Posts Tagged ‘Mike Parkes’


The John Whitmore/Frank Gardner Ford GT40 Mk2 chases the GT40 crewed by Peter Sutcliffe/Brian Redman through the leafy Ardennes Forest on May 22, 1966.

Its not the leaves which trouble me, but rather the more substantial trees to which they are attached. The saplings (sic!) to the left are not too much of a worry but their big brothers to the right – like the big hombre at the corners exit point – look a tad more unyielding.

Still, the general idea is to stay on the tarmac, not go off-roading. The group of spectators have wisely chosen to locate themselves on the far side of the trees all the same. They must be Belgians, not young Italians.


Alan Mann (with tie) and GT40P/1012 before the off, and under-the-Armco Eau Rouge shot below.


Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti won the ’66 Spa 1000 kms in four hours 43.24 seconds from the Whitmore/Gardner Alan Mann Ford, then the Essex Wire GT40 driven by Peter Revson and Skip Scott with Peter Sutcliffe’s car fourth.

The race was held on the same weekend as the Monaco Grand Prix, so GP pilots were rather thin on the ground at Spa. Ford and Ferrari sent one works car each; the Parkes/Scarfiotti P3 was comfortably on pole from Whitmore/Gardner.

Parkes jumped away at the start, 4-litres of V12 led the Revson and Whitmore V8s then Lucien Bianchi, in Ecurie Francorchamps’ Ferrari 365P2. After 12 laps Parkes had lapped the field up to fifth place, by the mid-point it was Parkes/Scarfiotti, Whitmore/Gardner and Revson/Scott, the final race order.

The winning Parkes/Scarfiotti Ferrari P3 (MotorSport)

Down the field there was plenty of scrapping among the Porsche 906s who chased the very quick Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari Dino 206S crewed by Richard Attwood and Jean Guichet. The Dino finished sixth outright ahead of two 3.3-litre 250LM Ferraris and behind the fifth placed Chris Amon/Innes Ireland Ford GT40.

The Gijs and David Van Lennep Racing Team Holland Porsche 906 follows the similar works car of Hans Hermann and Dieter Glemser, 15th and DNF (MotorSport)


Peter Sutcliffe’s GT40, chassis P/1009, was the same machine he raced with Frank Matich to second place in the 1966 Surfers Paradise 12-Hour, it was the last time he raced it before sale to Ed Nelson.


MotorSport, AMR-Alan Mann Racing



Majestic is the word which springs to mind. The #48 Jaguar E-Type following ‘our GT40’ is crewed by Mike Merrick and John Harper, it finished 16th.


Jim Clark having some pre-race fun aboard a Lotus 25 in the Monza paddock, 4 September 1966…

I wonder if the neat little machine is pedal, battery or petrol powered?! In the race Clark raced a much more butch Lotus 43 BRM H16 from grid 3 to a gearbox induced DNF after completing 58 laps- the race was won by Ludovico Scarfiotti’s Ferrari 312 from his teammate Mike Parkes, a happy day indeed for the Tifosi- and Denny Hulme’s Brabham BT20 Repco in third.

(B Cahier)


Monza 1966 front row- Clark Lotus 43 BRM, Ludovico Scarfiotti and Mike Parkes on the far side, Ferrari 312’s pole (R Schlegelmilch)

I’ve done the 1966 Grand Prix season to death in my series of Repco Brabham articles, click here to read about that wonderful season from an era now so far away! , and here for the 1966 Ferrari 312 , and here for the Lotus 43 BRM

Ferrari usually rise to the occasion at home and so it was that Mike Parkes popped his 312 on pole from Scarfiotti, aided by a bit more power. Clark was on grid 3 with John Surtees, by then firmly esconced at Cooper Maserati having started the season with Ferrari- but decamping after a series of spats within the team, on grid 4 and Lorenzo Bandini in another 312 in position 5.

Parkes below is looking fairly relaxed with a post-pole cuppa tea!


In the early stages of the race Scarfiotti and Parkes led but were soon passed by Bandini before the end of lap 1- Clark was back in tenth. Bandini pitted on lap 2 with a fuel pipe problem with Stewart’s BRM P83 H16 soon out with similar dramas.

Scarfiotti led from Hulme, Parkes and Surtees- Surtees pitted on lap 32 with a fuel leak. Jack Brabham, out of the race, won the Drivers Championship as Surtees was the only driver capable of taking the championship from him. Ludovico retained his lead finishing six seconds clear of Parkes, Denny Hulme and then Jochen Rindt, Cooper T81 Maserati.

Scarfiotti from Parkes (unattributed)


Rainer Schlegelmilch

Tailpiece: And what a tail it is! The big, fat, beefy BRM arse of the wonderful Lotus 43- the only H16 engined GP winner in the end of season US GP @ Watkins Glen…




1967 was one of the most intensely interesting years of Sportscar Racing; the last year of the ‘unlimited cars’ saw the 4 litre Ferrari P4 and 7 litre Ford GT40 Mk4/2B’s and Chaparral 2F at it tooth and nail in a battle for dominance before new rules came into force rendering the cars obsolete at the stroke of the rule-makers pen…

I’ve written a couple of long articles about the Ferrari and Chaparral which also cover that seasons racing in some detail, click here to read them;

Chaparral 2F;

Ferrari P4;


This article is largely pictorial using as it’s base the phenomenal work of American Dave Friedman.

He was a still photographer on movie sets after serving in World War 2. His passion was motor racing though, he was soon engaged by Ford and others to document their racing history. The photos I have chosen are from an archive of nearly 900 of this race alone!

The race was famously won by Fords ‘All American Boys’ Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt, the latter adapting rather well to road racing given his oval background on both dirt and bitumen.

The images are all monochrome and all the more evocative for it!


Race Entries…

Ford won the 1966 Le Mans classic taking the first three placings after the failings of 1964 and 1965. In 1964 the GT40 was simply too new and lacked the necessary development, in 1965 cracked brake discs from unforeseen levels of heat were the problem which eliminated most of the 7 litre Mk2’s.

For 1967 FoMoCo entered four new, fabulous 7 litre Mk4’s, two prepared by Holman & Moody and two by Shelby-American. They also fielded Mk2’s designated Mk2B’s, these beasts also powered by the same 530bhp V8’s as the Mk4.

ford interior

Business end and cockpit of the Hulme/Ruby Ford Mk4 chassis ‘J8’. Aluminium honeycomb chassis, Ford 7 litre OHV cast iron V8 fed by 2 4 barrel Holley carbs. Circa 530bhp. Suspension; single top link, inverted lower wishbone, 2 radius rods, coil spring/damper unit, cast magnesium upright, adjustable roll bar. Ford Kar Kraft T44 4 speed transaxle.

Ferrari entered 4 litre cars; 3 new P4’s and a P3/4, these cars powered by the latest 450bhp 36 valve, fuel injected V12.

Two Chaparral 2F’s were entered, despite 7 litres of Chev V8 they were lighter than the P4’s.

The P4 weighed in at circa 2200lb, the 2F 1980lb, the Mark4 2200lb and the Mk2B, without the benefit of the lighter honeycomb construction of its newer sibling, was about 2500lb.

The 2 Lola T70 Aston Martin’s tipped the scales at 2320lb, the Aston 5 litre V8’s fuel injected since the April pre-race Le Mans trials at which they had been very fast.


Lola T70 Mk3 Aston Martins’ a big disappointment. #11 John Surtees/David Hobbs car engine shat itself on lap 3 with piston failure , #12 Chris Irwin/Peter de Clerk lasted till lap 25 also withdrawing with engine failure.

In the 2 litre class the Porsches’, always outright contenders such was their speed and reliability, would do battle with the Matra BRM’s. Ferrari chose not to race their Dino’s focusing on the ‘main game’ and Alfa withdrew their T33’s as not being not sufficiently ready for the rigours of la Sarthe.

jochen and nina

Jochen Rindt with the lovely Nina Lincoln, Finnish fashion model and daughter of racer Curt Lincoln, he married her in ’67. Jochen raced Porsche 907 #40, (above) he and Masten Gregory famously won the race in a Ferrari 250LM when the factory Ford GT40 Mk2’s and Ferrari P2’s failed in 1965. The other Porsche #41 is the 5th placed, 2 litre class winning 907 of Jo Siffert/Hans Hermann.


ford and babes

#2 McLaren/Mark Donohue 4th and #1 Gurney/Foyt 1st Ford Mk4’s with friends before the start.

Ford had windscreen troubles in practice but this was remedied with a fresh batch of correctly tempered screens which arrived pre-race.

As if to assert Ford’s authority Bruce McLaren took a Mk4 out and lapped at 3.24.4, an average of 147.316 mph and topped 215mph on the Mulsanne, in the dark. It gave him pole, McLaren was Ford’s victor in 1966 in a GT40 Mk2 he drove with fellow Kiwi Chris Amon.

mc laren

Bruce McLaren jumps out of his Ford Mk4 ‘J6’ during practice. Bruce the pole sitter in this car.

Fords times gave them five of the six top slots. Frank Gardner and Roger McCluskey qualified their Holman & Moody Mk2B 6th, here is FG before the off, the race not quite so successful, his co-driver became part of an accident not of his making…

frank gardner

The Race…

race start

Dan Gurney is the bolter at the start in #1, #2 McLaren Mk4, #7 Chap Spence putting on his full harness, alongside him #3 Andretti and #4 Hulme both in Mk4’s doing the same.


start 2

A second or so later; Spence, Andretti and Hulme still ‘belting up’ whilst #62 Mike Salmon DNF fire and #11 Surtees Lola Aston, #23 Attwood Ferrari P3 and #21 Scarfiotti Ferrari P4 come thru.


start 3

Love this start shot as it gives a sense of the depth of the field but also the speed differentials for which Le Mans is infamous; #42 Robert Buchet/Herbert Linge 14th Porsche 911S 2 litre, #48 Roger Delageneste/Jacques Cheinisse 10thAlpine A210 Renault 1.6 litre, #60 Andre Wicky/Philippe Farjon DNF Porsche 911S and the rest…Mike Spence just away in the winged Chap 2F at far left.

300,000 people attended the race on 10 June in overcast, warm weather, Henry Ford 2 and wife arriving by ‘chopper shortly before the race…

After the traditional start Pedro Rodriguez led initially in the NART Ferrari but was quickly passed by the Paul Hawkins Mk2B, who led at the end of the first hour by which time both Lola’s were out; Surtees with engine trouble after 3 laps, Chris Irwin on lap 25 later with fuel pump problems.

early laps

#21 Scarfiotti in the 2nd placed Ferrari P4 from the #4 Hulme Ford Mk4 during the early laps. Below is the Surtees Lola also during the first 3 laps…

After the first pitstop the Chaparral 2F took the lead, the Fords getting about an hour out of a fuel tank, the Fazz’ and Chaparral about 15 minutes longer.

chap pitstop

The Hill/Spence Chap 2F circulating fast at this point doing 3 min 29 sec laps…

After the second refuelling the Gurney/Foyt Mk4 lead from the Hill/Spence Chaparral followed by the Andretti/Bianchi and McLaren/Donohue Ford Mk4’s.


Oopsie; Ricardo Rodriguez (no relation) in the ‘kitty litter’ on Lap 30, the NART Ferrari 365P2 retired at this point. Car shared with Chuck Parsons. In the background in the lower photo is the works Austin Healey Sprite of Clive Baker/Andrew Hedges which finished 15th, first British car home.



The ill-fated Andretti/Bianchi Mk4 ahead of Chris Amon/Nino Vaccarella Ferrari P4 DNF puncture/fire and Denny Hulme/Lloyd Ruby Mk4 DNF accident, in The Esses in the first quarter of the race.



‘British Racing and Sports Car Club’ fireman in the latest gear.

After 4 hours the Gurney car was still ahead.

This time from the Andretti Ford. Three Fords led from the Chaparral, with Ferrari further back, the leading Ferrari’s were driven by Amon/Vaccarella P4 and Rodriguez/Baghetti, P3/412P.

chap 8

The #8 Bruce Jennings/Bob Johnston Chaparral 2F in the pits for its final pitstop on lap 91, car out with battery and starter failure.


butt shot

2 P4’s, the white car the NART P Rodriguez/Baghetti P4/412P entry chasing the Jennings/Johnston Chaparral 2F and a 911S about to be ‘swallowed’ by all 3.

After 6 hours the 2nd #8 Chaparral failed to restart after a pitstop.

Hill pitted at about the same time in the #7 Chap with the transmission, the cars weak link checked leading to speculation about its health. The stop lasted 9 minutes, the car rejoined in 7th place.

Rindt (below) retired his Porsche 907, having over-revved its 2 litre flat 8.

rindt 2


The #7 Chaparral 2F Chev of Spence and 5th placed Porsche 907 ‘Langheck’ of Siffert/Hans Hermann with Jo at the wheel. Car also the 2 litre winner.

At 2 am it was still 1-3  for Ford but the pattern of the race changed hugely after Andretti took over his car from Bianchi, it was fitted with fresh brake pads.

As he approached The Esses and braked one disc grabbed, pinging the car instantly between the unforgiving earth banks until finishing in the middle of the track with bits of ‘Big Henry’ scattered all over the place.

Roger McCluskey arrived in the Mk2B he shared with Frank Gardner, braked, spun and hit the banks wrecking another factory Ford. Schlesser then added to the party arriving in the Ford France Mk2B  he shared with Guy Ligier and spun in avoiding his teammates- three Fords were out on the spot!

rooted fords

Rooted Fords #3 Andretti Mk4 and #5 McCluskey Mk2B. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)


foyt 2

The winning Mk4 of Gurney/Foyt ahead of #57 Ronnie Bucknum/Paul Hawkins Mk2B DNF and #14 Mirage M1 Ford of David Piper/Richard Thompson,DNF .


ferrari dead

Dead Ferrari’s atop the transporter in the middle of the race, both with piston failure; #22 Jean Guichet/Herbie Muller Ferrari P3/412P #25 Pedro Rodriguez/Giancarlo Baghetti Ferrari P3/412P


foyt 3

AJ Foyt aboard the winning Ford Mk4 chassis ‘J5’.

At half distance the Gurney/Foyt Mk4 had a huge lead

But there were three Ferrari’s and a Chaparral between Gurney and the next Ford.

At dawn it was Gurney/Foyt 7 laps ahead of the Parkes/Scarfiotti Ferrari, the Hill/Spence Chaparral then Ferrari-Ford-Ferrari, it was anybody’s race at this point.

At 5.30am Hill’s Chaparral pitted for investigation of an oil leak; and stayed for 3 hours whilst the mechanics heroically removed the transmission and fitted a new oil seal but the car was finally retired with an oil-less transmission.


Chaparral council of war in the middle of the night. Jim Hall , Phil Hill and Mike Spence curse the cars auto gearbox, its weakness that year. The one bright spot for the fastest, most innovative and stunning sports/prototype of 1967 was its season ending Brands Hatch 6 Hour victory in July.

With 6 hours to go the Gurney/Foyt Ford only lead by 5 laps!

But it was one Ford from three Ferrari’s with the Italian cars being driven very hard, Mike Parkes said ‘I have never driven a car so hard for so long’ of his Ferrari P4 after the race.


What am i going to tell The Commendatore!? Franco Lini, Ferrari Team Manager ponders the teams prospects late in the race. It was an honorable defeat, to say the least, against the onslaught of the then second largest motor manufacturer in the world.

With less than 2 hours to go the Ferrari’s were lapping 10 seconds a lap quicker than the leading Ford, with 90 minutes to go both cars stopped for fuel for the last time, Ferrari’s only hope a Ford failure but it was not to be…


Car #24 the 3rd place Willy Mairesse/Jean Blaton Ferrari P4 and winning #1 Mk4, ‘victory lap’. Small shots; Franco Lini, Bruce McLaren Mk4 pit, ‘pit popsie’.

It was the first ‘All American’ win ever; car and drivers. Ford were both first outright and won ‘The Index of Thermal Efficiency’, which seems somewhat of a contradiction in terms for a car powered by a 7 litre cast iron, OHV V8!…

The first six placings were;

1st. Gurney/Foyt Ford Mk4 388 laps

2nd. Scarfiotti/Parkes Ferrari P4 384 laps

3rd. Mairesse/Blaton Ferrari P4 377 laps

4th. McLaren/Donohue Ford Mk4 359 laps

5th. Siffert/Hermann Porsche 907 358 laps 2 litre winner

6th. Stommelen/Neerpasch Porsche 910 351 laps


Winners are Grinners…

The winning Ford covered a record distance and was pushed hard all the way- Dan Gurney at left and AJ Foyt, right, below.


Mike Parkes (L) and Ludovico Scarfiotti looking suitably tired after fantastic drives in pursuit of the Ford Juggernaut!


Henry Ford 2 and his wife Maria look well pleased with the results of their teams work.

Its interesting to reflect on how different automotive/motor racing history may have been had Enzo Ferrari not withdrawn from the final stage of negotiations for the ‘Boys from Dearborn’ to buy his Maranello outfit in July 1963.

Whatever the case, motor racing had a friend in Henry Ford 2. Without his patronage and support of racing to build Ford’s global brand we would not have had many of Ford’s programs which enriched racing during his tenure of either direct or indirect control of FoMoCo.

mr ford

Tailpiece; The Morning After the Night Before…


Photo Credits…

The amazing Dave Friedman Archive, Rainer Schlegelmilch


Team Dan WSC Archive, Automobile Year 15


syracuse gp 1965


John Surtees Ferrari 158 leads Jo Siffert and Jim Clark, Brabham BT11 BRM and Lotus 33 Climax at the start of the 1965 Syracuse GP, Sicily April 4 1965…

Clark won the race from Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini in another Ferrari 158. A solid entry contested this non-championship GP including Mike Spence Lotus 33 Climax, Masten Gregory BRM P57 and Mike Hailwood and Innes Ireland in Lotus 25 BRM’s. What a fabulous track this must have been.

Clark was well into his very successful 1965 season, he finished a successful Australasian summer in March winning the Tasman Series in a Lotus 32B Climax, took the ‘Indy 500 in the Lotus 38 Ford in May and won the world title, his second in the Lotus 33…apart from whatever F2, touring car and sports car victories he took that year!

The event was held on a road course in Syracuse, right in the corner of the southeast of Sicily. The GP was first and last held in 1951 and 1967, the events won by Ferraris’; Luigi Villoresi’s Ferrari 375 in 1951 and Mike Parkes AND Ludovico Scarfiotti’s Ferrari 312’s dead-heating in honor of their recently killed teammate Lorenzo Bandini, who died at Monaco in 1967.

Those 400bhp cars must have been awfully quick around that track in 1967…


Mike Parkes #28 and Ludovico Scarfiotti #16, Ferrari 312’s stage their dead-heat in the 16th and last Syracuse GP on 21 May 1967 in honour of their just killed teammate, Lorenzo Bandini at the ’67 Monaco GP. A wonderful gesture of respect. (Getty Images)


Getty Images


enzo 2

Enzo Ferrari at the launch of his 1969 endurance contender the 312P…

Motorsports governing body introduced new sports car rules for 1968; Group 4 Sports Cars with a capacity limit of 5 litres and a minimum production of 50 cars, and Group 6 Prototypes with a maximum of 3 litres. In effect the CSI were making obsolete the ‘unlimited cars’ being built by Ford and Ferrari, ( the 7 litre ‘pushrod’ Ford MkIV, 4 litre ‘racing engine’ Ferrari P4)  which they considered were getting too fast for the circuits of the time.

Ferrari, in time honored fashion didn’t race in 1968 in protest at this sudden rule change but returned in 1969 with the Group 6 312P, again in time honored fashion using many parts he had ‘on the shelf ‘ from other cars.

The chassis used was a downsized version of their 1968 Can Am challenger the 612P…It was a semi-monocoque, a spacefarme reinforced by aluminium sheet. The first cars were built with high downforce Spyder bodywork, but later cars were built or re-bodied for Le Mans as stunning low drag Coupes.


Aluminium semi-monocoque chassis. Double wisbones, coil springs, Koni shocks at front. Single top link, lower inverted wishbone, twin radius rods, coil springs and Koni shocks at rear. Adjustable sway bars front and rear. Rack & pinion steering. Ventilated discs all round. 680 Kg.

The 3 litre V12 was based on the highly successful old sports car engine albeit with 4 valve heads and Lucas fuel injection…Ferrari claimed 420 BHP, all of which hit the road through a 5 speed transaxle.


312P engine, 5 speed gearbox and rear suspension. 60 degree V12, 2.99 litres. 77X53.5mm bore/stroke. 11:1 compression ratio. 4 valves per cylinder , DOHC, Lucas fuel injection and circa 420BHP @ 9800RPM. (Tony Adamowicz)

Chassis ‘0868’ was shown to the public at the Hotel Fini in Modena in December 1968, which is probably where this unattributed shot of Enzo Ferrari with the car was taken.

From the outset Ferraris’ sports car plans in 1969 were limited as the development of the 3 litre ‘Flat 12′ engine for F1 in 1970 was Technical Director, Mauro Forghieris’ main project.

The first car was damaged in testing, but repaired and put on pole at Sebring by Mario Andretti, the car finishing second co-driven by Chris Amon despite overheating after a collision with a slower car.


Chris Amon leaps aboard the 312P he shared with Mario Andretti at Sebring 1969.

amon sebring

Smoky Amon. Ferrari 312P, Sebring 1969. Second outright and first in class with Mario Andretti (Nigel Smuckatelli)

The car was very fast at Brands Hatch, but the Le Mans testing weekend revealed the need for slippery coupe bodies on the Mulsanne. The bigger issue was the appearance of the Porsche 917, 25 examples of which had been built by the Germans to comply with the CSI’s new Group 4 rules, not what the rule makers intended at all…

The 312P’s were fast at Monza filling the first 2 grid positions but failed to finish with tyre problems, the Firestones not coping with the rigours of the Monza banking.

pedro 5

Pedro Rodriguez, Nurburgring 1000Km 1969.

The 917 was on pole at Spa, but Amon proved the 312P’s competitiveness again, he broke the lap record at The Nurburgring. At Le Mans the two cars entered were fitted with gorgeous Coupe bodies formed around shortened 206SP Dino windscreens.

The 917 was on the Le Mans pole… but few believed they would last the distance, Amons 312P was damaged by debris from the fatal accident which befell the John Woolfe 917 on lap 1, the other car suffering gearbox failure after a retaining nut vibrated loose several times. Jacky Ickx and  Jackie Oliver won the race in Ford GT40 ‘1075’ the same chassis victorious the year before.

le mans

Chris Amon behind the 312P, now with Coupe body, at Le Mans 1969 with Peter Schetty. The car was out on lap 1, running over debris from the John Woolfe 917 accident (Pinterest)

The arrival of the 917 was  a game changer, Ferrari responded with some of the Lire invested in his business by Fiat, in building 25 512S 5 litre cars to go head to head with Porsche in what many say was the greatest 2 years of sports car racing ever, 1970 and 1971.

The two remaining 312P’s were sold to Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team at the end of 1969, the cars scoring class victories in major races such as Daytona, and Sebring and also racing at Le Mans in 1970 where Tony Adamowicz, and Chuck Parsons were non-classified but tenth. The other car was taken as a spare and unraced.

312 p le mans 1970

Wet weather 1970 Le Mans shot of the NART 312P. (Bruce Thomas)


NART Adamowicz/ Parsons 312P Le Mans 1970 , tenth in the race won by the Herrman/ Attwood Porsche 917K (Pinterest)

The 312P has only a small part in Ferrari racing history but the factory learned valuable lessons from the program when it next raced a prototype, the 3 litre 312PB in 1971, this car using a variant of the F1 ‘boxer’ engine, the 312PB the dominant and championship winning sports car of 1972.



Amon/Schetty Ferrari 312P Le Mans pits 1969.(Pinterest)


Pedro relaxes before the off, Bridghampton CanAm 1969. (




‘0870’ in the 1969 Bridghampton  CanAm pitlane. Rodriguez was 5th in the heavy relatively low powered 3 litre car, Hulme and McLaren 1st and 2nd in McLaren M8B Chevs. (


Mike Parkes in the NART 312P , Daytona 1970. Tall man, and bubble as a consequence (Pinterest)

le mans 8

Another shot of the Adamowicz/ Parsons 312P during Le Mans 1970 (Yves Debraine)


Interesting drawing showing the differences in dimensions of the Spyder and Coupe versions of the 312P (Pinterest)

Photo Credits…

Pinterest, Tony Adamowicz, Nigel Smuckatelli, Yves Debraine, Bruce Thomas