Innes Ireland’s victory at the 1962 Tourist Trophy, despite cutting the odd chicane, and a dominant display for the Ferrari 250GTO
The 1962 TT was run as a scratch race from a Le Mans start, and after two rather dull curtain-raising races, the ﬁeld lined up for the 3pm start.
Ireland made a lightning start – he had practiced sprinting immediately beforehand – whereas Parkes got away badly. The ﬁrst-lap order was Ireland, Surtees, Hill, Clark, Piper, with Leston’s Elite right at the back of the ﬁeld. The Harrington Alpine only lasted a lap, Lumsden spun at St Mary’s, Protheroe’s Jaguar came in for a plug change, and by quarter distance the order had settled down as Surtees, Ireland, Parkes, Hill, Salvadori, Clark, Piper, Kerrison, and then Trevor Taylor leading his class in the Elite, from Whitmore’s Elite and a Morgan.
Surtees was driving extremely fast, having set a new GT lap record of 96.64mph on lap two. Parkes had come somewhat untidily through the ﬁeld to close right up on Ireland but his efforts to pass the Scot, in spite of light-ﬂashing and all the tricks in the book, availed him nothing…
…After the stops the order settled down to Surtees, Ireland, Parkes, Hill and Salvadori. Nothing could now stop Surtees gaining an easy victory for Bowmaker, it seemed, until on lap 61 Clark spun his ‘Blivot’ at Madgwick and took Surtees with him. Both drivers retired. The race order changed dramatically.
Ireland thus took the lead, but Hill began to speed up, gaining on him, whereas Parkes seemed content to stay his hand.
Those who had seen Ireland go straight on at the chicane on lap 15 assumed that, as in previous Goodwood TTs when cars were called in and held for 60 seconds for this, he would be penalised and that his pit had been informed of this. Thus many of the spectators expected Ireland to speed up, to try and wipe out any penalty. He had gone straight on because a brake snatched, not with loss of steering as happens when all the brakes lock on. No doubt he was going a bit too fast; later a similar degree of brake-locking was visible when Ireland was following slower cars into the chicane. However, Ireland was lucky, for the observer at the chicane decided this short cut was justiﬁed.
So Ireland went on, winning from Hill by 3.4 seconds. Had he been penalised, or slid, or spun in trying not to go straight on, speculation suggests that this TT would have gone to Hill. Parkes was third, Salvadori fourth, a lap behind, the only Jaguar driver to keep the leading Ferraris in sight. The TT, a mere shadow of its Ards self with only three works teams entered, was nevertheless a hard-fought race, only three leading Ferraris covering the full distance.