From the motorsport archive: on this day in 1965

4 Juli 2022 - autocar

From the motorsport archive: on this day in 1965

All-privateer Ferrari podium at Le Mans as Fords falter again

American firm Ford was desperate to prove a point to Ferrari by breaking its endurance-racing domination, especially at the Le Mans 24 Hours. But it endured a tough start in 1964, none of its three cars finishing. Would six in 1965 allow the breakthrough?

Though the 7.0-litre works Fords hurtled ahead at the start, their domination was short-lived, and eventually the entire Ford entry had dropped out, largely with overheating caused by head-gasket trouble or transmission failure.

“Ferraris then took on complete command of the race. During the night, however, they suffered endless trouble both with their clutches and with their radially drilled brake discs. During this and ensuing periods, the entire Ferrari works entry fell out. It was like two great beasts had decided once and for all to fight to the finish – and in the process had annihilated each other.

The privately entered Ferraris were left to keep things going, and during the Sunday afternoon the 250 LMs driven by Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt and by Pierre Dumay and Gustave Gosselin put considerable life and excitement back into a race that had got dull.

It was the former pair who won as a scant 14 of 51 cars finished.

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