1964 Belgian Grand Prix

Grand Prix de Belgique

Sunday, June 14, 1964
Race winner:
Dry and overcast
Fastest Lap:
Gurney, 3m49.2
1964 season:

From the Motor Sport Archive

An Unsatisfactory Finish

Spa, Belgium, June 14th.

When practice began late on Friday afternoon the sun was still burning down on the wooded slopes of the Francorchamps circuit and, apart from the two works B.R.M.s of Hill and Ginther, there seemed to be a reluctance for anyone to start practice, or perhaps it was that they were not ready. Ginther had his regular car, but now with a new gearbox, the casing being smaller and more compact, while Hill had the choice of two cars, that used at Zandvoort, also now fitted with the new type of gearbox, and a brand new car with the old type of 6-speed gearbox but new steering arms of beautifully machined H-section. Since the fuel system trouble at Zandvoort more air has been ducted to the pump and fuel pipes that were near hot oil and water pipes have been re-routed. The B.R.P. drivers were soon going round, Ireland in the original " monocoque " car that made its debut at this race last year, and Taylor in a brand new one with a slightly lower nose cowling. Both cars were fitted with B.R.M. V8 engines and 1963-type B.R.M. 6-speed gearboxes, and they started practice with full fuel tanks, to try the handling, and then stopped and had most of the petrol removed in order to make comparisons. Team Lotus were late in getting going, Arundell appearing with his Zandvoort Type 25C, but now back on 15-in. wheels, and Clark being late due to having two cars to choose from and neither being as he wanted them. One was his Zandvoort car, also converted back to 15-in, wheels, and having Type 25 rear suspension instead of the later type and the other car was the 1964 Type 33 that he had crashed at Aintree. The Type 33 has the same chassis construction as the Type 25 but numerous detail changes, many of which have already appeared on the modified Type 25 cars. After a lap on the Type 33 Clark stopped and changed over to the modified Type 25, while Arundell had no choice and got on with learning his way round the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Brabham was not out for long, his Hewland gearbox giving trouble, but Gurney in the second Brabham car was really motoring and having no troubles or difficulties over choice of car, having only the one. Both Brabhams were as used at Zandvoort and Gurney's was not only going fast but looked to be handling extremely well. Surtees and Bandini were out in V8 Ferraris, as at Zandvoort, but the former's car was not happy in the fuel injection department, and the latter's car sounded terribly rough and the gear-lever was not working properly in its gate. When Surtees was going he was going quite quickly, but the trouble was that he was not going for long and was in and out of the pits having the fuel system checked and inspected. It seemed that the high temperature of the afternoon might be causing vaporising troubles in the Ferrari injection system and also in some of the Climax engines, but certainly not in Gurney's engine for he had clocked 3 min. 56.6 sec. before anyone else had really got under way, and after a pause he went out again and did 3 min. 51.9 sec., following this up with 3 min. 50.9 sec., which was nearly five seconds faster than the next best. Cooper's were not too happy but were sorting things out, though for a long time Phil Hill could not lap as fast as he had done in May with the A.C. Cobra coupe, when he did 4 min. 04.5 sec. Both Phil Hill and McLaren were driving 1964 Coopers, now fitted with new cast uprights for the front suspension, with strengthened extensions for the steering arms.