1963 R.A.C. Tourist Trophy: Graham Hill (250 GTO) beats Parkes (250 GTO) and Salvadori. (By: Jean Pierre Van Rossem).
Just as last year the R.A.C. Tourist Trophy is a round for FIA's World Championship of Makes. But on going to Goodwood it is already sure that the Pracing Horse is again world champion: its Ferrari 250 GTO is just unbeatable, certainly over 3-hours races or longer. Since its first race on February 1962, at the Daytona 3 hours, the car has lost only six times in the GT class a race from another car than ...a Ferrari. On the 93 it entered, none of the defeats having occured in other races than sprints or rallies. But never a Ferrari 250 GTO was defeated in a race lasting longer than one hour.
Indeed, at a GT race on Watkins Glen, where Bob Grossman was the lonely entrant on a GTO, he was beaten by the Corvette Gran Sport on September 22, 1962. And at the Governor's Trophy in Nassau, on December 1, the five GTO's were headed again by the new Corvette. This year, on April 15, at the Sussex Trophy, a short sprint race, Mike Parkes finished second to Graham Hill (in the Coombs Light-weight Ja-guar) with the ex-Ronnie Hoare 250 GTO having been sold to Prince Zourab Tchkotoua. At the International Silverstone Daily News Trophy, on May 11, Hill won again in John Coomb's Jaguar after Parkes was eliminated by accident. Mid-July Hill - the 1962 F1 world championship - could beat the GTO Ferraris for the third time at the Grovewood Trophy in Mallory Park, again in a short sprint race. And at the Trophée des voitures de Sport in Rheims Dick Protheroe finished second to Carlo Abate's 250TRI-61, but ahead of Lucien Bianchi in the 4293GT Ferrari GTO.
On going to Goodwood, the majority of British supporters have good hope that, for the first time in a 3-hour race, an all-British car will get rid off those unbeatable GTO Ferraris. There is not only the Coombs Jaguar, having won four sprint races this year (and three times from Ferrari), there are also the two Aston Martins DP214, those project cars, having been the first in history to go faster than 300kph at the long straight of Mulsanne. Here at Goodwood, F1-drivers as Innes Ireland (last year's R.A.C. Tourist Trophy winner) and Bruce McLaren must be able to give the GTO its first long distance defeat. A handicap is that Graham Hill himself starts not in the Coombs Jaguar, but at the wheel of Ronnie Hoare's Ferrari 250 GTO.
This year we find five GTO Ferraris on the grid, one more than last year, when they realised a 1-2-3 here at Goodwood. Best winning chances have the two GTOs, officially entered by John Coombs and Ronnie Hoare, the #11 with chassis 4399GT, entered for Graham Hill being Colonel Hoare's and having been delivered on May, the #12 with chassis 3729GT, entered for Mike Parkes, being John Coombs's and having been delivered in last year's July. None of those cars was seen outside England. Hoare's brand new 250 GTO won already twice this year: the Whitsun Trophy on June 3 and the Silverstone Martini Trophy on July 6, twice with Mike Parkes at the wheel. On July 13 Hoare's GTO (in hands of Jack Sears) was second to the Graham Hill Jaguar at the Grovewood Trophy at Mallory Park and first in the GT class on July 20 at the GT race prior to the British F1 GP. Graham Hill drove the car the first time on August 3, but had to rerire. At two other occasions Hill practiced with the car, but preferred to start in the Coombs's Jaguar.
David Piper is present with his apple green 4491GT. His 3767GT, in which he won with Bruce Johnstone the Kyalami 9 hours race, has been sold to Ed Cantrell earlier this year, but was entered at the Daytona Continental Cup (5h), the Daytona 3 hours (21st), the Sebring 12 hours (14th), the Spa-Francorchamps 500-kms (retired) and the Nürburgring 1,000-kms (6th), where Piper was each time behind the wheel of his former car, now owned by Cantrell. His new 4491GT was delivered early June and already raced at five occasions, with a second place at the Silverstone GT race (prior to the British GP) as best result.
Prince Zourab Tchkotoua is here with the Italian red 3647GT, driven last year by John Surtees. In this car Big John was certainly on his way to win the Tourist Trophy, when, on lapping Jim Clark in the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, he couldn't prevent a collision with the spinning Zagato. Later the car finished second at the Paris 1,000-kms and second at this year's Sussex Trophy here in Goodwood (in hands of Mike Parkes), before being sold to the prince. He entered the car at the extremely difficult Targa Florio, where he and Tommy Hitchcock finished 8th overall. At the Nürburgring 1,000-kms they retired after an accident. Hitchcock was 8th in the car on July 13 at the Mallory Park Grovewood Trophy and 11th at the Brands Hatch Guards Trophy. Today the prince and Hitchcock will share the car here at Goodwood.
Roger Penske came from the States to drive the Italian red N.A.R.T. Ferrari 250 GTO LMB with chassis 4713GT having finished sixth at this year's Le Mans 24 hours. Delivered as late as in June it will be only the second race of the car.
The sixth Ferrari on the grid is Chris Kerison's 2735GT Ferrari 250 GT SWB, having been involved in an accident last year, here at Goodwood, and having been rebuilt by Drogo with a new and better profiled body. He'll drive the car together with Peter Sutcliffe, who's own Jaguar E-type Lightweight was not repaired in time to be raced today.
At the qualifications it becomes obvious that the battle for victory will go between the Ferraris GTO of Graham Hill and Mike Parkes, the Aston Martins DP214 of Innes Ireland and Bruce McLaren, and the Tommy Atkings Jaguar of Roy Salvadori. It is the reigning F1 world champion Graham Hill who takes the pole position in 1'27"0, ahead of Mike Parkes in 1'27"4 and Innes Ireland in 1'27"6. Then follow six cars within two seconds from each other: the second DP214 in 1'28"8, the Atkings Jaguar of Salvadori, the N.A.R.T. Ferrari of Penske, the Coombs Jaguar of Sears, the Ferrari GTO of Piper and Protheroe's Low Drag Coupe Jaguar. Disappointing are the times clocked by Tommy Hitchcock and Peter Lumsden.
During the qualifications it became obvious how much Innes Ireland was stolen by the scandalous decision of the scrutineers. On small tyres he had all the problems of the world to hold his Aston DP214 on the track. Continuously he was at the limit and it seems unthinkable that he can produce such effort during three full hours. Ireland, David Brown, John Wyer: they are all furious. Why a race car, developed from a street car, can not use the tyres of the same street car. Why the R.A.C. scrutineers push Ireland and McLaren to a dangerous spectacle, whilst on 7in tyres they could have a clean race. [We'll have to wait the Coppa Inter Europa in Monza - for me the most fantastic race in history (later more in a separate report) - to see Aston Martin taking revenge by giving the Ferrari 250 GTO, after a breathtaking gruelling combat, its first beat at a three hour race].
Massive crowds are present today to assist the fight on British soil against Italian cars. Under a splendid sun the 31 starting cars pull away with Graham Hill (#11 Ferrari GTO), closely followed by Innes Ireland (#2 Aston Martin DP214) and Mike Parkes (#12 Ferrari GTO). During the ten first laps postitions in top remain unchanged. There is a gap between the three leaders and a group formed by Bruce McLaren (#1 Aston Mar-tin DP214), Ray Salvadori (Atkins Jaguar), Roger Penske (Ferrari 250 GTO LMB) and Jack Sears (Coombs Jaguar).
After ten laps all under 2-litre cars are already lapped by the three leaders. Innes Ireland, having a higher top speed than both GTO Ferraris, attacks now Graham Hill. Unfortunately both cars make contact at Woodcote when Ireland spins three times, taking Hill's Ferrari with him. They can continue their race, but Parkes takes profit by passing both the #11 Ferrari (Hill) and the #2 Aston Martin DP214.
Having flat-spotted his first set of tyres Ireland he has to stop for new tyres. He'll rejoin the race just ahead of Parkes who'll try to lap him. For Graham Hill this is a unique opportunity to pass Parkes. Roy Salvadori (Atkins Jaguar) is now third, but seriously attacked by Bruce McLaren (Aston Martin DP214). Since Ireland holds up Parkes, Hill can increase the lead.
At lap 24 Mike Parkes (#12 Ferrari GTO) hangs always behind Ireland's Aston. Graham Hill has already a 12 seconds lead in the #11 Ferrari GTO. Parkes will try to lap Ireland, but at Woodcote both cars spin off and will continue their race. Behind them Salvadori and McLaren make contact at the chicane.
When everybody has refuelled positions are: 1. Graham Hill (#11 Ferrari GTO), 2. Mike Parkes (#12 Ferrari GTO), 3. Roy Salvadori (#9 Jaguar), 4. Innes Ireland (#2 Aston Martin DP214), 5. David Piper (#16 Ferrari GTO).
In front Graham Hill had before his pit stop already a one minute lead over Parkes, but at that first pit stop he had to take a lot of water to make up for the loss caused by a faulty radiator pressure cap. Since the pit stop cost him one minute twenty-three seconds, Parkes - having been ophold long time by Ireland - can reduce his arrear to some thirty seconds. Then Hill has to come again into the pits for a six seconds stop for the radiator cap to be replaced. When shortly before mid-race he rejoins the track Parkes is immediately behind him with still more than one hour to go. Both they are rocketing over the circuit with only Salvadori as last man on the lead lap.
RESULTS OF THE 1963 TOURIST TROPHY
1 11 Graham Hill (GB) Ferrari 250 GTO J. Coombs/Maranello
2 12 Mike Parkes (GB) Ferrari 250 GTO J. Coombs/Maranello
3 9 Roy Salvadori (GB) Jaguar E-type C. T. Atkins
4 10 Jack Sears (GB) Jaguar E-type John Coombs
5 16 David Piper (GB) Ferrari 250 GTO Fordwall Garage
6 7 Dick Protheroe (GB) Jaguar E-type Protheroe Cars
7 2 Innes Ireland (GB) Aston Martin DP214 David Brown
8 15 Roger Penske (USA) Ferrari 250 GTO N.A.R.T.
9 5 Peter Lumsden (GB) Jaguar E-type P. J. S. Lumsden
10 17 Chris Kerrison/Peter Sutcliffe Ferrari 250 GT SWB
11 22 Mike Beckwith (GB) Lotus Elite Chris Barber
12 29 Richard Stoop (GB) Porsche 356B 2000 J. R. Stoop
13 33 Bob Duggan/Mike Johnson Lotus Elite J. T. Parker
14 32 Tom J. Threlfall/John Nicholson Lotus Elite Farnborough Racing
15 28 Andrew Hedges/Keith Greene ( MG Midget Richard W. Jacobs
16 21 Clive Hunt (GB) Lotus Elite Team Elite (62)
17 26 Adrian Dence (GB) Morgan Plus 4 SS Morgan Motor Co.
18 30 Tom Entwistle/Keith Aitchison TVR Grantura MG Grantura Engineering
19 31 Kenneth W. Mackenzie (GB) Turner Sprint Ford Royal Air Force Motor
The full written article is property of Jean Pierre Van Rossem and it is published with his express consent. Under no circumstances can be reused without Jean Pierre's written permission.