4-5 February: Three Ferraris – two 330 P4s and a 412 P – take the first three places in the 24 Hours of Daytona Ferrari’s refusal to agree to sell the company to Ford in 1963 gave rise to an intense sporting rivalry, with endurance races serving as the backdrop for the many duels between these two giants.
In the 1963, ’64 and ’65 editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ferrari dominated the podium. However, in 1966, it was the turn of the more powerful Fords. The two headed to Daytona in early 1967 for the first round of the International Constructors’ Championship (as the World Sport Championship was renamed for two years), with two separate classifications for GTs and prototypes. In order to close the gap on Ford, Ferrari spent the winter of 1966 working hard in Maranello. The new 330 P4 was designed by Mauro Forghieri, with a number of P3 models being updated too, becoming 330 P3/ P4s. The abbreviation 412 P identified the customer version of the latter vehicle. Intended for use by private teams, it lacked a number of strategic components such as the injection system, which was replaced by normal carburettors. The 330 P4 boasted sophisticated aerodynamics, developed in the wind tunnels at Pininfarina and at the Polytechnic in Stuttgart, Germany, the city where both Mercedes and Porsche are based. The P4 had a lower Cd than its predecessors, with greater downforce and a very low nose section. The 4-litre, 450 hp V12 engine featured double overhead camshafts and 3 valves per cylinder. The gearbox, made by Ferrari, was also new, along with the car’s suspension system. In addition, in order to prepare for the competition, and despite the high cost of the entire trip, Scuderia Ferrari decide to travel to Daytona in December 1966, for a test day on the track. The results were very promising. Enzo Ferrari nominated journalist Franco Lini as his sporting director – as well as being competent and agreeable, Lini was also an expert in international regulations. During the race, everything went well. Ferrari dominated, and then Lini has a stroke of genius: he asked the Ferrari drivers, who were in the first three places in the race, to stage a side-by-side parade finish along the banking. The finish was immortalised by the American press agencies, and made its way around the world, becoming one of the most famous photos ever in automotive history. The triumphant finish graced the front pages of every major newspaper in the world, and marked Ferrari’s revenge over its rivals. Curiously, Chris Amon was in the winning team both at Le Mans in 1966 with Ford and at Daytona in ’67 with Ferrari, but he never succeeded in taking home an F1 victory.
In summary, the end result saw the 330 P3/P4 (P3 chassis and P4 engine) spider driven by Bandini/Amon come first, followed by the 330 P4 coupé driven by Parkes-Scarfiotti and the 412 P from Luigi Chinetti’s NART team in third, driven by Rodriguez-Guichet. Bandini-Amon then went on to repeat their success in the 1000 km at Monza, and at the end of the season, Ferrari won the Constructors’ Championship title.