19th - 20th June51 starters 14 classified finishers
In addition to the above, it was the ninth and final victory for a Ferrari in the Le Mans 24 Hour race (up to 2007) thanks to a couple of privateers, with the NART - entered 275 LM ofteam manager Luigi Chinetti beating the Ecurie Francorchamps version to the flag. The Belgian team's 275 GTB Ferrari did however win the GT category. None of the works P2 Ferraris finished (mainly engine trouble) as was the case for the 7 litre works Ford MK lIs (transmission and gearbox) and GT 40s (blown cylinderhead gaskets). Both indexes fell to Porsche. Back again and first British finisher was the Rover - BRM turbine in coupe form complete with heat exchanger. All 6 Alpines retired. The start was given by Maurice Hezog, under secretary of the youth and sports ministry.
CIRCUIT :Protective wall erected opposite the pits. Practice times electronically recorded thanks to a transmitter/receiver fixed to each car. Unchanged 13,461 km layout.
REGUlATIONS:Ground clearance heights modified (10 cms min. ) as well as fuel tank capacity (160 litres for the over 5000 ccs) and minimum speeds in practice (between 155 and 180 km/h per lap). Indexes based on new calculations. Minimum cubic capacity still fixed at 1000 ccs but based on the true unitary value (i. e. without any form of supercharging) .
51 cars 5 nations 14 makes
France: 6 Alpines.
Germany: 7 Porsches.
Great Britain: 2 Austin Healeys, 1 Elva, 1 M. G. , 1 Rover BRM, 4 Triumphs.
Italy: 4 Alfa Romeos, 12 Ferraris; 1 Iso, 1 Maserati.
United States of America. 5 Cobras, 6 Fords. Makes,firstappearance:Drivers, first appearance:
SUMMARY:This year the Ford attack consisted of two of the new 7 litre Mark lIs backed up by 4 of the 4. 7 litreGT 40s. All engines had cast iron blocks, the light alloy one being abandoned as it would have been impossible to stretch its cubic capacity. Due to the problem of securing entries, John Wyer managed to persuade Scuderia Filipinetti and Rob Walker to enter GT 40s in place of their more usual Ferraris. After torrential rain and gale force winds had caused the first practice session to be cancelled, Phil Hill demolished the lap record in the 7 litre Mark II with a lap in 3'33" (227, 590 km/h). And when the race began, the Fords took up the running with Mclaren leading Amon at the end of lap 1. Briefly among the leaders was Siffert in the rear - engined Maserati built to replace the coupe in which Lucky Castner had been killed during the April test weekend. He crashed out on lap 5, a sad Le Mans swansong for Maserati. After 2 hours, McLaren and Miles were still in the lead but already the Ford challenge was beginning to fall apart. The Phil Hill - Amon car had been delayed by transmission problems and then the Rob Walker GT 40 retired with a blown cylinderhead gasket. By 23HOO all the remaining Fords had gone, victims of gearbox trouble
(Filipinetti GT 40, the Ford France entry and the two 7 litre Mark lIs) and the FVA (Ford Advanvced Vehicles) entry with a blown cylinderhead gasket. The 330 P2 Ferraris were soon out of contention as first Guichet Parkes, then Surtees - Scarfiotti were delayed, the latter replacing a broken front coil spring and the former, a blown exhaust manifold, In addition, the PI and P2 models were then afflicted with' cracked brake discs, and in the early hours of the morning the race resolved itself into a battle between the Gregory - Rindt 275 LM and the similar car of Gosselin - Dumay. The Cobras had also lost 2 out of their 5 cars and Porsche was moving up into the top six. Now leading was the Belgian 275 LM which held on to first place until around midday when a tyre burst on 1£s Hunaudieres damaging the bodywork. The subsequent pitstop for repairs allowed the NART entered version, itself delayed by starter/condenser problems, into the lead. There was now only one Cobra left, limping along in eight place while the remaining 275 GTB Ferrari was in fourth behind the last of the works P2s which disappeared just an hour from the end. A resounding and unexpected success for Luigi Chinetti, for the experienced Gregory and the little known Rindt. A higher attrition rate than in 1964 in a slightly slower race with only 14 cars taking the chequered flag from Jacques Loste, Clerk of the Course since 1957. The Rover BRM was less thirsty on its second appearance (20 litres per 100kms as opposed to 45 in 1963) and slower. The no. 32 six cylinder Porsche of Linge - ocker won the Index of Performance while the no. 36 four cylinder version triumphed in the Thermal Efficiency Index. The Hawkins - Rhodes Austin Healey Sprite and the Thuner Lampinen Triumph Spitfire won their respective classes.
RECORDS:Phil Hill again improved with a lap in 3'37"5, a speed of 222, 803 kms bettering his 1964 effort by almost 12 seconds (3'49"2) . Gregory and Rindt failed to beat the 1964 distance record by some 18, 200 kms.
Sports Car Races