1 Chaparral 2F : Phil Hill - Mike Spence
2 Ferrari 330 P4 : Amom - Stewart
3 Porsche 910 : Siffert - McLaren
Chaparral wins, the race; Ferrari wins the Championship
BOAC 500, Brands Hatch
GBRACES IN THE 1960'ies
SUCH WERE THE fortunes of Manufacturers Championship sports car racing (sorry, Prototypes) this season that the BOAC 500 at the British circuit of Brands Hatch was the deciding factor in whether Ferrari or Porsche claimed the crown. It all hung by a single point, the situation being that Ferrari had to do better than Porsche by one place but such are the problems of tire wear and handling on the Kent vest-pocket circuit that the result was by no means a foregone conclusion. Complicating the issue was Ferrari's shortage of contracted drivers (especially since the young Gunther Klass had been killed at Mugello the week before) and also the presence of a Mirage (Thompson-Rodriguez) or several Lola-Chevs in the hands of such redoubtable characters as Surtees/Hobbs and Hulme/Brabham, not to mention the P. Hill/Spence Chaparral.
Naturally enough there were lots of supporting players to fill- in the gaps with Ford GTs, Ferrari LMs, Lotus 47s,
Chevron BMWs, assorted Porsches and the like, but rightly the main emphasis was on the international circus. Ferrari was very serious about the whole thing and managed to scrape together three P4s (Stewart/Amon, Scarfiotti/Sutcliffe, Hawkins/Williams) plus a carburetor P3/4 for Attwood/Piper. Porsche was equally threatening with 2.2 eights for G. Hill/ Rindt, McLaren/ Siffert, and the "submarine" for Herrmann/Neerpasch plus two batmobiIe sixes for Koch/Schlitz and Elford/Bianchi. Autodelta didn't appear after a disastrous Mugello showing-in true Chiti (chief engineer on the project) style the engine goes well but the chassis is awful.
Practice times put the Hulme and Surtees Lolas plus Spence's Chaparral on the front row ahead of the P4s; when the flag dropped on a gray and lowering noontime, Surtees made an admirable start and got away ahead of the pack followed by Hawkins who did something diabolical from the second row. This has been a bad year for Fearless John, however, and he straightaway made a pit stop to complain about the carbs flooding and then stopped on the back of the circuit when the engine cut completely. He eventually
found that the wire lead had not been pushed into the resistor in the coil circuit completely and rejoined the race; with almost six hours to go and the usual attrition it was likely that he would pick up a place at least at the rate he was going.
Hawkins meanwhile was holding down first followed by Spence, Hulme, Scarfiotti, Stewart, G. Hill, Siffert and the Mirage, but partly because the Ferraris were on wet Firestones and understeering horribly (they never did handle), Hulme soon flitted past both cars into the lead, turning fastest lap of 1:37.2 (98.15 mph) as he did so, and drew away comfortably. The order then settled down at Hulme, Spence, Stewart, Scarfiotti, Hawkins, G. Hill doing his nut trying to pass, Siffert, and Rodriguez's Mirage. This state of affairs prevailed until Hulme pitted with a broken rocker (and retired later with a suspected bent valve plus a cooked clutch) while soon afterwards G. Hill missed a shift on the Porsche, not an uncommon experience chez Stuttgart this year-one would think that they would fit a gate like the Ferraris-and dropped a valve in.
There were many to-ings and fro-ings caused by pit stops, punctures (surprisingly many) and the like but at different times the Chaparral, the Stewart! Amon Ferrari, the Mirage, and the McLaren/ Siffert Porsche were in the lead. Ferraris were hampered by high tire wear and fumes bothering .the drivers to the extent that Jng. Forghieri took out the side windows, Doc Thompson put the seal on probably his least productive season by sliding the Mirage into the bank off tricky Clearways, and the Lolas all succumbed to various ailments, Surtees finally disappearing when an exhaust manifold leak burned through the rocker cover and let out all the oil. Porsche lost two more cars as Rindt, deputizing for Koch, dropped a valve while Elford's six went out for the same reason. The back of Hawkins' P4 blew off after a mild shunt too, the Maranello mechanics learning some new Strine words.
Towards the end it was stilI rather close as McLaren was profiting from the Dunlop-shod Porsche's only having to stop every two hours while the Chaparral, although moaning about being overgeared and suffering at least one unscheduled puncture on its Indy Firestones, was doing well by virtue of having one less stop than the Ferraris. Anyway, the winged Texan car worked its way past both into the lead but there was some doubt whether Amon, still suffering a bit from monoxide poisoning, would be able to overhaul the Porsche and, if so, leave enough time for the requisite fuel stop about 5 P.M. Fortunately for the Commendatore, Amon pressed on to such an extent that he actually unlapped himself on the Chaparral-which was going like a train and causing much figuring on the back of envelopes from visiting designers. He got enough of a leg on the Porsche that in spite of a 30-sec stop for five gallons and co-driver Stewart, he finished about 50 sec behind the Chaparral and two laps ahead of the McLaren/Siffert Porsche. From the Championship point of view, of course, that was just what Ferrari needed to take the laurels and from the Chaparral point of view, an outright win over a taxing six hours against full teams of Ferrari and Porsche was just what the doctor ordered, even if the CSI (Chicken Asterisk Institute) won't let big-engined American cars race over here next year. Too bad they couldn't have gotten that transmission sorted sooner but at least they won the closest race for the Championship run in many a moon.
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Brands Hatch, England, July 30,1967
1 P. Hill/Spence Car Chaparral 2F
2 Amon /Stewart Ferrari P4
3 Siflert /McLaren Porsche 910
4 Herrmann /Neerpasch Porsche 907
5 Scarflotti /Sutcliffe Ferrari P4
6 Williams /Hawkins Ferrari P4
7 Piper /Attwood Ferrari P3/4
8 Dean/Pon Porsche 906
9 Miles /Oliver Lotus 47
10 Dibley /Pierpoint Ferrari LM
Distance: 6 hrs over 2.65-mi circuit; 211 laps559.15 mi.
Avg speed: 93.08 mph.
Notes: I. Group 6, over 2-liter class winner 2. Group 4, 2-liter class winner
3. Group 6, 2-liter class winner
4. Group 4, over 2-liter class winner