A 12-hour GP, 1967
In the grand prix world there remains one more European event, which is the Italian GP at Monza on September 10, and it has the doubtful honour of being the Grand Prix of Europe. Mr Stanley, the secretary of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, once made a sound suggestion to me when he said he thought that the Grand Prix of Europe ought to be something special.
His idea was that it should always be the last race of the European season and should be of at least 10 hours’ duration. All the previous races would be in the nature of practice runs in preparation for the grand prix of the year and each country would take turns at organising it. Imagine 10 hours at Monaco, marvellous thought. And how about making the GP of Europe a team affair, with unlimited numbers of cars available to a pair of drivers. Clark and Hill would take turns at keeping a Lotus 49 in the race. Brabham and Hulme would team up in a Brabham, Rodríguez and Rindt in a Cooper-Maserati and so on. As each car wore out, fell apart or just broke, another would be wheeled out awaiting the arrival of the driver hot-foot from the wreckage of the first car. The driver changes, pitstops for fuel and tyres and so on would be terrific, but the pits would have to be arranged so that spectators could see what was happening, and why not make it a full 12-hour event? Imagine the activity in the Lotus pit as Hill took over from Clark, having the pedals, the seat, the rollbars, the spring rates, the windscreen and the tyres all changed, or they could compromise like drivers have to in long-distance sportscar racing. I’d put my money on Brabham and Hulme in the Brabham-Repco V8. This would be a grand prix with a difference and justify a title such as the Grand Prix of Europe.
Denis Jenkinson was our famous Continental Correspondent for more than 40 years.