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The Mecom Racing Team Ferrari 250 GTO winning at the 1963 12 Hours of Sebring

1963: Ferrari dominates GT racing

The 1963 GT competition season saw Scuderia Ferrari overlooking its rivals

The winning streak of Scuderia Ferrari in closed-wheel racing continued in 1963, when the world calendar consisted of no fewer than 22 dates, not all of which were valid for all car categories. Ferrari, and the Scuderia team in particular, dominated the season, thrashing Jaguar and Shelby.

Scuderia Ferrari triumphed in three key events: the 12 Hours of Sebring, which saw John Surtees assert his dominance in a 250 P, along with Italian racer Ludovico Scarfiotti, the 1000 km race at the Nürburgring, where the English driver raced side by side with Belgian Willy Mairesse, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, during which Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Scarfiotti put themselves behind five other Ferraris - a race destined to enter the record books of the Maranello-based manufacturer.

Lorenzo Bandini crosses the line with a Ferrari 250 TRI/61, at the 1963 Trophée d'Auvergne, winning the race  <em>Photo: M.L. Rosenthal</em>
Lorenzo Bandini crosses the line with a Ferrari 250 TRI/61, at the 1963 Trophée d'Auvergne, winning the race Photo: M.L. Rosenthal

These successes earned Ferrari 71 of the 126 points that would eventually bring home the title for the Prancing Horse brand. The other points were won in shorter races, where Ferrari cars would often dominate in the hands of private teams and drivers. This was the case for the 3 Hours of Daytona, where Mexican driver Pedro Rodriguez roared to victory behind the wheel of the NART team's 250 GTO, ahead of the American Roger Penske, who was at that point a manufacturer himself, driving the same model under John Mecom's team. Similar success was enjoyed at the 500 km of Spa-Francorchamps, in which five Ferraris took the top five positions, with first place going to the Ecurie Francorchamps team's 250 GTO, in the capable hands of Willy Mairesse.

Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini on the podium of the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans     <em>Photo: Getty Images</em>
Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini on the podium of the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans Photo: Getty Images

Elsewhere, the Coppa della Consuma was won by Edoardo Lualdi with the Dino 196 SP, while the Trophée d’Auvergne saw Bandini win in the 250 Testa Rossa owned by Carlo Maria Abate. The Tourist Trophy at Goodwood was also dominated by Ferrari, with the 250 GTOs raced by Graham Hill and Mike Parkes for the Maranello Concessionaires team taking the one-two, while at the Tour de France, the same model raced by Jean Guichet and Jean Behra was also victorious. A season full of triumphs!

 

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