The 1967 United States Grand Prix, officially known as the 10th United States Grand Prix, was the tenth and penultimate round of the 1967 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at Watkins Glen on the 1st of October, 1967. The race would be remembered for a dominant display from Team Lotus, despite the best efforts of Californian Dan Gurney.
It would be an all green-yellow front row on the grid after practice/qualifying, with Graham Hill taking pole from Jim Clark by over half a second. Gurney would start from third with his Eagle-Weslake, while Chris Amon got his Ferrari ahead of the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers Champions Brabham-Repco.
As the flag fell it was Hill who swept into turn one in the lead, with the rest of the runners falling behind in grid order. That was, until Gurney managed to muscle his way past Clark for second, while Amon began a half race long battle with the two Brabhams.
Gurney's time in second, however, would only last until lap eight when Clark sent a dive down the inside of the Californian into turn one. Ultimately, Gurney would be unable to respond with damaged suspension, retiring on lap 24, as the two Lotuses worked together to build a huge lead over the rest.
The second half of the race saw the lead swap between Clark and Hill, the latter beginning to fall back with a gearbox issue, leaving the Englishman vulnerable to an attack from Amon. Yet, try as he might, the New Zealander was unable to get past, and when the Ferrari engine let go, Hill was pretty much safe in second.
There would be one last moment of surprise, however, as Clark's suspension partially failed on the penultimate lap. Yet, the Scot had a huge advantage over the rest of the field, and although Hill got within six seconds, it would be Clark who collected the win. Denny Hulme managed to extend his Championship lead to five points by finishing third, with Jo Siffert, Jack Brabham and Jo Bonnier rounding out the points.
A return to North America and the picturesque Watkins Glen circuit was already a guardsmen for the F1 calendar, although the organisers felt they still need to persuade potential pedlars. As such, a huge prize fund totalling $100,000 was gathered ahead of the race, with $20,000 set to be handed to the race winner. As an added bonus the European teams would not have to pay shipping costs, so there was little surprise when the full F1 circus headed across the Atlantic for the second time in 1967.
Team wise there would be little change at the top runners, as Brabham-Repco brought their two cars for Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme, without any experimental bodywork. Likewise, there had been little work done to the trio of Lotus 49s of Lotus-Ford Cosworth, with Jim Clark and Graham Hill going to battle once again. Their third car was handed to Mexican racer Moisés Solana, rather a tradition for the green-yellow squad when they arrived in North America, with all three drivers getting freshly rebuilt engines for de facto partner Ford's home race.
Cooper-Maserati were back with Jochen Rindt and Jacky Ickx back in action, those two swapping cars, with the Belgian getting the brand new car as Rindt preferred the developmental version. Both cars now had matching Maserati 10/F1 engines which were hoped to be at full fighting fitness, although there were some rather derisive comments about the fact that they featured three spark plugs per-cylinder. Their usual contingent of private entries were represented by Jo Siffert and Jo Bonnier, although there were no locals with modified Cooper cars as had been the case with the non-European rounds previously.
Elsewhere, Honda had taken John Surtees' engine back to Japan to be rebuilt and analysed, although the car was up and running in time for the battle around the Glen with time to spare. BRM had three of their four H16 cars out in the US, two for factory drivers Jackie Stewart and Mike Spence, while Chris Irwin was to drive the third car under the Reg Parnell Racing banner as usual. Ferrari brought two cars for sole entrant Chris Amon to use, both of which were equipped with fresh V12 engines.
Into the home heroes, and the Anglo American Racers effort entered only a sole car for New York born Dan Gurney. They had planned to enter two cars but after the disaster that was Monza, they were down to only two serviceable engines, although the car itself featured updates to the differential. Joining them among the home runners would be the McLaren-BRM effort which despite being a New Zealand owned British entrant, was currently dominating the North American CanAm Series.
Familiar faces from Europe would also make up the privateer section, with Guy Ligier entering his privately owned Brabham-Repco. Al Pease was also back with his Castrol Oils backed Eagle-Climax, holding the flag for Canada once again, while there would be one modified Formula Two car to complete the field. Matra Sport had already announced their plans to join the F1 party in 1968, and so the organisers were keen to allow them to enter a weighed down F2 chassis to let the locals get to know the name Matra, with their lead driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise pencilled in as the driver.
Surtees' victory in Italy had denied anyone bar a Brabham-Repco driver a chance to win the World Championship, with Clark's bid coming to an end with his last lap dramas. Brabham closed to within three points of teammate Hulme by taking second in the race, as those two duelled for the title over the final two rounds. Clark was now twenty points off the lead in third, with only eighteen points left, while Ickx had become the newest driver on the scorers list with a debut point.
Brabham-Repco had already been declared as Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers Champions in Canada, so there was little change in the standings after Italy. Lotus-Ford Cosworth were still in a battle for second, needing to beat Cooper-Maserati and Ferrari in the final two races to make sure, while Honda leapt into the top five thanks to Surtees' win. BRM and Eagle-Weslake remained ahead of the privateer entries, while McLaren-BRM looked set to remain among them in the lower orders.
The full entry list for the 1967 United States Grand Prix is outlined below:
- * Beltoise ran with a modified Formula Two car, with addition ballast, so was classified as an F1 entrant.
Practice/qualifying were run together, and with the Glen being a private circuit, an ample amount of time was scheduled for the Grand Prix cars. Both Friday and Saturday would play host to a single sessions each, although both sessions would last for four hours each running from early to late afternoon. As for target times, the leading drivers would aiming for the circuit record, currently standing at a 1:08.42 as Jack Brabham claimed pole in 1966.
On a day of mist and rain, it was Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon who opened the session, both travelling around at a less than spectacular crawl. The rest of the field would decide against venturing out into the mist, which reduced visibility to only a handful of yards in some places, with the first hour dominated by Jo Bonnier. He however, would be demoted to second just before the end of the first hour by John Surtees, whose Honda earned him a 1:22.00 lap, as conditions slowly improved through the second hour.
Once the rain stopped the conditions, and therefore the times, began to plummet, Jochen Rindt one of the first to set a sub-1:10.0 after "borrowing" teammate Jacky Ickx's car. Another man to obtain the use of their teammate's equipment was Jim Clark, who ultimately recorded the fastest time of the day using Moisés Solana's car. Elsewhere, Brabham had started a promising lap only to have a valve break in the engine, while Surtees slowly wound his time down to a 1:08.65, with the promise of more time to find if the Honda engine ever ran on 12 cylinders for more than a few seconds.
In stark contrast, Saturday's session would be run with the only threat of rain being a few clouds in the distance, with everyone bar Team Lotus and Matra Sports going onto the circuit as soon as the pits opened. BRM were experimenting with some pseudo-slick GT tyres from the CanAm McLarens, although it was not long before Jackie Stewart swapped back to the narrower Grand Prix set. Quite a few others were swapping between Firestone and Goodyears to try and test different compounds, while Rindt decided to adopt Ickx's older Cooper-Maserati as his own, leaving the Belgian with the new 36 valve engine.
When the three Lotuses finally graced the circuit with their presence the times suddenly nose-dived, Clark immediately going out and besting his time from Saturday before spending the rest of the session on high fuel runs. Solana finally hit the circuit now the Scot was back in his own car, allowing the Mexican to shock everyone, including himself, by recording a time good enough for seventh. Then came Graham Hill, who would only start pushing in the final moments to first match Clark's time and then best it by half a second, stunning everyone as he collected the $1,000 prize for the fastest lap.
The full qualifying results for the 1967 United States Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||6||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:07.09||1:05.48||—|
|2||5||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:06.80||1:06.07||+0.59s|
|7||18||Moisés Solana||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||No Time||1:07.88||+2.40s|
|8||4||Jochen Rindt||Cooper-Maserati||No Time||1:07.99||+2.51s|
|18||22||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||Matra-Ford Cosworth||1:12.71||1:21.05||+6.57s|
A huge crowd gathered overnight as the teams made their final preparations to the cars, with the police having to close off the camping section overnight to prevent more arrivals. Four teams were allowed to run their cars in an early morning session to run in engines, limited to running on a shortened version of the track, before being assembled with the rest of the field on the grid. The start was scheduled for 2:00pm, and when the now familiar sight of a leaping Tex Hopkins stole the attention of the spectators, the race was under way.
With the lavender suited Hopkins still waving the flag like a mad man, the two Lotuses of Graham Hill and Jim Clark streaked into the lead with perfect starts, the pole sitting Englishman slipping neatly into the lead through turn one. Behind came Dan Gurney as the rest of the field got away in largely grid order, although Jack Brabham would get into fourth before the end of the lap. When the field completed the first tour of the Glen it was Hill leading from Clark and Gurney, before Brabham led the rest of the field after a small gap to the leaders.
The opening laps saw the picture of the race gradually change, the first significant change coming when Gurney slung his Eagle-Weslake down the inside of Clark into the hairpin. The following lap then saw John Surtees move past Jochen Rindt as the second group refused the break apart, although there would be a gap formed when Jacky Ickx stopped on lap three. The Belgian would be sent back out once an overheating issue was addressed, while Moisés Solana looked to be out of the race after stopping round the back of the circuit.
With Gurney inbetween the two Lotuses, the pace at the front of the field immediately went skyward, with times almost instantly dropping below the old circuit record. Brabham was leading the chase group but falling away, not helped by constant harassment from Chris Amon, although the Ferrari was having to fend off challenges from Denny Hulme. Their interesting tussle would see the positions oscillate between them over several laps, with Hulme taking both of them in the space of two laps, dropping back behind Brabham and then getting ahead and escaping, just as Amon managed to elbow his way past the Australian on lap ten.
The top three were pushing so hard that it seemed inevitable that one would fall away, either through a mistake or through early fatigue. As it turned out it was the odd one out of the trio that would drop away, with Gurney losing out to Clark on lap eight, with the following laps seeing the two Lotuses work together to pull away. The New Yorker was just able to keep in contact with them for the time being, holding a relatively healthy advantage over the fourth placed battle.
The fourth placed trio had become a quartet as the leaders swapped around, for Surtees had made a series of passes to get onto the back of Brabham, before getting past on lap eleven. For two laps the Honda would stick onto the back of Amon as if they were attached by a rope, until the Englishman's engine went off colour. It would take two visits to the pits to discover the issue, a piece of rubber from the fuel bladder having come away and got caught in a valve.
More problems began to sweep across the field, with Bruce McLaren sliding on oil through the final corner and was thrown over a curb, which was unfortunately high enough to split the water pipe. Three laps without water and the BRM engine was cooked, leaving McLaren out of the race, just as Gurney began to suffer from handling problems. The New Yorker had suffered a suspension failure after Clark had gone past, and as he brought the eagle in to retire, Jackie Stewart came in to have grass removed from the radiator, brakes and suspension after running so far wide at the hairpin that he almost went into the woods.
Amon, meanwhile, was able to escape from an under-powered Hulme and catch the back of the two Lotuses, with the new trio beginning to lap the backmarkers. A tactical move by the green-yellow cars saw them both blast past Jo Bonnier into the first corner, just before the Swede moved across to take the racing line. Amon was therefore baulked by the slower car through the flowing turns two and three, meaning he lost four seconds and the tow from the leading pair.
The New Zealander's attempts to get back with the leaders would be further hindered by the reappearance of Surtees, whose pace was almost identical to that of Amon, making it difficult for the Ferrari to get past. Otherwise, the race began to settle down as the retirements continued to pile up, with Mike Spence and Chris Irwin dropping out within a lap of each other in their BRMs. The two factory Cooper-Maseratis had also gone out with identical failures, Ickx having steamed around at the back of the field for most of the race, while Guy Ligier had to stop when his Repco engine lost a camshaft.
Meanwhile, the two Lotuses were still pounding round together, with Clark sweeping through into the lead on lap 40 with relative ease. The move had not been planned, however, for Hill was beginning to struggle with a damaged clutch, just as Solana reappeared in the pits with the third Lotus. Colin Chapman had sent two mechanics out when they found out where Solana was stuck to try and prod the Ford Cosworth engine back to life. After the best part of half an hour the engine suddenly began running, although when Solana got back to the pits the car had to be immediately withdrawn as he had received outside assistance, although this was now a trivial matter as one of their leading cars was in trouble.
Indeed, Hill's pace began to tumble as the clutch began to slip, and on lap 65, just as he came out of the final corner, the Englishman could not get the car in gear. It was therefore a simple matter for Amon, who had finally got a break when Surtees' exhaust cracked and damaged his Honda engine even more. The New Zealander was halfway up the straight before Hill finally forced his Cosworth engine into gear, and with a sudden burst of tyre squealing acceleration he was off to hunt down the sole Ferrari.
Before too long Amon's luck once again returned to its usual level of anything but good, as his engine began to lose oil pressure. Hill, after dropping a gear, had begun to work around his problem and duly swept by, only to get stuck in neutral once again, this time while coming through turn one. Amon was therefore able to limp a long way ahead before Hill finally got into a different gear, with the gap between them now so large that the Ferrari driver could limp to the flag and beat the Englishman, but was out of the fight for the win.
Elsewhere, Brabham stopped to have increasingly poor handling problems resolved, where a quick wheel change was required to solve a puncture on the left rear, which had also caused the front left to wear incredibly highly. Another wheel change was also going on for one of the two surviving Coopers, Bonnier's mechanics having found a cracked wheel hub that was causing him to have wayward handling, leaving Jo Siffert as the only one of the quartet with a healthy car. Also in was Stewart, this time to retire having once again gone so far off the circuit at the hairpin that some people must of thought he wanted to try his hand at rallying.
When Surtees made two visits to the pits in short order the race looked to have been run, until Amon disappeared with a little over ten laps left to run. The New Zealander was out with an engine failure, caused by his lack of oil pressure, and so Hill was back into second and Hulme now on the podium. Yet, there would be one late twist that threw the likely destination of victory into the air, with Clark's 45 second advantage suddenly nosediving during the final two laps.
The Scot had been running serenely at the front of the field since he had taken the lead, yet, with two laps to go, the Scot could be seen leaning over the side of the cockpit and glaring at the back of the car. A suspension component had failed and partially collapsed on the right hand side, leaving the Scot to crawl around left hand corners to prevent his car from ripping itself apart. Hill was therefore back with a chance at victory, halving the gap to the lead as the field started the final lap, while Amon could simply stand and watch from the sidelines.
Ultimately, Clark would just keep the balance between pace and breakage to win the race by a little over six seconds, with Hill sweeping home to collect a Lotus one-two. Hulme finished a lap down in third ahead of Siffert, while Brabham kept his title hopes alive by finishing in fifth. The final point went to Bonnier in the closing stages, the Swede having had to push incredibly hard to catch and pass the Matra-Ford Cosworth of Jean-Pierre Beltoise during the final laps to deny the Frenchman a maiden points finish.
The full results for the 1967 United States Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||5||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||108||2:03:13.2||2||9|
|2||6||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||108||+6.3s||1||6|
|3||2||Denny Hulme||Brabham-Repco||107||+1 lap||6||4|
|4||15||Jo Siffert||Cooper-Maserati||106||+2 laps||12||3|
|5||1||Jack Brabham||Brabham-Repco||104||+4 laps||5||2|
|6||16||Jo Bonnier||Cooper-Maserati||101||+7 laps||15||1|
|7||22||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||Matra-Ford Cosworth||101||+7 laps||18|
|Ret||9||Chris Amon||Ferrari||95||Oil pressure||4|
|Ret||7||Jackie Stewart||BRM||72||Fuel pump||10|
|Ret||17||Chris Irwin||BRM||41||Connecting rod||14|
|Ret||14||Bruce McLaren||McLaren-BRM||16||Water leak||9|
|Ret||18||Moisés Solana||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||7||Ignition||7|
- Maiden Grand Prix for Jean-Pierre Beltoise.
- Jim Clark secured his twenty-third victory, one short of Juan Manuel Fangio's record.
- Also the Scot's thirtieth podium.
- Lotus earned their twenty-eighth victory.
- Tenth and final fastest lap set by Graham Hill.
If it had not been for constant mechanical failures, US Grand Prix winner Jim Clark would have been right in the fight for the Championship but, the Scot would have to settle for third. Denny Hulme and Jack Brabham were both out of reach for Clark, and it was the former who had a five point advantage going into the season finale in Mexico. Elsewhere, Chris Amon sat in fourth ahead of the final round, still yet to win, while John Surtees completed the top five.
Brabham-Repco saw their insurmountable lead slightly dented after the US Grand Prix, but the Anglo-Aussie effort had already secured the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers title back in Canada. Lotus-Ford Cosworth were set for second, providing that they finished fifth or better in Mexico, with Cooper-Maserati set for third. Ferrari, Honda, BRM and Eagle-Weslake completed the factory efforts, before McLaren-BRM found themselves among the privateers.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: UNITED STATES GP, 1967', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr160.html, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.60 2.61 2.62 2.63 2.64 2.65 2.66 2.67 2.68 2.69 2.70 2.71 2.72 2.73 2.74 2.75 2.76 2.77 2.78 2.79 2.80 2.81 M.J.T., 'UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX: Team Lotus Lucky', motorsportmagazine.com, (MotorSport Magazine, 01/11/1967), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/november-1967/42/united-states-gp, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
- ↑ 'USA 1967: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/etats-unis/engages.aspx, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
- ↑ 'USA 1967: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/etats-unis/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 22/08/2016)
- ↑ 'USA 1967: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/etats-unis/classement.aspx, (Accessed 23/08/2016)
|V T E||United States Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Sebring (1959), Riverside (1960), Watkins Glen (1961–1980), Phoenix (1989–1991), Indianapolis (2000–2007), Austin (2012–present)|
|Formula One Races||1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981–1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992–1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008–2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017|
|Non-F1 races||1908 • 1909 • 1910 • 1911 • 1912 • 1913 • 1914 • 1915 • 1916 • 1917–1957 • 1958|
|See also||United States Grand Prix West • Indianapolis 500 • Detroit Grand Prix • Caesars Palace Grand Prix • Dallas Grand Prix • Questor Grand Prix|
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