Ferrari Beats Ford-Engined Opposition in Prototype Class
A.C. Cobra-Fords 1-2-3 in GT category, beating the 250 GTO Ferraris
The T.T. has never been certain what sort of race it is supposed to be. This year, at Goodwood, sponsored by the Gallaher Senior Service Group, it was over 130 laps, for sports and prototype sports cars over 1,600 c.c. and GT cars over 2,000 c.c. This promised well, with Clark (Lotus 30 Ford), McLaren (Cooper-Oldsmobile), G. Hill’s Ferrari 330P, Piper’s Ferrari 275LM, Coundley’s Lotus-19-Climax, ‘Hobbs’ Lotus 23B-Ford, the Repco-Brabham BT8 Climax cars of Dibley and Hulme, three Elva-B.M.W.s driven by Gardner, Lanfranchi and Trevor Taylor, and Natham’s Repco-Brabham in the first group, five A.C. Cobra-Fords for Gurney, P. Hill, Sears, Olthoff and Salvadori, opposed by the four Ferrari 250 GTOs of Surtees, Ireland, Ginther and Maggs, three Jaguar E-types and Salmon’s Aston Martin DB4GT in the GT section. Most of the drivers elected to go the 312 miles alone. There were only two non-starters, the Ferrari GTOs of Kerrison and Pierpoint, and the Nocker/Lindner Jaguar which Sutcliffe rolled into a ball in practice.
In practice, McLaren lapped in 1 min. 23.2 sec. (103.85 m.p.h.), Clark in 1 min. 23.8 sec., and Hill (G.) and Dibley in 1 min. 24.6 sec. Fastest GT was Gurney’s Cobra, in 1 min. 27.2 sec.
Race day enjoyed perfect weather but a small crowd. While the stands failed to fill up, a 21-lap race for GT cars up to 1,600-c.c., those deliberately and wisely barred from the T.T., took place. Stoop’s Porsche 904GTS led for three laps but was caught into Woodcote by Spence’s Chequered Flag Lotus Elan, which thereafter pulled out a solid lead, driven very hard and sounding ragged at the finish. He averaged 92.76 m.p.h. Stoop held his second place; from De’Udy’s Don Moore Porsche 904GTS, with Morris in the Mefeo Porsche 904GTS sandwiched between, but a lap behind them, Crossfield’s Elan being fourth. In the up-to 1,300-c.c. class Wagstaffs Team Elite Lotus won at 84.77 m.p.h. for 20 laps, from Ralph’s Goss Racing Elite, Harris’ Sebring Sprite a lap behind. On the second lap Weber’s Elan, in third place, spun so viciously coming out of the chicane while straddling the kerb which marks the exit from the corner (not that anyone takes any notice of it) that a wheel came off and bounced twice amongst the spectators.
In the early Stages of the T.T. it looked as if there would be few finishers, for Dibley’s Stirling Moss Brabham retired on lap 3 with a broken piston and Gardner’s Elva broke its transmission. Sears was at the tail-end of the field, having spun, and as the order became stable, McLaren led from a very busy Clark, with Hulme’s Brabham third and Taylor going magnificently in fourth place in the yellow Elva. When McLaren came in, and finally retired, with a clutch that was refusing to transmit the bite of 4-litres of Oldsmobile motor, Clark led, Hulme and Taylor upholding “small” -car prestige behind him. Rubberneck Graham Hill (his neck was in its inflated rubber collar) had fallen to fourth, and after 25 laps Piper and Salvadori already were a lap behind. Ireland had spun his Ferrari at St. Mary’s; causing Surtees to take avoiding action which demolished the luckless Lanfranchi’s Elva and ended backwards into Moss’ bank, Surtees suffering concussion and going to hospital. Ireland pulled a wing from a tyre and went on.
Hill now began to get going, coming up to third place, the remarkable Elva still fourth, the still more remarkable Hulme Brabham second. Salvadori with all his old fire, led the GT class from Sears and Gurney. Nathan’s Brabham ran out of fuel and Phil Hill was in trouble with his Cobra. Salvadori refuelled and was promptly caught out by new tyres or the extra weight, spinning at Lavant. Graham Hill was now second, behind Clark, whose Lotus was very fast, water vapour pluming from a vent in the tail. It seemed possible for the small cars to pull up on pit-stops and it was the pit-stops that affected the fortunes of the leaders after half-distance.
Clark came in for fuel on his 64th lap, instead of the 75th as intended, and while the n/s rear wheel was changed a Lotus mechanic flung in ten gallons of fuel (78 secs.). Hill went into the lead and Hulme came in for 20 gallons of fuel as Clark resumed. This was the finish of the Repco-Brabham’s fine run, for a lap later it was in again, misfiring. Hill then rook on fuel and fresh rear wheels (73.8 sec.) and Taylor’s splendid run was broken when the Elva spent a long time at the pits, needing a new battery before it would restart. It then returned to its pit, overheating. Ireland had the rear wheels changed, in 65 sec. Piper took fuel, no tyres.
The GT Cobras made their refuelling stops, Sears stationary for 76 sec. All this altered the -complexion of the T.T. Clark’s Lotus was still in the lead, Hill’s Ferrari a lap behind, on the same circuit as Piper’s Ferrari. Gurney now led the Cobra contingent from Sears, Salvadori’s fast race marred by ignition trouble. He was so retire finally with clutch failure.
Mac’s Jaguar-E had spent most of the afternoon calling at its pit. Now came drama. Clark’s Lotus had been under-fuelled. He came Storming in, complaining that the Ford engine wasn’t picking up after the corners. A nearly hysterical Chapman had been expecting this. Another 15 gallon’s were flung in, oil added to the engine, and then the hot engine wouldn’t fire! When Clark did get away, Hill was nearly a minute ahead of him.
We were now treated to an exhibition of Clark at his best, in a hurry, needing all the road. He would come out of Woodcote, dust rising as the tail of the Lotus 30 touched the verge, accelerate in a burst of power that lifted the nose, slip through the chicane and as like as not use the kerb out of it to bounce the car straight. Stop-watches were put—Clark might close on Hill a couple of laps from the end. Some laps he clipped off a couple of seconds, on others the gap was slower to close, as Hill drove the Ferrari 330P with no trace of fireworks. Alas, the drama faded, when Clark made a third pit-stop, complaining of an odd feel to the steering, as well he might, for a bottom wishbone locking ring had slackened off and was biting into the n/s. front wheel. When the commentator announced this as the penalty for bouncing off banks, which was absurd, Clark was not amused…
So Hill motored on to victory, and Piper in the other Ferrari ran ahead of him, although a lap behind, a convincing demonstration of Maranello reliability. Hill even had time to come in for some fuel and for the front tyres to be checked, without losing his lead.
Thus two different types of Ferrari prototype dominated the T.T. Behind them came the three beefy A.C. Cobra-Fords of Gurney (Daytona coups), Sears (open model) and Olthoff (hard-top), leading their class. Ireland’s GT Ferrari held a steady-sixth, ahead of Coundley’s Lotus 19 and nine other stragglers. Laps divided the field at this stage, the last three to be placed having completed only 2/3 the distance; only Hill covered the full 130 laps, at an average of 97.13 m.p.h. Nine had retired.
Before his retirement McLaren set a new sports-car lap record of 1 min. 23.8 sec. (103.1 m.p.h.), Gurney a new GT lap record of 1 min. 27.8 sec. (98.4 m.p.h.) and Hulme, although dogged late in the race by serious loss of power, a new 1½-2-litre sportscar lap record of 1 min. 25.8 sec. (100.7 m.p.h.).—W. B.
29th R.A.C. Tourist Trophy race – Sports, Sports Prototypes and GT. – 130 laps – 312 miles – Dry, cool
1st: G. Hill (Ferrari 330P) 3 hr. 12 min. 43.6 sec.-97.13 m.p.h.
2nd: D. Piper (Ferrari 275LM) 129 laps
3rd: D. Gurney (A.C. Cobra-Ford V8) 129 laps
4th: J. Sears (A.C. Cobra-Ford V8) 127 laps
5th: R. Olthoff (A.C. Cobra-Ford V8) 126 laps
6th: I. Ireland (Ferrari 230 GTO) 125 laps
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The winning Maranello Concessionaires’ Ferrari used Shell fuel and oil, Dunlop tyres, Borrani wheels, Ferodo brake pads, a Bendik fuel pump, Marchal plugs, Koni shock-absorbers, Dunlop brakes, Weber carburetters, Borgo pistons and Marelli ignition. Gurney’s Shelby American Inc. A.C. Cobra-Ford used Esso fuel, B.P. oil, Goodyear tyres, Hallibrand-Cobra wheels, Ferodo brake linings, a Bendix fuel pump, Autolite plugs, Koni shock-absorbers, Girling brakes, Weber carburetters, Ford pistons and Ford ignition.