GT/prototype racing 1967



For the 1967 season, after the humiliation suffered at the hands of Ford in 1966, Enzo Ferrari again considered the possibility of building a more powerful, six-litre Prototype car for the faster racetracks, using the 2.4 litre version of the Dino on the slower circuits.  In the end he decided to produce a 4-litre car for use on all circuits, the 330P4, which incorporated major changes with respect to the P3.
In that year the Championship, renamed the Speed and World Challenge Cup, comprised eight races, but only the best five results counted towards it.  Ferrari won the Cup, with 34 points, closely followed by Porsche with 32 points, and Ford was third with 22 points.
The company’s resources were badly stretched because they were involved in so many different enterprises: racing with Formula 1 and Prototype cars, developing a V6 Formula 2 car and the Dino 206GT, and manufacturing V12 production cars.  This is reflected in the fact that for many of the Prototype races they entered only one or two works cars.

Mike drove a works Ferrari in four Prototype races (Daytona 24 Hours, Monza 1000 Km., Le Mans 24 Hours, Spa 1000 Km.) and a Maranello Concessionaires car in one race (Norbury Trophy at the Crystal Palace).  He did not compete in GTO and Prototype races in the second half of the season due to his Formula 1 accident at Spa in June.  He achieved four second places (at the Daytona 24 Hours, the Monza 1000 Km., the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Norbury Trophy) and one fifth place (Spa 1000 Km.)

The first race of the season was the Daytona 24 Hours.  Two works 330P4s were entered, and there were four other privately entered Ferrari prototypes (two P3/4s, one P2/3 and one 365P2/3).   Mike shared a berlinetta P4 with Ludovico Scarfiotti.  There were six Ford Mark II cars.  Ferrari held their fire, not even trying to put up the fastest practice times.  The Fords led the race in the initial stages and the Ferraris deliberately held back.  One by one the Fords, which had been insufficiently tested, dropped out with mechanical problems and after six hours the Ferraris held the first four places.  At the end of the race the three leading Ferraris crossed the finishing line three abreast: The Parkes/Scarfiotti car was second, three laps behind the Bandini/Amon car.  It was a total Ferrari triumph.  Mike commissioned a painting of the finish as a birthday present for Enzo Ferrari.

At the Monza 1000 Km Ferrari entered two 330P4s, one driven by Mike with Scarfiotti and the other by Amon and Bandini.  The race was won by the Amon/Bandini car with Mike and Scarfiotti second.  After an initial battle with a Chapparal 2F driven by Mike Spence and Phil Hill, which was retired after about an hour with mechanical problems, there was no serious competition, apart from two P3/4s entered by NART and Scuderia Filipinetti.

At the Spa 1000 Km, only five days later, Ferrari entered a single 330P4 berlinetta, driven by Mike and Scarfiotti.  There were also two privately entered P3/4s.   The entire race was run in heavy rain, and was won by Jacky Ickx and Alan Rees in a Mirage, followed by a Porsche 910, a P3/4 and a Lola T70.  Mike and Scarfiotti came fifth, delayed at one stage by a pit stop to fix a loose gear selector rod.

As in the previous year, Le Mans was a major duel between Ford and Ferrari.  Ferrari fielded four works P4s (one of which was entered in the name of Ecurie Francorchamps), three privately entered P3/4s, and one P2/3.  There were four Ford Mark IV cars and three Mark IIBs, some entered by Shelby American and some entered by Holman & Moody.  After a dramatic race in which only two of the seven Fords and four of the eight Ferrari Prototypes finished, Ford took first and fourth place and Ferraris were second and third.  Mike and Scarfiotti came second, 32 miles behind the winners Gurney and Foyt.  Here is how Enzo Ferrari described the race: “In that year’s Le Mans, won by Gurney and Foyt, we planned to attack Ford’s position in the early hours of the morning if their massive formation showed signs of cracking up.  At two in the morning it seemed that there was a chance.  An accident had eliminated at a stroke three cars in the Detroit team.  A fourth, McClaren’s, was out of the battle.  The only Ford remaining was the one in the lead, driven by Gurney and Foyt, which had been at the front right from the beginning with the evident purpose of functioning as a hare, based on a long-distance race strategy of sacrificing one car, throwing it into the fray, in order to pave the way for the other cars which are driven so as to survive to the end of the race.  And so, against this one car, which was already hard tested and in such a bad way that it was visibly at risk of being disqualified, Parkes insisted that they should launch a decisive attack – but what team manager or technical adviser would have felt like taking such a decision? Scarfiotti had his doubts.  The attack did not go ahead.  Parkes and Scarfiotti came second and after the champagne on the podium at Le Mans, the doubt remained ‘and if we had attacked …”

That year Mike did one race with his old team, Maranello Concessionaires.  He drove the 250LM in the 15-lap Norbury Trophy Race at the Crystal Palace.  He came second to Paul Hawkins’s GT40, sharing the fastest lap.

Next: Racing in the Vingt Quatre Heures du Mans