South African GP 1965

South African GP, 1965

The 1965 World Championship kicked off on New Year's Day just five weeks after the dramatic 1964 title showdown in Mexico City which had seen John Surtees snatch the title from Jim Clark on the last lap of the race. This meant that the cars were all 1964 models rather than new 1965 machinery. With the 1965 season being the last of the 1.5-liter formula most of the teams decided to continue with their existing cars for one more season before building new chassis for the new 3-liter formula in 1966. The had been little change in the driver lineup with Ferrari running John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini, although the cars were entered in the name of team manager Eugenio Dragoni because Enzo Ferrari had not yet had his license returned following his dispute with the Italian national sporting authority over the homologation of a Ferrari sportscar. At least, however, the Ferraris were back in red having done the final races of 1964 in the blue and white racing colors of the United States (having been entered by Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team).

Team Lotus continuing with Jim Clark and Mike Spence but BRM had lost Ritchie Ginther to Honda and so recruited a rising new star called Jackie Stewart to partner Graham Hill. Brabham continued to run Dan Gurney and Jack Brabham while Cooper replaced 1964 driver Phil Hill with Austrian Jochen Rindt as Bruce McLaren's team mate. Rob Walker continued as a Brabham customer and ran both Jo Bonnier and Jo Siffert. Scuderia Centro Sud continued to use BRM chassis while Lotus continued to supply Reg Parnell Racing (Richard Attwood and Mike Hailwood) and John Willment fielded a pair of Brabhams for Frank Gardner and Paul Hawkins.

Qualifying in East London resulted in Clark setting the fastest time by nearly a second with Surtees and Brabham sharing the front row. On the second row were Spence and Hill with Bandini, Bonnier and McLaren on row three. Gurney was using the new Goodyear tires rather than the normal Dunlops and he was down on the fourth row of the grid alongside Rindt.

The race saw Clark go straight into the lead and he led from flag to flag. For most of the race he was shadowed by his team mate Spence but on lap 43 he spun and came under pressure from the third-placed Surtees. On lap 60 Spence spun again and dropped behind Surtees and Hill.

There was a flutter of excitement at the end of the race when Clark was shown the chequered flag a lap early. He ignored it and did not suffer from an official's error. Surtees was second with Hill third and Spence fourth. Then came McLaren and the final point went to F1 debutante Stewart.

Jim Clark Lotus-Climax 33 85 2h06m46.000s  
John Surtees Ferrari 158 85 2h07m15.000s  
Graham Hill BRM P261 85 2h07m17.800s  
Mike Spence Lotus-Climax 33 85 2h07m40.400s  
Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax T77 84  
Jackie Stewart BRM P261 83  11 
12 Jo Siffert Brabham-BRM BT11 83  14 
Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax BT11 81  
18 Paul Hawkins Brabham-Ford BT10 81  16 
10 20 Peter de Klerk Alfa Special-Alfa Romeo  79  17 
11 15 Tony Maggs Lotus-BRM 25 77  13 
12 16 Frank Gardner Brabham-BRM BT11 75  15 
13 25 Sam Tingle LDS-Alfa Romeo MK 1 73  20 
14 19 David Prophet Brabham-Ford BT10 71  19 
15r Lorenzo Bandini Ferrari 1512 66 Electrics 
nc 14 Bob Anderson Brabham-Climax BT11 50  12 
11 Jo Bonnier Brabham-Climax BT7 42 Gearbox 
10 Jochen Rindt Cooper-Climax T73 39 Electrics 10 
17 John Love Cooper-Climax T55 20 Mechanical 18 
Dan Gurney Brabham-Climax BT11 11 Ignition 
nq 28 Trevor Blokdyk Cooper-Ford T59   21 
nq 23 Neville Lederle Lotus-Climax 21   22 
nq 21 Doug Serrurier LDS-Climax MK 2   23 
nq 27 Brausch Niemann Lotus-Ford 22   24 
nq 22 Ernest Pieterse Lotus-Climax 21   25 
npq 24 Clive Puzey Lotus-Climax 18/21   26 
npq 29 Jackie Pretorious LDS-Alfa Romeo MK 1   27 
npq 32 Dave Charlton Lotus-Ford 20   28