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A Race to the Finish
REIMS, FRANCE, July 5th.
With the French Grand Prix having gone to Rouen, the A.C. de Champagne had to think up something new for their meeting on the Reims-Geux circuit, so they revived their 12-hour race. It had last been run in 1958, when it had been for GT cars, but this year it also included Prototype GT cars as well. This meant that it was going to be half a Le Mans race, with many of the same competitors taking part. The Scuderia Ferrari justifiably gave this race a miss, as with Championship events for Formula One and Prototype GT racing coming on top of each other at this time of the year, they had more than enough to do. However, the factory gave support to numerous private teams and agreed to lend the works drivers to anyone who wanted them, so that Ferrari forces were strong. The English Maranello Concessionaires had a brand new 275LM/P, the rearengined GT coupé with 3.3-litre V12-cylinder engine that runs as a Prototype until such time as it is homologated with the F.I.A., and the drivers were Graham Hill and Bonnier, and their GTO Ferrari was driven by Parkes/Scarfiotti. Chinetti's North American Racing Team had a similar pair of cars, the LM driven by Surtees/Bandini and the GTO by Rodriguez/Vaccarella; they had a second GTO driven by Grossmann/Hudson. The Ecurie Francorchamps from Belgium also had a pair of Ferraris, their LM driven by Langlois/"Beurlys" and their GTO by Bianchi/ Dumay. There should have been a fourth 275LM/P for Maglioli/ Rindt to drive, but the owner crashed it in a hill-climb the week before. Two more GTO models completed the Ferrari forces, these being Piper, with his own lowered green car, with Maggs as co-driver, and Amon and Stewart with Norinder's blue and yellow car.