THIS YEAR'S Tourist Trophy race, the 29th TT to be run since it originated on Isle of Man in 1905, was won by a Ferrari for the 5th straight year. Graham Hill was the driver of a 330-P 4-liter for Maranello Concessionaires, the Luigi Chinetti of England, and broke all previous records for the event.The TT is one of those races that has had a long and varied history. Some of the races have been classics in the best Ken Purdy tradition-Nuvolari calmly tapping each wheel nut before setting out to win in an outclassed car. On the other hand, there have been monumental dullnesses like the race last year when only Grand Touring cars were permitted. This year, doubtless due to the new crop of highly specialized and exciting sports / racing cars now springing up in England, there was a prototype and sports car class. There were Bruce McLaren's ex-Penske and rebuilt Cooper-Olds Special, Jimmy Clark in the works' Lotus 30 (which now had its Ford V-8 engine fitted with Tecalemit injection), two or three of the hot Repco BT8 Brabhams, a suitable number of Elva-BMWs and a sprinkling of good Ferraris, though there was no official representation by the factory team. The balance of the field, for the most part, consisted of GT cars. Heading the list were the two Shelby American Cobra coupes for Dan Gurney and Phil Hill and these had backing in depth from a nest of Cobra roadsters that spat flame, belched mightily and in general pleased the spectators right down to the ground.
Fastest during qualifying was McLaren in the rebuilt Zerex with a 1 :23.2 lap, 0:00.6 quicker than Jim Clark and 0:01.4 faster than Graham Hill in the 4-liter 330-P Ferrari. Among the GT cars, the Cobra coupes for Gurney and Phil Hill were side by side at the head of that section. The first Ferrari GTO, that of John Surtees, was over a second a lap off the Cobra coupes' time.
After a 21-lap race for 1300-2000-cc GT cars, which Mike Spence won in a Lotus Elan ahead of two Porsche 904s, -the 25 runners formed up on the grid in lovely summer weather for the 130-lap, 312-mi Tourist Trophy.
Clark did a Clark off the grid and led to the first turn in the Ford-powered Lotus 30, but before the lap was over McLaren had motored past in his olds-powered Cooper. Within half an hour, McLaren's clutch began to slip and he was forced to retire - not before having written a new lap record of 1 :23.8, 103.1 0 mph, however, well under the 1 :26.2 record set by Hugh Dibley's Repco Brabham earlier this year.
Also early in the race, John Surtees suffered a concussion when he took out Tony Lanfranchi's Elva-BMW and rolled his GTO into a ditch to avoid creaming a loose GTO driven by Innes Ireland.
Jim Clark ran steadily through the middle stages of the race, leading almost as he pleased. Then he made two stops for fuel, gropped to 2nd, started making up time and, with 24 laps to go, retired with a broken front suspension joint.
Graham Hill inherited the lead as Clark dropped out, having moved up through the standings in his Ferrari 330-P as Dennis Hulme parked his Repco Brabham with ignition trouble and Taylor's Elva-BMW began to falter with a similar ailment.Following Graham Hill's 4-liter across the finish line a lap behind was David Piper in a Ferrari 275-LM. On the same lap as Piper's Ferrari prototype was the first of the GT cars, the Cobra coupe of Dan Gurney. Cobra roadsters driven by Jack Sears and Bob Olthoff came 4th and 5th ahead of the first GTO, that of Innes Ireland. The other Cobra coupe, driven by Phil Hill, lost time with a broken oil line early in the race and finally finished 11th. One of the best TT races in years, for our money, where the GT cars served adequately to make up an excellent field.