Race report: Pau, France - April 5 1964

Man about town

Jean Claude Mallinjod / INA via Getty Images

The annual race round the town circuit in Pau has had its ups and downs since its inception in 1933, and this year was definitely a ‘down’. Unfortunately they had the doubtful honour of running the first race to this new formula for 1000cc racing cars, and a series of misfortunes caused the 80-lap race to be dull in the extreme. In order that Jim Clark should not have it all his own way, Graham Hill accepted an offer from the French Alpine firm to drive one of its new cars, and Brabham and Hulme entered with the latest Brabham cars. However, Graham Hill gave up all idea of driving the Alpine after trying it in practice, Brabham could not get his new car completed in time, and Hulme was eliminated on the opening lap when another competitor ran into the back of his Brabham. The result of all this was that Clark led the race from start to finish, never putting a wheel wrong, in a model drive that might well have been a demonstration of how to be a world champion.

For the first time for many years there were to be some French racing cars entered, but the main bulk of the entry was from Britain. Lotus were represented by the Ron Harris team, Lola by the Midland Racing Partnership, Cooper by the Normand Racing Team, and Brabham by themselves. All were relying on Cosworth for engines and Hewland for gearboxes. The Ron Harris team had the first Lotus 32 chassis, a monocoque on the lines of the 1963 Junior car, with Cosworth engine. This car went to Clark, and his team-mate Arundell had to make do with a Formula Junior Lotus from last year. The MRP had two Cosworth camshaft engines and Hewland gearboxes in its 1963 Lola Formula Junior chassis frames, the drivers being Attwood and Maggs. The Normand team, which last year raced sports cars, had turned its attention to Formula 2 and had two 1964 Cooper Type 72 chassis frames, in which were installed the standard set-up of Cosworth SCA engine and Hewland gearbox, the drivers being Hegbourne and Beckwith. Hulme’s Brabham was a new development from last year’s successful Juniors. The Willment Racing team entered its two worthy drivers from “down under,” Frank Gardner and Paul Hawkins, but borrowed an aged Lotus with push-rod motor for the former, and the works push-rod Alexis for the latter.

Clark checks over his shoulder as adjustments are made to his Lotus 32. The sport had still to hit upon the idea of banning smoking in the pits…