GT or not GT

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108

Sir,

Laurence Meredith misses the point slightly regarding the homologation of the Ferrari 250LM. The LM was refused homologation as a GT car for the ’64 and ’65 seasons, and was only homologated into Group 4 when that category came into being in 1966. Prior to that it ran as a prototype and was reasonably successful; it was also reasonably competitive against the Ford GT40 when racing in Gp 4. The biggest problem was that by 1966 the better private teams were allowed to play with things like the 365P2, so the 250LM would have been seen as uncompetitive.

Laurence touches on the homologation of the Ferrari 250GTO; this is often described as dubious, yet it was no more so than that of the Zagato and P214 Aston Martin, the Daytona Cobra or the lightweight E-type. These were accepted as developments of existing models, and as such had no need to be produced in quantity. But Enzo Ferrari was hardly a naive man, so what made him think he could homologate a car which clearly was not a development of an existing GT car? He must have assumed the CSI would allow the 250LM in on assurances that the requisite number would eventually be built, as seems to have happened with other manufacturers. However, the CSI presumably thought differently. While the Ferrari GTO generally dominated GT racing at this time, there were competitive cars made by AC, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Porsche; as a GT the 250LM would have rendered them obsolete. The GTO usually won anyway, so why let him get away with it?

Two years later things were rather different in the new Gp 4 category.

There was really only the GT40 to do the winning at this stage, so presumably a ‘blind eye’ was now turned to production quantities, and the LM was let in.

Finally, as Laurence says, the works never entered 250LMs, they never entered GTOs either. This had nothing to do with a fit of sulks from Enzo but was simply because these were regarded as privateer cars; the works was too busy running prototypes.

R C Hunt, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos.