SILVERSTONE, NORTHANTS, May 15th.
THIS annual festival of racing, sponsored by the Daily Express, enjoyed glorious weather for practice and race day, which a claimed 85,000 people attended. Indianapolis had claimed Clark and Gurney but otherwise a full entry was obtained. Ferrari sent two V8s and a flat-12, Surtees trying them all, Bandini one of each, the World Champion settling for an 8-cylinder car, Bandini the 12. Lotus had Spence in a flat-crank V8, a normal V8 for Rodriguez. (In Clark’s absence, they did not use the 32-valve car.) The B.R.M.s of Hill and Stewart had the new gearboxes, and the Coopers were driven by McLaren and Rindt, the latter’s with a new fuel pump to ensure getting the last pints of fuel from the tank to combat surge. Amon had a 1963 5-speed Centro Sud B.R.M., Bussinello a 6-speed B.R.M.
In practice Hill and Stewart had both been faster on R6 than on R7 Dunlops, and for the race everyone used R6s except Lotus, who started Spence on R6s, Rodriguez on R7s and the Brabhams which used Goodyears. The front row of the grid was : Hill (1 min. 31.4 sec.), Stewart (I min. 31.6 sec.), Surtees (1 min. 32.1 sec.), Bandini (1 min. 32.3 sec.). Next fastest was Spence (1 min.32.1 sec.), with Brabham 0.1 sec. slower. This promised a good 52-lap race. Hill led away, Surtees, Stewart and Brabham after him, Brabham passing Stewart into Stowe and taking second place on lap two.
This foursome ran clear of the others, Brabham taking the lead momentarily on lap six, and definitely by lap eight. The order was now Brabham, Hill, Stewart, Surtees, until on lap 16 Hill retired with valve gear trouble. Brabham, Stewart and Surtees were racing in a group, Spence was out on his own in fourth place for Team Lotus, and Gardner’s Willment Brabham-B.R.M. headed a second group composed of Banditti, Bonnier in Walker’s Brabham-Climax and Rodriguez in the other Team Lotus entry, and gradually drew away. Amon’s Centro Sud B.R.M. lasted only seven laps, before a piston ring broke, Rhodes’ Gerard Cooper-Ford stopped at Copse with a dead engine after 13 laps, end Rindt’s Cooper was out after 24 laps with a rod out of the Climax engine.
Surtees chopped off a second on Brabham’s 9½-sec. lead on lap 36 and Stewart, Who had been tailing the Ferrari, took it going into Stowe on this lap, to clapping from the grandstand. Smoke had begun to appear from the leading Brabham and it slowed, Stewart’s B.R.M. going into the lead on lap 39. Brabham’s smokescreen was soon really ominous and he pulled off, apparently on fire, but in fact losing oil, from a gearbox drive shaft which had become grooved in its bearing in spite of a change to a tougher steel. Hulme’s Brabham had long ago retired with the same trouble.
With 13 laps to go the result was still in doubt, for Surtees was challenging Stewart, coming within 2.1 sec. of the leading B.R.M. ten laps from the finish. Spence could do nothing but run steadily in third place, comfortably ahead of the “next race,” which was led by Rodriguez (after the retirement of Gardner, with alleged clutch trouble, on lap 25) from Bonnier, McLaren and Banditti, the Ferrari dropping back somewhat. This order held to the end, Rodriguez lapping those of his group, but Surtees unable to do anything about the B.R.M. in spite of having broken the F1 lap record, so that Stewart ran home by a margin of three seconds to a hard-fought, well-deserved and popular victory.
INTERNATIONAL TROPHY – Formula One – 52 laps
Approx. 213 kilometres
1st: J. Stewart (B.R.M. V8) .. 1 hr. 21 min. 47.0 sec. – 179.70 k.p.h. (111.66 m.p.h.)
2nd: J. Surtees (Ferrari V8) … 1 hr. 21 min. 50.0 sec.
3rd: M. Spence (Lotus-Climax V8) .. 1 hr. 22 min. 43.4 sec.
4th: P. Rodriguez (Lotus-Climax V8) .. 1 hr 23 min. 20.6 sec.
5th: J. Bonnier (Brabham-Climax V8) .. 51 laps
6th: B. McLaren (Cooper-Climax V8) .. 51 laps
Other finishers : Bandini (Ferrari), Attwood (Lotus-B.R.M.), Hailwood (Lotus-B.R.M.), Hawkins (Lous-Climax), Taylor (Cooper-Climax), Raby (Brabham-B.R.M.), Bussinello (B.R.M.), Anderson (Brabham-Climax), Brabham (Brabham-Climax), Brabham being classified a finisher under the rules.
Fastest lap : J. Surtees (Ferrari), in 1 min. 33.0 sec.-182.34 k.p.h. (113.30 m.p.h.) (new record).
The supporting programme, which included swarming go-karts and Val and Rosemary in their Tulip Imp, opened with a 25-lap F3 race, contested between the Brabham-Fords of Courage and Pike, who finished in that order, followed by Fenning’s Merlyn-Ford, Blokdyk’s Alexis-Ford and Hitchcock’s Brabham-Ford at . discreet distance from the duellists, who, however, ceased to duel after six laps. Williams’ Brabham-Ford held third place for four laps, until its fuel pump packed up.
The big sports cars had their turn next, also for 25 laps. The race was an exciting battle for the lead between McLaren’s 4½-litre McLaren-Elva-Oldsmobile and Surtees’ 5.9-litre Lola-Chevrolet, both Firestone-shod. For six laps McLaren was in front, then Surtees took him, led for nine laps, neither driver giving ground and both carving a way through the slower traffic, until McLaren went ahead again on lap 14, Surtees’ Lola down on power, and stopping altogether three laps from the finish. It transpired that in avoiding a wheel shed by Sutton’s Attila-Chevrolet Surtees had taken to the grass, which filled the Lola’s intakes and resulted in overheating. This allowed Dibley, who had been maintaining a steady but uninspiring third place in the other Lola, to move up one, Sears holding station in the Team Lotus 30, ahead of Hulme’s 2-litre Brabham-Climax. Attwood, who had deputised for Hill in the Ford GT, making its first English appearance, and not a very impressive one, was fifth.
A 12-lap Touring-Car Race passed the time to the lunch interval and proved that to win a British saloon-car race you need a Ford-originally a Galaxie, then a Cortina, now a Mustang. Pierpoint’s 4.7-litre Mustang led all the way, Sir Gawaine Baillie’s noisy 4.7-litre Mustang coming into second position after four laps, both Firestone-shod, with the Team Lotus Cortinas of Sears and Spence behind them and ahead of Gardner in the Willment Cortina. Mrs. Jacquie Bond-Smith’s Galaxie ran almost last and disappeared after a couple of laps.
The long day’s racing concluded with an excellent Historic Racing-Car event, presumably left until the end to prevent showing up the modern racing cars! The Hon. Patrick Lindsay found himself opposed by professionalism, Crabbe and Spero having appointed Banks and Attwood to drive their 250F Maseratis. The three Maseratis ran right away from a straggling field, in which Schellenberg’s 8-litre Bentley never got going, Margulies’ Connaught made spasmodic Gonzalez-like wheel-twirling appearances, and Brown’s Cooper-Bristol needed six laps to catch Brewer’s E.R.A., Brown finishing fourth and Sievright’s Ferrari fifth, a lap behind, after the E.R.A. had retired. Banks led Lindsay until lap five when the latter seized his opportunity going into Copse and never lost the lead thereafter, although the three red cars were never far apart, and going better than when they were current F1 cars, Lindsay lapping at nearly 98 m.p.h.-W. B.