the race. However, a subsequent mechanical failure after a few laps forced Bondurant to stop again. The factory Ferraris gave way to the Porsches in the places of honour, but proved once again to be unbeatable. The dynamo of Baghetti's car and a wheel lost by Scarfiotti are the causes of the retirements of the two cars that, otherwise, would have entered the fight with the German cars in the prestigious positions.
A surprise, however, was the excellent race conduct of the new Abarth 1600, sixth overall with Hermann-Cella, and the Asa, which ran with chronometric regularity. In the Targa Florio, cars of moderate speed and limited weight are in a better position to be exploited than the big cars. And also for this reason, Ferrari's victory has special significance, demonstrating the great balance achieved in every mechanical organ for the most rational use of the enormous power developed by the 3300 cc 12-cylinder mounted on the winning car. The overall race record was not improved because the leading pair decided to drop the pace in the final laps. But the record over the 720 kilometres of the Madonie circuit was improved, lowered by Vaccarella by 39 seconds, touching an average of 110 km/h. Ferrari overtook Ford in the world prototype ranking. However, we have to wait for the Le Mans 24 Hours before we can make a final judgement: Ford's participation, limited to a single car in the Targa Florio, will be particularly numerous at Le Mans; if Ferrari can overcome the tough French test just as brilliantly, we can conclude that the superiority of its cars remained unbroken in 1965. On Sunday, 16 May 1965, British driver Attwood won the Formula 2 car race with his Lola-B.R.M. at the Rome Grand Prix. Drivers from six nations take part in the race, many of them arriving only in the morning in the Italian capital; the race is run over two heats of 30 laps each. Attwood won the first heat ahead of Maggs, while Hawkins, whose car caught fire, and Italian champion Giacomo Russo retired. The winner's average was over 131 km/h.
Attwood and Maggs are also the protagonists of the second race, which sees the two Britons cross the finish line very close together. Logically, the final classification, drawn up by the sum of the times, did not change, with Austrian Rindt coming third. In the Prototype car race in the 1600 cc category, which took place in between the two heats of the Rome Grand Prix, the new Ferrari Dino 166 also took part. In its second outing, the Modenese car driven by Lorenzo Bandini brilliantly secured victory. Starting off strongly right from the start and warmly supported by the Roman public, Bandini gave an example of high driving, always lapping in the lead at an average speed of 125 km/h and also setting the fastest lap in 1'30"4, at an average speed of 127.433 km/h. Behind him finished Maurizio Corona in a Porsche 904, at 2 laps, and De Sanctis, in a De Tommaso, at 3 laps. At the same time as the Rome Grand Prix, the 500 kilometre race at Spa Francorchamps is run. At the start, Parkes, at the wheel of a Ferrari 330 P, takes the lead. The fast pace of the British driver proceeds steadily until lap 17, giving the impression that no one can threaten the outdistance driver, but Willy Mairesse, when Parkes is forced to stop in the pits for refuelling and a series of checks that cost him a good three minutes and 45 seconds, manages to take the lead. However, the fastest lap was set by the unfortunate Parkes, who, in futile pursuit of Mairesse, covered the 14,100 metres of the circuit in 4'01"3, at an average speed of 210 km/h. The only one not to be lapped by the winner is David Piper, in a Ferrari 250 Le Mans, who finishes just under two minutes behind the Belgian driver. A lap down, followed by the Iso Grifo prototype driven by Noblet who, especially in the final stages of the hard-fought race, managed to take a brilliant third place.
The day records two serious accidents. The first sees Frenchman Roy Von Vost crash his Porsche into the straw bales delimiting the course and make a frightening tailspin, ending up ejected from the car. Promptly rescued, Von Vost was transferred to hospital by helicopter. Later, British driver Tony Negbourne was injured in an accident with his Alfa Romeo. The driver's life is unfortunately in danger due to a spinal cord injury. The American driver Bob Bondurant in a Ford-Cobra won the over 3000 cc class and the Briton Pittard the 1600 cc class of the Gran Turismo category; the Dutchman Swart in a FiatAbarth the 1000 cc class of the Turismo category. A week after the Rome Grand Prix and the Spa 500 kilometres, the 1000 kilometres of the Nürburgring took place on Sunday, 23 May 1965. At the start, in front of a crowd of 300,000 spectators, Surtees' Ferrari is the first to take off. Halfway through the first lap, the World Champion already has a ten-second lead over Phil Hill's Ford. Surtees finishes the first of 44 laps with 20 seconds on Phil Hill and Graham Hill, the latter in a Ferrari 275 P/2. On the second lap Surtees sets a new lap record at over 155 km/h. British driver John Sparrow's Ford-Cobra overturns, the driver fortunately escapes unhurt. On lap three, in the two-litre prototype category, Bandini is in the lead, second is Bonnier in a Porsche and third is Maglioli, also in a Porsche. On lap eight Phil Hill's Ford retires with engine problems. Surtees is still in the lead with an 84-second advantage over Parkes who, in the meantime, has overtaken Graham Hill. On lap 15 the Ferrari of the Belgians Langlois-Boulanger and the Abarth 1600 of the Germans Herrmann-Ahrens leave the race. At mid-race the Ferrari of Surtees and Parkes leads undisturbed at an average speed of 148 km/h.
Shortly afterwards there was the fatal accident of Honoré Wagner, who went off the track in his Alfa Romeo; the car flew over an embankment, plunging into a ravine, the driver was extracted lifeless from the wreckage of his car, but the immediate help he received was useless. Whitmore's Ford finally retires, leaving only Amon, who is far behind, in the race for the US team. The leading positions then remained unchanged until the finish. For the fourth year running Ferrari triumphed, driven by Ludovico Scarfiotti, who had already won in 1964 with Nino Vaccarella, and world champion John Surtees. The 330/P2 dominated the fierce field of competitors in the large-capacity prototype category, heading for a clear and well-deserved win in the International Trofeo Marche. The Maranello company's success was confirmed by the excellent second place taken by the pair of British driver Mike Parkes and Frenchman Jean Guichet. Third place came after an exciting race, which saw the collapse of the Ford prototypes, the eight-cylinder Porsche of Swedish Bonnier and Austrian Rindt, who only managed to overtake the Ferrari Dino 166 of Lorenzo Bandini and Nino Vaccarella at the end, who nonetheless drove a spectacular race. The winning pair's time was 6 hours 53'5"0 at a record average of 145.9 km/h. It is the first time in the history of the race, in its 11th edition in 1965, that the seven-hour limit is lowered. In the Grand Touring category, the winner was the Bondurant-Neerpash duo in a Ford-Cobra. On Tuesday, 25 May 1965, in a dramatic accident at 7:10 p.m. on the Monza circuit track, 23-year-old driver Bruno Deserti from Bologna lost his life. Deserti was at the wheel of a 4000 cc Ferrari 330 P. 2 prototype: he had taken the wheel of the powerful car about fifteen minutes earlier, taking over from Andrea and Adamich. Deserti had joined the Ferrari team two months earlier. Deserti loses his life during a normal test, scheduled for the most important engagement of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
The test, as had been done the year before on the Alfa Romeo track in Balocco, consists of subjecting a car to an uninterrupted twenty-four-hour test: the car only stops for refuelling and the drivers take turns at the wheel, training and perfecting themselves. Before the fatal accident, an atmosphere of calm reigns in the pits, of light-hearted boredom at the routine that is taking place. The only concern is about the weather conditions, which portend a stormy night, heavy for those who would have to pull until 8am the next morning. The first to leave for practice was Andrea de Adamich. During practice, the Italian driver returns to the pits and the mechanics refuel 140 litres of fuel. At this stage Eugenio Dragoni looks for Giancarlo Baghetti, who should take Andrea de Adamich's place, but the Italian driver is not ready. It is at this moment, around 6:55 p.m., that Deserti feels a tap on his shoulder. In an instant, the young driver puts on his helmet, slides into the driver's seat, starts the bike, waves goodbye, and goes down to the track. The boy is little known in the circles, but Eugenio Dragoni often speaks of him. Deserti had come to Maranello a short time before, the day after the press release announcing his invitation to the Le Mans tests, together with Biscaldi and Baghetti. On that day Bruno Deserti was not summoned by Enzo Ferrari; the Modenese constructor avoided receiving him because he sensed the mood of that moment from having experienced it first hand, so many years before. Ferrari knows what heap of different feelings the young Italian driver was captive of; emotion, gratitude, elation. He therefore tries to avoid adding to anything that was already in him. Ferrari tries to prevent Bruno from feeling awe, or from committing himself to any kind of word, on the wings of enthusiasm, for future resounding feats, as if to anticipate the trust that had been placed in him.
For this reason, Ferrari preferred to appear rudely busy in order not to exalt him, as he had mounted in his time, in a way that seemed to him both beautiful and terrible at the same time, and so intense that he thought no one should ever feel such an emotion. Little did Ferrari know at the time that such passion is innate to the human spirit and when it explodes it is stronger than life itself, and stronger than death. At Monza, a normal test takes place, but it is interesting from a technical point of view because winning at Le Mans means affirming a will to work, rewarding a year of hard work, experience, studies; it means giving meaning to the sacrifice of those who have lost themselves in this troubled path towards progress, in the pure light of that sun that is called Sport. Deserti, for this first test, even buys a new helmet: he had bought it for his big day, the one that was crowning his dream. Enzo Ferrari is not far from the pits, in the company of the journalist Marcello Sabbatini and Franco Gozzi, who is sent to check on the work in case the roar of the engine is not heard along the circuit. This is still a test, but one that is too important for Scuderia Ferrari, who know that if they fail to complete the test, reaching the end of the twenty-four hours, the consequences could become extremely uncertain for the vital interests that tie the Le Mans result to the size of a car manufacturer like Maranello. The hours tick by, and in the pit box the operations take place as usual: tyres, petrol, shock absorbers, brake pads, driver change and off we go. Meanwhile, news arrives that Andrea de Adamich is running well. It is at this moment that Bruno Deserti starts. The car restarts and passes the pit six times, then silence. At the end of the straight, after the Fiat tower, before the curve of the oaks, a glow of a summer sunset lights up a melancholic spring.
It would later be discovered that, when braking to shift from fifth to fourth gear, the brake lights had come on, partly ruling out a possible problem with the braking system; on the ground remained the black brush strokes of a jolting braking on the grass, then in the woods. Deserti crashes in the Curva Grande. The Ferrari goes off the grass with the right wheels and the driver loses control of the car; the car slams into the guardrails and flies into the trees to the left of the track, hitting a tree and catching fire. Immediately the mechanics in the pits, including Giulio Borsari, and Lorenzo Bandini, who was in the pits with Ludovico Scarfiotti, rushed to the scene in the team-owned Peugeot 404. Having arrived at the spot where the accident had occurred, Lorenzo Bandini shouts Bruno's name, in the hope that his young colleague may have been thrown from the car and that he can therefore hear his cries. The mechanics and Bandini search around the car for a while, before resigning themselves to the idea that Bruno Deserti was tied to the car seat. It takes them - in fact - more than an hour to extinguish the fire, and two water tanks are required to do so. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari returns to Modena; Lorenzo Bandini also leaves the circuit. Borsari, a few mechanics and journalist Franco Lini remain at the scene. When the flames are finally extinguished and the car is straightened out (since it had been upside down), those present see with horror what remains of the car's sheet metal and the body of Bruno Deserti inside it. Bruno Deserti's father, a major importer working mainly with England, learned the news of his son's disappearance the following day, Wednesday 26 May 1965, while reading the newspaper on the plane. Exactly ten years after the death of Alberto Ascari, who also disappeared at Monza. The causes of the accident will never be clarified: even today there are those who speak of human error, some of the failure of a suspension, others of a tyre burst.
Sunday 30 May 1965 saw the Monaco Grand Prix, the second round of the World Championship, after the South African Grand Prix on Friday 1 January 1965, won by Jim Clark in a Lotus-Climax. The event is very important for the world of motor sport, because precise indications on the efficiency of the mechanical means of comparison are expected from it. In 1965 the Indy 500, which has become of great interest to Europeans, is held the day after the Monaco Grand Prix, so there is no possibility of any drivers competing in both events, as in past years. Consequently, Jim Clark and Dan Gurney cannot enter for the Monaco race and Team Lotus proposes to replace Clark with Pedro Rodriguez and Brabham replaces Gurney with Denis Hulme. With the starting grid limited to sixteen cars the organisers guarantee certain places to each factory team, depending on their drivers' results in the 1964 Championship, the remainder of the positions being decided by practice times. Team Lotus wants guaranteed starts for Spence and Rodriguez, but the organisers can only guarantee one, so Team Lotus withdraws their entries and they do not take part in the Monaco Grand Prix. This reduces the field to seventeen cars, so that the three practice periods only have to eliminate one car. Unfortunately, the absence of the official Lotus team, and in particular its first driver Jim Clark, threatens to make the Monaco race lose fifty per cent of its interest. Chapman, who was already unable to dispose of Clark because he was committed to Indianapolis (the Indy 500 was run on Monday 31 May 1965) felt that this decision by the organisers would jeopardise the chances of success, and so the official Lotuses did not run the Monaco Grand Prix. However, the British manufacturer's stance seems to be a ruse. Clark, who was attempting the great Indianapolis adventure for the third time, preferred the mirage of the many millions at stake to defending his lead in the championship standings.
On Thursday, 27th May 1965 afternoon there is one and a half hours of practice, during which everyone has to adjust to the circuit ready for the two shorter periods the following days. Just as the circuit is opened for practice the rain begins to fall and gets worse as the afternoon goes on, so that only those drivers who were quick off the mark got anything like a reasonable lap time, the rest being impossibly slow in the soaking circuit. For a lot of people the problem is to keep all the cylinders working, for spray is getting everywhere and most of the entry sits despondently in the pits, but it is noticeable that number one works drivers Graham Hill and Surtees are splashing round pretty consistently. The B.R.M. team of Hill and Stewart has three cars at the circuit; all of the latest type with central exhaust system, and Ferrari has two V8 cars for Surtees and a flat 12-cylinder car for Bandini; Surtees having different types of Dunlop tyre on the two V8-cylinder cars. Stewart is a 25-year-old Scottish driver who comes from the ranks of Formula 3 cars, and whom B.R.M. has employed since 1965 as second driver of its official team. His calling card is the victory at Silverstone ahead of world champion John Surtees. It is clear that one victory or a lap record is not enough to make one a champion, but that in Stewart's case we are dealing with a potential ace is equally certain. The young British revelation could be one of the protagonists of the Grand Prix, perhaps making up for the disappointment of Clark's absence and the lack of spectacle he usually gives in his racing performances. Jack Brabham’s own car is fitted with a new four-valve-per-cylinder Coventry-Climax V8 engine, while Hulme has an earlier unit, as do the two works Coopers, driven by McLaren and Rindt. The Japanese Honda team is out in strength, having three cars at the pits for drivers Bucknum and Ginther, these cars being improved versions of last year’s car.
The rear suspension has been simplified and is now on the lines of a Lotus or Brabham and Dunlop have been discarded for brakes, wheels and tyres. Girling disc brakes are used, Honda alloy wheels and Goodyear tyres, while fuel tanks have been built in the sides of the cockpit giving a slightly fatter section. The transversely mounted 12-cylinder engine still uses Japanese fuel injection into the ports with a system of wires and pulleys to connect the throttle slides and the mixture strength control, while the battery has been moved within the wheelbase from its previous position on an outrigger behind the rear suspension. The non-factory entries consists of Anderson with his Brabham-Climax V8 and Hawkins with Stoop’s Lotus 33-Climax V8, combined under the mantle of DW Racing Enterprises Ltd, both cars are green with a central white stripe. Gardner drives the Willment Brabham-B.R.M. V8 and Rob Walker’s team is his usual pair, Bonnier and Siffert. The Swedish driver is in the Brabham-Climax V8 and Siffert is making his re-entry to racing after his Goodwood crash, still suffering from a painful foot. His Brabham B.R.M. V8 had to be completely rebuilt after the accident and is now virtually brand-new. To complete the list Hailwood and Attwood have the Parnell team cars of ex-works Lotus 25 chassis with B.R.M. V8 engines and Newland gearboxes. From a collection of bits and by fabricating many parts themselves the team has built up a third car to the same specification, to be used as a training car and a spare. With only seventeen entries there is not the usual panic and scrambling to qualify as there is only going to be one unfortunate driver. Before breakfast on Friday, 28th May 1965 morning there is an hour of practice and the weather is perfect, with dry roads and sunshine and everyone begins to charge around to record good times for the two-by-two starting grid.
The B.R.M. team seems to be fairly free of troubles or complication and it is noticeable how forceful Stewart’s driving is, his speed in jumping from one pedal to the other is outstanding. Into the Station hairpin he stays on the accelerator right to the last moment, and then well and truly on the brakes, whereas other drivers back off the throttle progressively as they come down the hill. Out of the right-hander onto the sea front it is the same; no hesitation with stamping the throttle open, or with changing gear, the only question is whether the B.R.M. can stand up to this sort of forceful driving. Graham Hill goes equally fast, his power-sliding round the hairpins is a joy to watch, while Brabham is employing the same tactics the 32-valve Climax engine opens up splendidly out of the hairpins. Bandini is obviously in the same happy and uninhibited mood as Stewart, the flat 12 Ferrari engine goes really well, but Surtees is not completely happy, and both his cars seems fluffy on pick-up. The Hondas is clearly unsuited to the circuit, being all revs, and gears, both of which are undesirable at Monte-Carlo and there is too little time for them to re-adjust themselves. With the good circuit conditions, it is no surprise that lap times are well below previous years, the record stands at 1'33"9 to Graham Hill during the race of 1964. Brabham improves on this and then Hill goes one better, but right at the end of practice Stewart shakes everyone, including himself, with a lap in 1'32"9 Bandini is also well below the old record, and having seen these four at various points on the circuit it is no surprise that they are the fastest. Deceptive in his smoothness and appearance of not going fast is Attwood, who gets down to 1'34"5 in the Parnell Lows-B.R.M. V8, to lead all the non-factory entries and a number of works drivers as well.
The Hondas are desperately slow and seldom running on twelve cylinders. On Saturday, 29th May 1965 afternoon there is the third and final practice session, again an all too short hour, and on the opening lan Bonnier’s car lays a stream of oil round the circuit, which does not help matters. It soon dries up and conditions are splendid, so that there is some pretty intensive motoring going on to get on the front of the narrow starting grid. The V8 Ferraris is nosy going well, but the flat 12 sounds even better and the 32-valve Climax engine almost splits the car-drums when Brabham stands on the loud pedal. With Stewart holding pole position Graham Hill pulls out all the stops and has a real go, with the result that he gets down to 1'32"5 and Brabham can see a possible win on the horizon so responds accordingly and clocks 1'32"8, these two being on the front row of the grid. While other drivers are under-steering themselves off course at the Gasometer hairpin, or like Surtees and Bandini are rolling round in a neutral attitude; Hill and Brabham are flicking their cars into a tail slide in the approach to the hairpin, putting on opposite steering lock and applying full power almost front the apex, the others being a long way out of the corner before they can apply any power. These two obviously got their cars adjusted to the special conditions that prevail at Monaco. Stewart does not improve his previous time, but Bandini does, which gets him ahead of his team-mate Surtees on the V8 Ferrari. The unobtrusive Attwood does it again; equalling the existing lap record and making sixth fastest time. The Hondas are lucky to be firing on more than to cylinders due to injection problems and are bog-slow compared to the other works teams, though Rindt in the second works Cooper never gets into the pace that McLaren set. In the final count it is Rindt who gets left off the starting grid, for though he is faster than Ginther the Hondas are guaranteed two places irrespective of times.
Graham Hill and Jack Brabham set the fastest times and started on the front row in the 23rd Monaco Grand Prix; on the second row were Stewart and Lorenzo Bandini, ahead of John Surtees. However, the fight against the stopwatch to shave a few tenths of a second off the time during practice was but a foretaste of what was to come in the Grand Prix: two hours and forty-five minutes of chasing and excitement for a statement that was merely episodic, but which the constructors and drivers cared about a lot, because this Grand Prix ushered in the season. On Sunday, 30th May 1965 afternoon the weather is awful for Monte Carlo, but perfect for racing. It is dry and cool with complete cloud cover so that the usually bright town takes on a grey drab colour. After the arrival of the Prince and Princess of Monaco and a rather disorganised parade of historic cars and drivers, the 16 starters in the 100-lap Grand Prix line up on the dummy grid. At the given signal 15 of them move forward to the proper starting grid, leaving Bucknum still trying to start his Honda engine which has got over-rich. The field roars away at the flag-fall and Bucknum joins in a few seconds later and straight away the two works B.R.M.s dominate the scene, leading the two Ferraris and Brabham. After everyone has gone by on the opening lap Ginther comes into the pits with a broken universal joint in a drive shaft on his Honda. Graham Hill sets a hard pace and Stewart sits in his slipstream, this two leave everyone behind in a fine display of team power and strength. Bandini leads Surtees and Brabham is harried by McLaren and Attwood; then comes Anderson, Siffert and Hulme in a close bunch, Gardner and Hailwood together, Bonnier and Hawkins with Bucknum bringing up the rear. The two B.R.M.s pull out nearly a second a lap over the two Ferraris and it looks like being a complete tour de force for the Bourne team. Stewart runs almost too close to his team leader, but seems determined to keep up with him, even after hitting a kerb with his nearside rear wheel on one lap.
However, after 12 laps they lap Bucknum and Stewart gets held up by the Honda, so that once past there is a more reasonable gap between the two B.R.M.s, and their lead over the Ferraris increases all the time, though Brabham closes on Surtees who seems unable or unwilling to get in front of Bandini. There is a wisp of smoke coming from Brabham’s new Climax engine, due to a bolt coming out of the rev.-counter drive letting oil onto the hot engine and this later develops into serious trouble. At 20 laps the order is Hill (B.R.M.), Stewart (B.R.M.), Bandini (Ferrari), Surtees (Ferrari), Brabham (Brabham), Attwood (Lotus), McLaren (Cooper), Hulme (Brabham), Anderson (Brabham), Gardner (Brabham), Siffert (Brabham), Bonnier (Brabham), Hawkins (Lotus) and Bucknum (Honda), the last two have already been lapped, while Hailwood has retired with gearbox trouble. Shortly after this Anderson is obviously in trouble and drops back and on lap 25, as Hill comes out of the tunnel Anderson is going slowly towards the chicane leading on to the quay, a universal joint breaking up in a drive shaft. He is nursing the car back to the pits for repairs when Hill arrives at full bore and finds Anderson’s car going slowly through the corner. There is no room for the two cars so Hill sensibly takes the escape road, but this means that he has to get out and push the car back before he can rejoin the race. Meanwhile, Stewart goes by into the lead, followed by Bandini, Surtees and Brabham, so that Hill finishes the lap in fifth place, with a very black and angry look on his face and his moustache fairly bristling. This little shuffle inspires Brabham and as Bonnier is lapped by the leading group the Australian nips ahead of Surtees and begins closing on Bandini, but the Italian is not impressed and takes no notice of Brabham’s waving fist. Stewart has a comfortable lead, but on lap 30 he throws it all away by getting into a wild spin coming out of Sainte Devote corner and travelling backwards up the hill at high speed before coming to rest on the footpath.
This lets Bandini into the lead, so he obviously is not going to let Brabham past as easily as Surtees has done. Stewart rejoins the race just ahead of Graham Hill, and the two slightly angry B.R.M. drivers are now 4th and 5th instead of 1st and 2nd. Gardner drops out with a broken engine bearer, which also ruins the B.R.M. crankcase, and Bucknum retires the second Honda from last place when the gear-lever linkage becomes de-arranged. Anderson is repairing his drive shaft and Attwood is still leading McLaren and the rest of the field. On lap 34 Brabham takes the lead from Bandini and goes round the Gasometer hairpin in the biggest full-lock slide imaginable so that if the 12-cylinder Ferrari had been able to out-accelerate the Brabham there would not have been room to get by. Surtees seems content to sit back in third place, even though Graham Hill is wound up into a furious pace and bears down relentlessly on all and sundry, his young Scottish team-mate being the first victim. One look in the mirrors is enough and Stewart moves over and waves Hill through, making no attempt to try and keep up with him, for it is obvious that in the opening laps Hill had been taking things comfortably. It is a different story at this point of the race, and when Surtees sees him coming up in his mirrors, he makes a bit of an effort to get by Bandini, but the young Italian is too busy hanging on to Brabham to take much notice of this. Unbeknown to anyone Brabham has a hard time, for the loose rev-counter drive has finally broken the cable so he drives without knowing what rpm his engine is doing. Being in the lead he cannot ease up, for he has the Ferraris and B.R.M.s chasing him, and he tries to judge his 10.500rpm by ear when accelerating through the gears. For fifteen laps he does this, but without an instrument it is impossible not to over-rev, in the heat of the battle and finally the Climax engine succumbs and brakes and Brabham coasts into the pits, letting Bandini back in the lead once more.
Hill presses the two Ferraris very hard, and Stewart is quite a way back. McLaren has got in front of Attwood again and they are 5th and 6th, with Hulme some way behind them and Siffert, Bonnier and Hawkins are still in, while Anderson has rejoined the race. On lap 44 as Attwood brakes for the Gasometer hairpin his left rear suspension brakes and the wheel and brake come off so that his foot goes down and hit the accelerator. The car shoots forward and goes straight up onto the straw bales, the driver is unhurt, but he is very lucky for he had gone straight across in front of McLaren’s Cooper that was just turning into the hairpin. While the crowd and the Marshals are just getting over this flap Hulme arrives, about to lap Hawkins, and at the same time Bandini, Surtees and Hill arrive at the hairpin in a struggling bunch and for a moment there is complete chaos with cars all over the place. Nobody does anything silly, and it all sorts itself out, but it is hair-raising to watch from close quarters. All this excitement and the race has not reached half-distance. At the 50-lap mark Bandini still leads in the 12-cylinder Ferrari, hotly pursued by Surtees in a V8 Ferrari and Hill has the nose of his B.R.M. right on their tails. Stewart is a lonely 4th and McLaren is 5th and about to be lapped. Then comes Hulme and Siffert, with Bonnier, Hawkins and Anderson bringing up the rear. Graham Hill presses relentlessly and on lap 53 Surtees can no longer keep him at bay and the B.R.M. is between the two Ferraris. If Surtees gave up easily to Hill’s pressure Bandini has no intention of doing the same and he hangs on to the lead splendidly, but by the determination in Hill’s driving it seems unlikely that the Italian can keep up the pace, always if the cars can stand the pace. Surtees makes a few feeble attempts to worry Hill, but to no avail, and the B.R.M. is right behind the 12-cylinder Ferrari, the driver waiting his chance to pounce. On lap 64 as they brake for the Gasometer hairpin Hill looks all ready to take Bandini, and sure enough on the next lap, the B.R.M. is in the lead, but Bandini does not give up and fights hard to stay with the B.R.M.
No one can challenge Hill in the mood he is in and the B.R.M. is going splendidly, and it pulls away remorselessly from the two Ferraris. These three are fit: only ones in the race, the rest having been left far behind, and Hill keeps lowering the lap record continuously. Surtees begins to challenge Bandini and on lap 78 he chops his way past his team-mate, which seems a bit late in the day for such tactics. He obviously isn’t going to make up anything on Hill for the B.R.M. is going as well as ever and on lap 82 Hill sets a new all-time lap record in 1'31"7. Bandini eases off and reduces his maximum rpm by 1.000, as there is a risk of running out of fuel having kept up such a searing pace for so long. At 1.000rpm below maximum the Ferrari engineers have calculated the fuel consumption during practice laps, compared to laps at maximum rpm and rather than risk running out or making a pit stop Bandini settles for third place and eased off. At this point there is a bit of a furore at the chicane for Hawkins struck the wooden barrier at the entry and spun through the straw bales and over the edge of the quay and into the harbour. The Lotus sinks to the bottom and the rugged Australian bobs to the surface and strikes out for shore, while boats go to his rescue. Graham Hill stays firmly in the lead and though Surtees is able to keep the gap constant at a few seconds, showing that there is not much to choose between the two cars, he cannot close the gap. Bandini drops well back, conserving fuel, and Stewart is nearly a whole lap down, in 4th place. McLaren is still a steady 5th and Hulme has to stop at the pits as his right rear wheel is wobbling badly. Two of the four fixing studs have sheared right off so he sits and waits for Hill to start his last lap before he sets off slowly to drive round to the finish.
Hill almost laps his team-mate and as he starts his last lap Surtees coasts down the straight behind the pits, he coaxes the Ferrari round to the finishing line, to complete his 99th lap but there it expires, out of petrol, as the injection system is completely dry. Graham Hill completes his 100th lap of the tortuous city circuit, a very tired but happy man, having driven one of the best races of his career to win the Monaco Grand Prix for the third year running. Bandini comes in second, followed by Stewart, while a sweat-soaked and bedraggled-looking Surtees is an unhappy 4th. The assertion of the car and the British driver leaves no room for doubt about the superiority displayed. Graham Hill improves the lap record and the race record. Ferrari was certainly not lucky, as Surtees ran out of petrol just one lap from the end, when he was in second position just a few seconds behind Hill. After the first two races the world standings saw Graham Hill in the lead on 13 points, followed by Jim Clark and Surtees both on nine points, and Lorenzo Bandini on six. As has become traditional Saturday saw a Formula 3 event on the famous street circuit, the huge entry being divided into two heats, the first 11 from each race going into the final. The first Heat saw Mairesse in an Alpine-Renault jump into the lead, but the British F3 regulars gradually wore him down with their more powerful Ford engines. In the second Heat Pike (Brabham-Ford) set a very fast and smooth pace until Bondurant in a Tyrell Cooper-BMC got by Revson into second place and began to close up on the leader. With only a lap and a half to go Pike spun and Bondurant struck the Brabham, both cars being eliminated. In the final Cardwell (Brabham-Ford) looked to have the race in his pocket when he spun on what he thought was water from a crashed French-owned Cooper, but in fact it was oil. This left the race to the American Revson in a Ron Harris Lotus-Ford and Irwin in a Merlyn, the former coming home the winner.
The next day, Monday 31 May 1965, Jim Clark, the Scottish Lotus driver who has dominated so many Formula 1 Grands Prix, won the world's most prestigious race, the Indy 500, again driving a Lotus with a powerful Ford-Cosworth engine. Clark was the first European driver to win the race since 1916, and was followed in this particular ranking by an Italian, Dario Resta. Clark led the race as is his wont, always remaining in the lead, at the maximum speed allowed by his powerful vehicle and eliminating the most dangerous competitors, such as Foyt, or clearly distancing them, such as Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti. Clark's victory, which was given as probable after the Scottish racer's brilliant performance in practice, increases even more in value when one considers the high number of cars forced to retire, 22 out of 33 starts; the winner was able to keep his car within a safe margin despite being unfamiliar with the track despite having no point of reference in front of him. The average achieved by Clark also constitutes a record. His Lotus-Ford covered the 500 miles, or 805 kilometres, at 212.153 km/h, bettering by more than 5 km/h Foyt's limit set last year. It must be considered that this total count also includes refuelling times, which although reduced to a minimum (around twenty seconds to refuel and a little more for a general check) constitute a considerable handicap that is reflected in a decrease in kilometres in the total hourly average. As with Clark's success, not so much the placing of the well-known Parnelli Jones as that of the very young Italian Mario Andretti, just 25 years old, who finished third at the wheel of a Ford Brewner. Having moved with his family to Nazareth in Pennsylvania, Mario, together with his brother Aldo, resumed the business and after a series of successes was launched this year at Indianapolis. His placing in the race came totally unexpected, and the crowd carried him off in triumph at the end of the race.
The Italo-American driver was the protagonist with Parnelli Jones of an exciting fight for three quarters of the race, as Clark's car escaped into the lead and their two cars pursued the leader, continuing to overtake each other. Andretti has lived in the United States for a few years but is Italian by nationality having been born in Trieste and then lived in Florence until he was eighteen. The Italian-American driver started racing cars at the age of thirteen in Italy, and together with his brother Aldo has participated in the most important American touring car races in recent years, finishing third overall in the North American national championship. Now his placing at Indianapolis launches him into the select group of American driving aces and there is already talk of him being hired by Ford if, as now seems certain, the American manufacturer will officially participate in the Grand Prix of the new Formula 1 next season. Other racers known in Europe, such as Dan Gurney and Masten Gregory, for their activities in Formula 1, have had no luck and have had to retire. Gurney was in the lead for the third and fourth laps, while Gregory came out on top but for another reason. While turning towards the pits, after 350 miles of racing, to refuel, he unintentionally cut off Clark, forcing him to brake violently: the Lotus Ford got up on its front wheels but fortunately, instead of capsizing, it fell back to its normal position without sustaining the slightest damage. As far as the American-made cars were concerned, it was a real meltdown. In addition to missing out on the overall success that they had won without interruption since 1940, the American makes had to record a real debacle as of seventeen Fords that started only six crossed the finish line, and of ten Offenhausers, only three completed the Indy 500. Of the cars built by Colin Chapman, but also equipped with Ford engines, only Foyt's car suffered a transmission failure about two-thirds of the way through the race, and the other two finished first and second.
Jim Clark has therefore won at Indianapolis. The news relayed by all the American news agencies quickly reached every part of the world and in particular every point in the United States, where the outcome of the race was eagerly awaited. The eve's predictions came true and after forty-nine years a European driver finally overcame the American specialists in what remains the world's most exciting car race. Clark's triumph was applauded by an overflow crowd that had reached the Indianapolis circuit by every means since the previous day. Over 250,000 entrance tickets were sold, and the television coverage broadcast as usual in closed circuit covered some two hundred venues scattered across several states with an average of 5.000 people each. The Scottish driver's success was matched by the prestigious achievement of his car built by Colin Chapman especially for the purpose, mounting on a special Lotus chassis the powerful engine designed by Ford for these competitions. Chapman had prepared four cars: he won with Clark, came second with Parnelli Jones, eighth with Bobby Johnson, and the only car forced to retire, that of Foyt, had been the protagonist up to that point in the fight for the final success. Even in this particular sector, very important on a technical level, the Americans had to suffer a setback as the first classic car at Indianapolis, the Ford Brewner, only finished third. Clark was awarded the fabulous sum of over 90.000.000 liras as the overall winner; to this must be added a further 10,000,000 liras in prizes for driving the race, and for setting the fastest lap. Parnelli Jones received 37.000.000 liras, and Mario Andretti just under 25.000.000 liras. All the racers are rewarded, including Dan Gurney, one of the favourites on the eve of the race, who was forced to retire. Clark and Gurney will return to England the day after tomorrow to fulfil their commitments in Formula 1 races for which they are respectively linked to Lotus and Honda.
Translated by Rosita Raso