|ATLAS F1 Volume 7, Issue 15||Email to Friend Printable Version|
|Rear View Mirror|
Backward glances at racing history
Three of Three: A Tale of the Life and
Times of the Grand Prix World, 1966 to 1968
|by Don Capps, U.S.A.|
Part 6: Is it 1966 Already? Finally!
In this episode:
Suddenly it's 1966...
New Year's Day was on a Saturday in 1966. In the Number One position for this day on the Billboard Hot 100 was "Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkle. There are 184,300 United States military personnel in the Republic of Viet-Nam, along with 22,420 Free Word Military Forces as well. The Armed Forces of the Republic of Viet-Nam numbers approximately 514,000 personnel. As of 31 December 1965, 636 United States military personnel are listed as KIA killed in action. There is a suspension of air strikes by the United States on targets in the Socialist Republic of Viet-Nam; this move is being made by President Lyndon B. Johnson in an effort to encourage peace talks. The suspension of air strikes which began on Christmas Day 1965 will be lifted on 31 January when Operation ROLLING THUNDER will resume. Speaking of strikes, New Years Day finds the Transportation Workers Union in New York City going on strike. The New York bus and subway system grinds to a halt and makes life in The City even more difficult than usual. The new Mayor of New York, Republican John V. Lindsey, eventually finds a solution to the strike by granting a 15% wage increase to the union. As of New Years Day, the notice "Warning: Cigarette Smoking May be Dangerous to Your Health," must be on all cigarette packs sold and appear in all advertising for cigarettes in the United States. Life goes on.
The First of January was the long awaited day that the new Formula 1 devised by the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) went into effect along with various other new regulations. Remember "Group 9," the place where the CSI placed the sports racers? Well, when the final version of the FIA Yellow Book came out for 1966, what was called "Group 9" in the draft versions was now called "Group 7." Same cars, new name, and much new interest and concern. After the almost total domination of the Chaparral team in 1965 in North America, many are wondering just how much interest really was there in Group 7? The crackle of large amounts of American Greenbacks is strengthening the resolve of many teams to contest the Group 7 events, especially with a new North American series of the category. The new Group 7 regulations require that the cars have: full fenders; a windshield; two usable seats; two usable doors; head and tail lights; a rollbar; dual braking system; a self-starter; and, the use of commercial gasoline is required.
This re-writing of the production and racing categories was to be felt in many and varied ways during the year. The new Appendix J now had cars eligible for sorted out into nine groups (the last being for 'Formula Libre'), the eighth group being the pure, single-seater racing cars for the international formulae. The Group 7 cars are now logically sandwiched between the Group 8 pukka racing cars and the Group 6 prototype sports cars. However, the true production groups that will be the cause much heartburn until the scrutineering is sorted out. Or that is the contention of many team managers having to compete in the early season rounds in the rallying world. One of life's ironies is that the more "production" you try to make a racing car, the more open to interpretation the term becomes. With most of the major rallies running these new productions groups in the early months of the year, the fireworks should begin early.
Just for the curious, the new groups within Appendix J look something like this:
Also on the First of January, the new rules for NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing) Grand National Division went into effect. The disaster of the 1965 season when the Chrysler Corporation (usually referred to as "Mopar" for the role its 'Motor Parts' Division played as the conduit for providing the special parts and support to those teams racing Chrysler products) teams fielding Plymouth and Dodge cars in the Grand National series withdrew and left the circuits to the Ford teams now hopefully behind it, NASCAR was looking forward to a season of accord off the track and good, hard racing on the track. However, this was not exactly how things were shaping up for the 1966 GN season.
For 1966, the Mopar teams could use the 426-cubic inch 'Hemi' engines in both the intermediate and full-size cars the Plymouth Belvedere, Dodge Coronet and Charger on both the short tracks (those under a mile in length) and road courses. However, the 'Hemi' could be used on the super speedways (those a mile or more in length) only if in the larger models such as the Plymouth Fury and the Dodge Polara. However, the Mopar teams could run the smaller cars at Daytona and the other super speedways by using a 'Hemi' with a displacement of only 405-cubic inches.
NASCAR President Bill France had asked for assistance from the ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee of the United States) and used their recommendations as the guidelines for the new rules. The 'Hemi' was even in "production" at long last. However, in the waning days of 1965, Ford Motor Company announced that it would be defending its laurels from the 1965 season with a new engine: a single overhead camshaft version of the 427-cubic inch engine it had been using since 1963. Groans all around.
On 17 December 1965, NASCAR and USAC had a quick huddle over the new Ford 427. Ford had sprung this gem on them and the two sanctioning bodies were not happy about the lack of prior notice. It was clear that the engine was not remotely a "production" engine and simply not available except in very limited numbers. Both USAC and NASCAR agreed to not approve the use of the new Ford 427 for the 1966, but should it become a "production" item they would consider approving it for the 1967 season.
NASCAR and USAC were then told by Leo Beebe of Ford that since the Ford teams were expecting to use the new engine and now had to drop back to using the older engine, don't expect any factory Fords at Riverside or Daytona. With the usual flutter of papers being thrown in the air and the ugly prospect of another season with one manufacturer staging a walkout, discussions were held to avert the Ford walkout. After much haggling, Ford agreed to field teams at Riverside and Daytona.
And there was even a race on this first Saturday of 1966. The South Africans were commencing their second season of the three-litre Grand Prix formula as the means to determine their national championship. Say again? Their second season? Looking down the road, the South African motor sport authorities came to the conclusion that given the nature of things it was just as easy to make the change in 1965 as in 1966. The national events run after the South African Grand Prix were all to the three-litre formula. The cars running in the championship series could use normally aspirated engines of displacements of up to 3,000cc or if the engine used forced induction, a maximum displacement of 1,500cc was allowed. Cars conforming to the regulations for Formula 2 were also allowed to run in the series.
The 1965 South African Championship was essentially a walk-away from Rhodesian John Love. The Coopers that Love drove in the majority of the season was powered by a Coventry Climax FPF. Love managed to win nine of the 11 rounds in the championship, all of them consecutively. In addition to the 11 round rounds in the South African Championship, there were four additional races. But, getting back to John Love, the Rhodesian was simply part of the best prepared team John Love Motors of the series and was rarely threatened all season long. The season started with Love in a Cooper 55 (F1/11/61). In it he won at Kyalami (Rand Autumn Trophy), Pietermaritzburg (Coronation '100'), Kumalo (Bulawayo 100), Kyalami again (South African Republic Festival Trophy), Pietermaritzburg again (Natal Winter Trophy), and at Marlborough (Salisbury Grand Prix). In July, Love switched to the Cooper 75 (FL/1/65) and took up where he left off with wins at East London (Border '100') on the car's debut, Lourenco Marques (Coupe Gouvernador Generale), Kyalami yet again (Rand Winter Trophy), Pietermaritzburg yet again (Pat Fairfield Trophy), Killarney (Van Riebeeck Trophy), Kyalami once more (Rand Spring Trophy), and finally Kumalo again (Rhodesian Grand Prix).
Only at the Rand Grand Prix at Kyalami in mid-December did Love finally run into problems. Jack Brabham was on the pole in a Scuderia Scribante-entered Brabham BT11, a mere 0.1 second clear of Love. The field included entries from such folks as Rob Walker (Jo Bonnier in a Lotus 25 Climax FWMV and Seppi Siffert in a Brabham BT11 BRM P56), Reg Parnell (Innes Ireland in a Lotus 33 BRM P56 and Paul Hawkins in a Lotus 25 BRM P56), Bob Anderson's DW Racing (Brabham BT11 Climax FPF), and the Usual Suspects such as Jackie Pretorius, Peter de Klerk, Sam Tingle, and Brausch Niemann. In the race itself, Love gave Black Jack all he could handle until just short of half distance when Love had to pit due to a shock absorber giving problems and forcing Love to the pits to have it attended to and falling back to fourth at the finish. Brabham won with Hawkins and de Klerk in second and third ahead of Love.
The South African Grand Prix was held at East London and unlike the past four seasons did not count towards the World Championship. That did not, however, prevent a fairly reasonable turnout for the race. A number had run in the race at Kyalami two weeks earlier and stayed around for the Grand Prix. New faces were the Team Lotus entry (Mike Spence and Peter Arundell, both in Lotus 33 Climax FWMV cars from the past season Arundell subbing for Jim Clark who is getting ready for the Tasman campaign), the SMART (Stirling Moss Auto Racing Team) BRP BRM P56 for Richie Ginther, and the Brabham Racing Organisation with cars for Black Jack and Denny Hulme (Brabham in the BT19 with a pukka new F1 engine the new Repco 620 fitted and Hulme in a BT11 fitted with a Climax FPF). Scuderia Scribante had Dave Charlton in its Brabham BT11 Climax FPF and Jackie Pretorius in the Lotus 21 Climax FPF.
Brabham grabbed the pole by 0.9 of a second from Spence, whose Lotus was sporting a Climax FWMV poked out to nearly 2-litres. Hulme filled out the rest of the front row and Love and Ireland were on the second row. When the flag dropped to start the race, there was a light, misty rain falling which enabled Spence to get into the lead and hold it for the first lap. Then Brabham powered by and off he went showing the rest of the field that the Repco V-8 was definitely race-ready.
The mayhem started early with Richie Ginther pitting early in the SMART BRP with the rear suspension deranged. Jo Bonnier lost the Rob Walker Brabham on a corner and limped back to the pits to retire. Paul Hawkins had his effort for a good finish go for naught when the gearbox packed up. With Brabham simply showing his heels to everyone and the Repco running beautifully, the finish seemed a foregone conclusion. While trying to get into a position to really put Spence in his sights, Hulme suddenly broke of his pursuit and retired with the gearbox broken.
With only 10 laps to go, the leading Brabham coasted to a stop on the circuit. The Repco had the fuel injection pump belt break and left the Brabham stranded out on the back of the circuit at the Cocobana corner. This sudden turn of events allowed Spence into the lead. At about the same time, de Klerk had his differential fail after moving up into third position. At the end of 60 laps, it was Spence two laps ahead of Siffert who in turn was fighting off Arundell in the other Team Lotus entry and only pipped Arundell by two seconds at the line. Dave Charlton, Sam Tingle, and John Love filled out the rest of the top six.
The performance of the Repco 620 V-8 definitely got the attention of everyone in the Grand Prix business. While most of the other teams are still sorting out their programs, Brabham was ready on Day One and still has plenty of time to develop the engine and the chassis before the European season gets underway. The role of the Dark Horse is beginning to be more and more the role the Brabham team seems to be assuming for the season. It will be interesting to see how the gamble Brabham is taking works out. The Repco is easily giving way 50 to 75-plus horsepower to the Ferrari and probably 50 or so to the Maserati V-12, the Gurney/Weslake V-12, and the BRM H-16. However, one never knows, especially in the first year of a new formula as to exactly how things will work out.
The North American championship for "Group 7" sports racers now has a name: it will be called the "Canadian-American Challenge Cup." There will a championship for drivers, at least six events, and there will be a purse and points fund of about $200,000 to motivate everybody. The events currently being touted for the North American challenge are:
The Kent event is tentative since the date might be used for an event on the East Coast. The most likely East Coast site is Bridgehampton. The proximity of the USGP makes a round at Watkins Glen pretty unlikely. However, stranger things have happened. There is every likelihood that there will be date swaps, but at six events will be held. Here is also a search for a sponsor for the series
While there is still talk of a "2-Seater Manufacturers' Championship" still being bantered about, many think it might be delayed until next year. It is scheduled to include the rounds of the North American "Canadian-American Challenge Cup" plus three rounds in Europe:
Many are excited at the prospect of the Chaparrals racing in Europe. However, there is some doubt about the April round at Goodwood, the Tourist Trophy. It is considered by many of the US-based teams to be too much expensive to send cars over for a single round so early in the year and which conflicts with the USRRC (United States Road Racing Championship). Discussions are said to be on-going to find a later date for the Tourist Trophy to accommodate the US teams.
The schedule for the new SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) sedan professional racing series is now pretty much lined up. To be known as the "Trans-American Sedan Championship," the series kicks off on the day before Sebring with a four-hour race:
There is to be a manufacturers' championship for both of the categories in the series: over and under-two litres. The minimum pursue is to be $5,000 with Sebring already at $5,150 and according Les Netherton, the president of Upper Marlboro, the purse for the event at the Maryland track will be somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000.
According to the SCCA, English Ford, Saab, Alfa Romeo, and Chrysler have made commitments to the series. The events are to be a minimum of three hours in duration. The sedans can have engines of up to five litres in displacement and the wheelbase can be no more than 116 inches. The cars eligible are those which have been homologated in either Group 1 or Group 2 of the new FIA Appendix J. The entrants can do a few others things as well:
In the New Zealand, the opening rounds of the Tasman Championship saw the last four Saturdays of January busy with events at Pukehohe, Levin, Wigram, and Teretonga. The pleasant surprise this season was that the Owen Organisation sent out a team of the BRM machines from the 1965 season, but now equipped with engines enlarged to 1,916cc. The main opposition was previous season's champion Jim Clark. At Pukehohe, near Auckland, the New Zealand Grand Prix saw the Bourne team out in force with not only both Graham Hill (winner of the 1965 NZGP in a Scuderia Veloce Brabham Climax) and Jackie Stewart on hand for the driving chores, but a contingent of mechanics to tend to the cars and ensure that all was "correct and ready." A notable absence was Bruce McLaren whose efforts to field his new F1 team resulted in a schedule conflict and McLaren was unable to race at his home GP.
In the NZGP, the story was simple: Clark's Lotus had its gearbox fail to engage first gear on the grid at the start and off motored Hill to collect the trophy. Actually, it was almost that simple, but not quite. The event was run in the rain for the first part of the race. This made the conditions rather wicked and more than a few took excursions into the trackside scenery. Although Stewart inched closer in the waning laps, it was Hill's race from start to finish. In second was Stewart. Jim Palmer was third in the Lotus 32 Climax that Clark had used during the 1965 season. Dennis Marwood was fourth in his Cooper 66 Climax.
At Levin, Hill was replaced by Richard Attwood for the Gold Leaf International Trophy. The short, bumpy course saw Frank Gardner in his element and he was running away with the race until his driveshaft broke. This was a true shame since he was only two laps from victory when he was forced to retire. This elevated a very surprised Attwood into first place and a win from Clark in the Lotus 39, Spencer Martin in a Brabham Climax, and the strong 1,500cc machine of Roly Levis was fourth! In fact ,the 1.5-litre class was to see some of the better machines besting many the larger 2.5-litre machines in most of the rounds. Stewart spun and then retired after his gearbox packed up. As a matter for the record, the Levin race was run over a distance of only about 31 miles versus the usual 100 or so miles for the other rounds.
The Lady Wigram Trophy was yet another win for BRM, this time Stewart taking his turn to wear the laurels. The win was yet another fortunate one for the Bourne team since the victory was the result in part of Clark having the possible win taken from him. Actually, he was hit by Frank Gardner when the move Gardner was putting on Attwood didn't pan out. Clark was hot on the tail pipes of Stewart and looking very much the quicker car. Gardner simply couldn't get stopped and so it was a surprised Clark wondering: where did the Brabham come from that slammed into him; and why couldn't it have missed? Attwood was second and Jim Palmer was third once again with the Brabham Climax of Andy Buchanan in fourth.
The round at Teretonga Park was halted just a few laps short of the full distance when the 1.5-litre Brabham of Bill Caldwell left the track at the Esses, plunged into a ditch, and was launched into a spectator area. Not only did the crash result in the death of Caldwell, but two young boys also died in the tragic accident. The race was immediately halted and an investigation into the crash launched by the local authorities. In the previous Tasman season, a driver and a trackside photographer were killed.
Prior to the accident, the race was pretty exciting. It seemed that Clark was finally going to win a round, but when easily drawing away from Stewart his Lotus hit an oil slick that was dumped just prior to his entering the corner and off he went. That left Stewart to stroke home for the win. It was yet another fortunate win since the gearbox in the winning BRM was down to only three gears when the race was stopped. Gardner, Palmer (third yet again!), and Marwood were the top finishers.
So, as the circus moved onto Australia, the BRM team had swept the races in New Zealand and the prospect for anyone else getting to wear the garlands was looking very unlikely. True, there was a matter of "luck" in a few of the wins, but the tide seemed to be definitely going in the direction the Bourne team wished: to victory circle.
Ah, you thought I was going to let the 35th running of the Monte Carlo Rally slip by didn't you? The first major event to be affected by the revision to Appendix J in the FIA "Yellow Book," the rally was quite a departure from the Death March of 1965 when only a few battered hulks made it to Monte Carlo. And that was before the start of the last stages which saw even more of the battered machinery give up the ghost before returning back to Monte Carlo and the distribution of the shiny tin cups to the various class winners.
While some (especially Certain Cynical Scribes) attribute the changes in the rally format to the outcry of the "hoteliers, restauranteurs, and casino proprietors," there were indeed changes. Rather than the survival treks from the various starting points as in the past, the journey from the nine starting points this time was more of an exercise more akin to a local TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) rally than the head-thumper the Monte usually is reckoned to be. So, lots of folks converged on the Principality for the 24-hour Monaco-Chambery-Monaco loop and then the 500km dash through the Maritime Alps and back to Monaco through Nice, all of which was designed to be a sort of triage sort out the walking wounded from the barely breathing.
But, remember this is never that easy. As alluded to earlier, the changes to Appendix J added to the already significant headaches of the team managers. The approved changes were late getting to All Involved and more a few teams were left in a lurch as to what was and was not kosher. The problem was not made any easier by the fact that the final draft for Appendix J was not released until mid-November. A small problem for BMC (British Motor Corporation) was that although it had produced over 5,000 of the 1,275cc Mini Cooper S rocketships, the production was evenly divided between those carrying Austin badges and those carrying Morris badges. And the Ford camp was having problems getting the CSI to accept the production figures of the Lotus-Cortina which would put the Ford into Group 1 rather than Group 2. However, eyebrows Arched Significantly when the Citroen DS-21 was rolled out as a Group 1 car. Considering that it was not even introduced until the Paris auto show, this was taken with a block of salt by some, but then again the FIA and CSI are located in Paris although that is surely just a coincidence. The same eyebrows arched yet again when the Lancia Fulvia coupe with the Pininfarina bodywork was also listed in Group 1. Since it was introduced at the Torino auto show, more than a few titters were heard about that one as well.
Amidst all this, organizer Jacques Taffe was telling everyone within listening distance that the rally would be run using true production cars. All this nonsense of the past several seasons with certain manufacturers running cars that flaunted the rules would be a thing of the past Taffe promised. Unanswered in all this was why the current chaos actually came about, but then again Life is like that.
The problems were not just the roadside hazards such as verglas and stone walls that yield only slightly to artillery shell, but two-legged hazards as well. But before we get to that, a few words about the slugfest on the roads. The number of starters was down from last year, to only 192 entries that actually departed the nine starting points. The Rootes team manager eyed the situation and decided to put the Sunbeam Imp entries in Group 1, since the Renault-Gordini was in Group 2 (more arched eyebrows), and the Sunbeam Tiger in Group 3. The Rootes team manager, Marcus Chambers, asked to run the Barracuda in Group 3, but Chrysler declined to support him on that little gambit 'why go look for trouble?' was their reaction. Also among the Missing was Volvo who did not like the way the classes got jumbled about and decided to not enter since it would have had to play in the 2,500cc class. Ditto for Saab. This really put the pundits in a tizzy.
Oh, yes, the rally. The starting points this year were: Lisbon, London, Monte Carlo, Bad Homberg, Reims, Oslo, Warsaw, Minsk, and Athens. This year most of the firepower was spread a bit more evenly than was the case the past few seasons. Part of this was to avoid the possibility of any one venue getting more than its share of the weather. There was relatively little snow this year during the rally and the temperatures hovered in the 10° C range almost the entire time. The exception was the Minsk starters who got waxed by a nasty Russian storm and all the cars ended up out of the rally. The London starters also hit some serious snow, but few of the Serious entries were affected by it. Lots of folks 157 of the entries finally made it poured into Monte Carlo and the entrepreneurs were happy.
The Special Stages proved easier than anticipated at first. In a first for many, 44 runners were penalized for being late prior to the stage at Pont de Miolans. At Ste. Auban, it was dry and the best time on the stage was set by the Porsche 911 of Gunther Klass, with the Lotus-Cortina contingent of Vic Elford, Bo Ljungfelt, and Roger Clark hot on his heels. It got ugly later on the Chartreuse stage alone saw 37 entries drop out of the running altogether and more join the growing ranks of the Walking Wounded. When running well and hoping for a good finish, Peter Proctor had the fan rip up the radiator of his Tiger and was forced to retire. Ann Hall had three shunts in her Rover, each bettering the previous one. When the loop was over, only 83 managed to find their way back to the Principality.
Makinen was leading in a Mini-Cooper, followed by teammate Aaltonen, Ljungfelt third, Clark fourth, Hopkirk in another Mini-Cooper fifth, the Ford Mustang of Greder sixth, and the first Citroen in seventh with Toivonen doing the honors. There was the usual shambles as the poor maintenance crews welded or screwed everything back together so the survivors could go out and run the final qualifying stages.
However, a stink was being raised about the lighting arrangements that Certain cars were using and the scrutineers were swarming about the parc ferme like cockroaches in a greasy spoon after the owner goes home. A question about the headlight dipping of some of the entrants was being discussed. A local police chief claimed to have been nearly blinded by an entrant and had protested this to the rally officials. Stuart Turner the BMC team manager, and his counterpart at Ford Henry Taylor asked for clarification on the systems they used and were assured by the one of the organizers M. Sobra, that they were okay.
The mountain circuit saw the tired machinery take more pounding. The 500 kilometer leg proved to be brutal. Out went the Elford Lotus-Cortina, the Lampinen Triumph ate its gearbox, as did the Proctor Lotus-Cortina, Ljungfelt blew his twin cam and joined the spectators, the Munari Lancia lost all its coolant and overheated, the axle in the Thuner Triumph broke, the Jansson Gordini blew up and then shunted on his own oil, and all surviving all this mayhem Polish driver Zasada was blinded by lights after the stage at Turini and crashed into a parked car.
Then the final stages after a service stop where much activity was punctuated by various Loud Adjectives and The Great Finnish Adjective was heard from time to time as the news of various mechanical woes was relayed to drivers. The final stages saw the Minis fly and the Porsches also do well, but when the ice and stones settled the announced order of finish was: Makinen in a Mini-Cooper, teammate Aaltonen, another teammate Hopkirk, Clark in a Lotus-Cortina, and Toivonen in a Citroen. However, the scrutineers once again descended upon the parc ferme and the place soon looked like a junkyard.
When the Official Results were posted, in first place was Toivonen in the Citroen, Traumann in a Lancia, Andersson in another Lancia, Neyret in a Citroen, and Cella in another Lancia. The Minis and Cortinas were disqualified because they did not "possess a method of lighting" conforming to an article within the new Appendix J. Altogether 10 cars were excluded on this point alone. What was hard to accept was that the disqualification was made while they were still in the parc fermι the previous evening! And the Greder Mustang was tossed as well for the inlet and exhaust manifolds being too small. Needless to say, much grumbling and not a few sharp words were exchanged as a result of all this. Far be it for me to say anything, but there was a slight reek of fix in this whole mess.
Back in November on the 14th to be exact, the 1966 Grand National season actually got off to its start. NASCAR has been doing for some years now and it is just one of those things you learn to accept. The "Georgia Cracker 300" was held in Augusta, but on the half-mile oval, not the road circuit. Newly retired Junior Johnson fielded Bobby Isaac in the number 26 Ford with Herb Nab turning the wrenches. Isaac managed to find the wall early and lose three laps when the fender cut a tire. Isaac was 30th and last when he got back into the fight. However, he took off like a demon and was clawing his way through the field. Richard Petty led for most of the first third of the 300 lap event, but Tiny Lund got by in the Lyle Stelter Ford (a 1964 model by the way) and led for nearly 100 laps before being Jim Paschal took the lead. Lund was back in the lead after sitting behind Paschal for 15 laps and was stroking to the finish when the distributor when toes up and Lund retired. Lund and the crew arrived late and had to start in the last position 30th, in the field since they did not post a single practice or qualifying time. It was a remarkable performance. Richard Petty won with the other great performance of the day being posted by Isaac who was second and closing on Petty when the checkered flag fell. Ned Jarrett was third in the Bondy Long Ford and Paschal wound up fourth in the Gary Weaver Ford.
The first 1966 event of the 1966 second was the "Motor Trend 500" at Riverside. The amazing streak of Dan Gurney and the Woods Brothers three straight wins in the event, was on the line. On the pole was David Pearson in the Cotton Owens Dodge, Gurney, then Curtis Turner and Marvin Panch in the other Woods Brothers Fords filling up the front of the grid. The event was the usual five hour-plus marathon. In the early stages of the race, the crowd of 73,331 fans got their fill of action as Pearson and Turner duked it out with Gurney for the lead, each leading the race at various points in the first 100 laps. Pearson and Turner bounced off each other at one point with Turner visiting the desert scenery and pitting to straighten out the bodywork. Turner was twice blackflagged for leaking fuel and shedding parts around the track. However, Our Man Dan then seized control of the race and was over a minute clear of Pearson at the end. Paul Goldsmith was third in the Nichels Engineering Plymouth, Turner was fourth, and Dick Hutcherson was fifth in a Holman-Moody Ford. Junior Johnson had both of his drivers, Isaac and A.J. Foyt, retire within seven laps of each other. Down in 16th place was another Bondy Long Ford entry Ned Jarrett was eighth, with a rising USAC star at the helm: Mario Andretti.
On 8 January, the Beatles put "we Can Work It Out" into the Number One spot for two weeks. On 22 January, Simon and Garfunkel were back into the top spot with "Sounds of Silence," before the Beatles bounced into first place once again. On 22 January, "These Boots are Made for Walking" sung by Nancy Sinatra enters the charts. On 12 January, the television show "Batman" makes its debut. Starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Caped Crusader and his sidekick, the Boy Wonder, the show is an instant success. In San Francisco, the Psychedelic Shop opens in the Haight-Asbury District on 3 January. It is the first shop to cater to the needs of the new member the developing counterculture in the city know as "hippies." The head of the Selective Service, retired general Lewis B. Hershey, announces that local draft boards may properly reclassify students who protest against the war in Viet-Nam as 1-A (eligible for the draft) rather than 2-S (full-time student and deferred from eligibility for the draft).
|Don Capps||© 2007 autosport.com|
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