1966 Belgian Grand Prix

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Belgium  1966 Belgian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 2 of 9 in the 1966 Formula One season
Spa 1950.jpg
Date 12 June 1966
Official name XII Grote Prijs Van Belgie
Location Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium
Course Permanent racing circuit
14.120 km (8.770 mi)
Distance 28 laps, 395.36 km (245.56 mi)
Weather Overcast and wet
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari
Time 3:38:0
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari
Time 4:18:7
Podium
First United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari
Second Austria Jochen Rindt Cooper-Maserati
Third Italy Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari

The 1966 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Spa-Francorchamps on 12 June 1966. It was the second round of the 1966 Formula One season. The race was the 26th Belgian Grand Prix which to this point had only been held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The race was held over 28 laps of the fourteen kilometre circuit for a race distance of 395 kilometres.

The race was won by British driver, 1964 world champion John Surtees driving a Ferrari 312 in a race that saw the field decimated by weather in the early laps. It was Surtees's fourth Grand Prix victory and his first since the 1964 Italian Grand Prix. Surtees took a 42-second victory over Austrian driver Jochen Rindt driving a Cooper T81. It was future world champion Rindt's first podium finish and the first for the new Cooper-Maserati combination as the works Cooper Car Company team looked to the three litre Maserati V12 sports car engine for the new regulations. Surtees's Italian team mate Lorenzo Bandini finished third in his Ferrari 246.

With a pair of podiums, Bandini took the lead in the championship by a point over the two race winners, Surtees and Jackie Stewart.

Race summary[edit]

The race distance was shortened from the previous year, from 32 to 28 laps. More than half the field crashed out on the first lap due to a heavy rainstorm and there were only seven runners left by the start of the second lap. Four drivers went off and crashed at the sweeping Burnenville corner, where the heavy wall of rain was. Jo Bonnier's Cooper T81 went through an upstairs window of a house on the edge of the track and Jackie Stewart's BRM P261 crashed into a telephone pole and then landed in a ditch at Masta Kink, leading to him being stuck upside down in his BRM, halfway up to his waist in fuel, for 25 minutes. Graham Hill and Bob Bondurant, both of whom had gone off near Stewart, managed to rescue him with a spectator's toolkit. Jack Brabham slid his Brabham BT19 coming out of the Masta Kink at 135 mph, but regained control of the car and rejoined the race. There was so much water on the track that it got into and flooded Jim Clark's Climax engine in his Lotus 33 and he was out of the race on the first lap too. The entire first lap was run under green flags. And by the start of the second lap, 8 of the 15 drivers who started were out of the race.[1]

The race was filmed for the motion picture Grand Prix. The eight minute segment of the 1966 film uses a combination of live footage and mocked up racing scenes. The live footage shows Surtees, Bonnier, Bandini, Ligier, Clark and Gurney in action. Surtees doubles in the scene for the fictional Jean-Pierre Sarti while Bandini doubles for the fictional Nino Barlini. The film is careful not to pick up Jackie Stewart in action as he doubles for the fictional character Scott Stoddard, who at this point in the film is recovering from a near fatal crash earlier in the season. James Garner's white Yamura (Honda) number 24 did not appear in the actual race and scenes showing it are part of the staged race filming.

After his accident in this race, Jackie Stewart began his efforts for safer racing which continued for decades; particularly after his influence as a Formula One racing driver grew through the next seven seasons he competed in Formula One.

Classification[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6 United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari 28 2:09:11.3 1 9
2 19 Austria Jochen Rindt Cooper-Maserati 28 + 42.1 2 6
3 7 Italy Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari 27 + 1 lap 5 4
4 3 Australia Jack Brabham Brabham-Repco 26 + 2 laps 4 3
5 18 United States Richie Ginther Cooper-Maserati 25 + 3 laps 8 2
NC 22 France Guy Ligier Cooper-Maserati 24 Not Classified 12
NC 27 United States Dan Gurney Eagle-Climax 23 Not Classified 15
Ret 15 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart BRM 0 Accident 3
Ret 20 Sweden Jo Bonnier Cooper-Maserati 0 Accident 6
Ret 16 United Kingdom Mike Spence Lotus-BRM 0 Accident 7
Ret 14 United Kingdom Graham Hill BRM 0 Accident 9
Ret 10 United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 0 Engine 10
Ret 8 United States Bob Bondurant BRM 0 Accident 11
Ret 4 New Zealand Denny Hulme Brabham-Climax 0 Accident 13
Ret 21 Switzerland Jo Siffert Cooper-Maserati 0 Accident 14
DNS 24 New Zealand Bruce McLaren McLaren-Serenissima Wheel bearing in practice
DNS 11 United Kingdom Peter Arundell Lotus-BRM Engine
DNS 8 United Kingdom Vic Wilson BRM Car raced by Bondurant

Championship standings after the race[edit]

  • Notes: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]


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1966 Monaco Grand Prix
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1966 French Grand Prix
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