1965 24 Hours of Le Mans

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1965 24 Hours of Le Mans
Previous: 1964 Next: 1966
Index: Races | Winners

The 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 33rd Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 19 and 20 June 1965. It was also the twelfth round of the World Sportscar Championship.

Pre-race[edit]

For the 1965 season, the development and racing of the Ford GT40 was entrusted to Carroll Shelby. On Shelby's initiative, the GT40s were fitted with the same engine as the Cobras — an iron cast 4.7 L V8, and the Colotti gearbox that proved unreliable was replaced by a German-made ZF.

In parallel, Ford developed a new version of the GT40. The Mark II was developed by Ford subsidiary Kar Kraft in Dearborn under the direction of Roy Lunn. The Mk IIs were powered by a 7.0 L engine based on a Ford Galaxie block. As there was no gearbox available on the market which was able to sustain the torque, the car featured a new 4-ratio Kar Kraft gearbox. Two Mark IIs were entered by Shelby. The cars were finished in a hurry; as there was no time to run a fuel consumption test, Shelby did not know the real fuel consumption of the 7.0 L Mk II.

Scuderia Ferrari entered two P2s, a new version of the prototype, featuring a new DOHC V12 engine. Strangely, Ferrari dispersed some of his effort by entering a 1.6 L Dino 166. Two 365 P2s were also entered, one by NART, the other by Maranello Concessionaires. The 365 P2 was built around a previous year's P chassis with updated aerodynamics and featured a 4.4 L SOHC V12.

Several 275LM prototypes were entered by Ferrari customers. Ferrari developed the mid-engined LM for homologation in the GT category but was refused by the CSI. These cars are often mistakenly designated as 250LMs, as the first car built was fitted with a 3.0 L engine. The cars delivered to customers were 275LM powered by a 3.3 L. The performance of the 275LM was far from "real" prototypes but as the engine was a close derivative of production Ferrari engines, the car had proved very reliable.

Race[edit]

The Mark IIs took the lead at the start, but lost a part of their advance in frequent refuelling. It would later appear that the Mark IIs refuelled more often than required due to the uncertainty of their fuel consumption. The weather was hot, and overheating began to hit the GT40s. Bob Bondurant and Umberto Maglioli's No. 7 had head gasket failure before 20:00 and on the same lap, Herbert Müller and Ronnie Bucknum's No. 6 overheated terminally.

After the failure of the Fords, four Ferraris were leading. By then, the top Ford-powered car was the Dan Gurney/Jerry Grant Cobra Daytona coupe. Around midnight, Gurney and Grant had risen to third overall. That was when the Cobra's motor mounts began to crack and Gurney had to park the blue coupe after 204 laps.

This left the Ferraris on top, but the P2 began to suffer excessive disk brake wear, probably due to heat. All the leading prototypes had pit stops to change disk brakes, an operation that required between 20 and 30 minutes.

As the 275LMs put less stress on the brakes, two of them were leading at 04:00; Pierre Dumay's Belgian yellow car led the NART 275LM of Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory. The NART Ferrari had lost time struggling with ignition problem, but now the engine was sounding clear and the car gained several second on each lap. Soon after 13:00, the Belgian Ferrari had approximately one minute over the American one, but Rindt was driving 12 seconds per lap faster. As the leader needed only one refueling stop to finish the race while the NART car would have to stop twice, a close finish was expected.

Then, a tire began to deflate on the leading car, and soon disintegrated, destroying a large part of the thin aluminum rear bodywork. It took the Belgian team five laps to have the car ready to rejoin the race. This was more than enough to give the victory to Rindt and Gregory.

Official results[edit]

Le Mans in 1965
Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
1 P
5.0
21 United States North American Racing Team (NART) United States Masten Gregory
United States Ed Hugus
Austria Jochen Rindt
Ferrari 250LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 348
2 P
5.0
26 France Pierre Dumay France Pierre Dumay
Belgium Gustave Gosselin
Ferrari 250LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 343
3 GT
5.0
24 Belgium Ecurie Francorchamps Belgium Willy Mairesse
Belgium Jean Blaton
Ferrari 275 GTB Ferrari 3.3L V12 340
4 P
2.0
32 Germany Porsche System Engineering Germany Herbert Linge
Germany Peter Nöcker
Porsche 904/6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 336
5 GT
2.0
36 Germany Porsche System Engineering Germany Gerhard Koch
Germany Anton Fischhaber
Porsche 904/4 GTS Porsche 2.0L Flat-4 325
6 P
5.0
27 Switzerland Scuderia Filipinetti Switzerland Dieter Spoerry
Switzerland Armand Boller
Ferrari 250LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 324
7 P
5.0
18 United States North American Racing Team (NART) Mexico Pedro Rodríguez
Italy Nino Vaccarella
Ferrari 365 P1/P2 Spyder Ferrari 4.4L V12 320
8 GT
5.0
11 United Kingdom AC Cars Ltd. United Kingdom Jack Sears
United States Richard Thompson
Shelby Cobra Daytona Ford 4.7L V8 304
9 P
+5.0
3 Italy Iso Prototip Bizzarrini France Réfis Fraissinet
France Jean de Mortemart
Iso Grifo A3C Chevrolet 5.4L V8 303
10 P
2.0
31 United Kingdom Owen Racing Organisation United Kingdom Graham Hill
United Kingdom Jackie Stewart
Rover-BRM Rover 2.0L Turbine 284
11 GT
2.0
39 United Kingdom British Motor Corporation United Kingdom Paddy Hopkirk
United Kingdom Andrew Hedges
MG MGB Hardtop MG 1.8L I4 283
12 P
1.3
49 United Kingdom Donald Healey Motor Company Australia Paul Hawkins
United Kingdom John Rhodes
Austin-Healey Sprite Sebring BMC 1.3L I4 278
13 GT
1.3
60 United Kingdom Standard-Triumph Ltd. Switzerland Jean-Jacques Thuner
Finland Simo Lampinen
Triumph Spitfire Triumph 1.1L I4 274
14 GT
1.3
54 United Kingdom Standard-Triumph Ltd. Belgium Claude Dubois
France Jean-François Piot
Triumph Spitfire Triumph 1.1L I4 263

Did Not Finish[edit]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Engine Laps
15 P
5.0
20 Italy SpA Ferrari SEFAC United Kingdom Mike Parkes
France Jean Guichet
Ferrari 330 P2 Spyder Ferrari 4.0L V12 315
16 P
1.3
48 United Kingdom Donald Healey Motor Company Finland Rauno Aaltonen
United Kingdom Clive Baker
Austin-Healey Sprite Sebring BMC 1.3L I4 256
17 P
5.0
19 Italy SpA Ferrari SEFAC United Kingdom John Surtees
Italy Ludovico Scarfiotti
Ferrari 330 P2 Spyder Ferrari 4.0L V12 225
18 GT
2.0
37 France Auguste Veuillet France Robert Buchet
Netherlands Ben Pon
Porsche 904/4 GTS Porsche 2.0L Flat-4 224
19 P
5.0
22 Italy SpA Ferrari SEFAC Italy Lorenzo Bandini
Italy Giampiero Biscaldi
Ferrari 275 P2 Ferrari 3.3L V12 221
20 GT
2.0
44 Luxembourg Equipe Grand Ducale Luxembourgeoise Luxembourg Nicholas Koob
France Alain Finkelstein
Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ/1 Alfa Romeo 1.6L I4 218
21 GT
2.0
41 Italy Autodelta SpA Italy Roberto Bussinello
France Jean Rolland
Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ/2 Alfa Romeo 1.6L I4 217
22 GT
5.0
9 United States Shelby-American Inc. United States Jerry Grant
United States Dan Gurney
Shelby Cobra Daytona Ford 4.7L V8 204
23 P
2.0
35 Germany Porsche System Engineering Germany Günter Klass
Germany Dieter Glemser
Porsche 904/6 Porsche 2.0L Flat-6 202
24 P
1.3
47 France Société Automobiles Alpine France Roger Delageneste
France Jean Vinatier
Alpine M65 Renault-Gordini 1.3L I4 196
25 GT
1.3
55 France Société Automobiles Alpine France Jacques Cheinisse
France Jean-Pierre Hanrioud
Alpine A110 M64 Renault-Gordini 1.1L I4 196
26 P
1.15
61 France Société Automobiles Alpine France Pierre Monneret
France Robert Bouharde
Alpine M63B Renault-Gordini 1.0L I4 187
27 GT
5.0
10 United States Shelby-American Inc. United States Bob Johnson
United States Tom Payne
Shelby Cobra Daytona Ford 4.7L V8 158
28 P
1.15
51 France Société Automobiles Alpine France Roger Masson
France Guy Verrier
Alpine M64 Renault-Gordini 1.1L I4 148
29 P
5.0
25 Belgium Ecurie Francorchamps Belgium Gerhard Langlois van Ophem
Belgium Leon Dernier
Ferrari 250LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 146
30 GT
2.0
38 France "Franc" France Jacques Dewez
France Jean Kerguen
Porsche 904/4 GTS Porsche 2.0L Flat-4 130
31 GT
5.0
59 Switzerland Scuderia Filipinetti United Kingdom Peter Harper
United Kingdom Peter Sutcliffe
Shelby Cobra Daytona Ford 4.7L V8 126
32 P
1.15
50 France Société Automobiles Alpine France Philippe Vidal
United States Peter Revson
Alpine M64 Renault-Gordini 1.1L I4 116
33 GT
5.0
12 France Ford France S.A. France Jo Schlesser
United States Allen Grant
Shelby Cobra Daytona Ford 4.7L V8 111
34 P
5.0
17 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires Ltd. United Kingdom David Piper
Sweden Jo Bonnier
Ferrari 365 P2 Ferrari 4.4L V12 101
35 P
5.0
23 United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires Ltd. Belgium Lucien Bianchi
United Kingdom Michael Salmon
Ferrari 250LM Ferrari 3.3L V12 99
36 P
+5.0
2 United States Shelby-American Inc. United States Phil Hill
New Zealand Chris Amon
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 89
37 GT
5.0
14 United Kingdom Ford Advanced Vehicles / Alan Mann United Kingdom Sir John Whitmore
United Kingdom Innes Ireland
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 72
38 GT
1.3
52 United Kingdom Standard Triumph Ltd. United Kingdom David Hobbs
Netherlands Rob Slotemaker
Triumph Spitfire Triumph 1.1L I4 71
39 P
+5.0
1 United States Shelby-American Inc. United Kingdom Ken Miles
New Zealand Bruce McLaren
Ford GT40 Mk.II Ford 7.0L V8 45
40 P
1.3
46 France Société Automobiles Alpine Belgium Marco Bianchi
France Henri Grandsire
Alpine M65 Renault-Gordini 1.3L I4 32
41 P
+5.0
6 Switzerland Scuderia Filipinetti
United States Shelby-American Inc.
Switzerland Herbert Müller
United States Ronnie Bucknum
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 5.3L V8 29
42 P
5.0
7 United Kingdom R.R.C. Walker Racing Team
United States Shelby-American Inc.
United States Bob Bondurant
Italy Umberto Maglioli
Ford GT40 Mk.I Ford 4.7L V8 29
43 P
2.0
30 United Kingdom Anglian Racing Developments United Kingdom Richard Wrottesley
United Kingdom Tony Lanfranchi
Elva GT160 BMW 2.0L I4 29
44 GT
2.0
42 Italy Autodelta SpA Italy Giacomo Russi
Italy Carlo Zuccoli
Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ/2 Alfa Romeo 1.6L I4 22
45 P
2.0
33 Germany Porsche System Engineering United Kingdom Colin Davis
Germany Gerhard Mitter
Porsche 904/8 Porsche 2.0L Flat-8 20
46 GT
2.0
62 France Christian Poirot France Christian Poirot
Germany Rolf Stommelen
Porsche 904/4 GTS Porsche 2.0L Flat-4 13
47 P
5.0
15 France Ford France S.A. France Maurice Trintignant
France Guy Ligier
Ford GT40 Roadster Ford 4.7L V8 11
48 GT
1.3
53 United Kingdom Standard Triumph Ltd. United Kingdom Peter Bolton
United Kingdom William Bradley
Triumph Spitfire Triumph 1.1L I4 6
49 P
+5.0
8 France J.H. Simone Switzerland Jo Siffert
Germany Jochen Neerpasch
Maserati Tipo 65 Maserati 5.0L V8 3
50 P
1.6
40 Italy SpA Dino SEFAC Italy Giancarlo Baghetti
Italy Mario Casoni
(Ferrari) Dino 166P Dino 1.6L V6 2
51 GT
2.0
43 Italy Autodelta SpA Italy Teodore Zeccoli
France José Rosinski
Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ/2 Alfa Romeo 1.6L I4 1

Statistics[edit]

  • Pole Position - #2 Shelby-American Inc. - 3:33.0
  • Fastest Lap - #2 Shelby-American Inc. - 3:37.5
  • Distance - 4677.11 km
  • Average Speed - 194.88 km/h

Trophy Winners[edit]

  • Index of Performance - #32 Porsche System Engineering
  • Index of Thermal Efficiency - #36 Porsche System Engineering

References[edit]

  • (French) Le Mans 1965 in Automobile Historique n°48, May 2005