It happened today

Final victory by Italian Ferrari driver in Italian GP

4 Sep 1966

On 4th September 1966, Ludovico Scarfiotti won the Italian Grand Prix. It was the third and final victory to date for an Italian driver in his home race at the wheel of a Ferrari, after the two wins secured by Alberto Ascari in 1951 and 1952.

The 312 F1-1966 was a competitive car but various problems prevented the Scuderia drivers from fighting for the world title, including the fact that John Surtees had been dismissed by Enzo Ferrari on the eve of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In fact, Surtees, now at Cooper-Maserati, still had a theoretical chance of taking the world championship crown for a second time, but he would have to win in Monza and the two races across the Atlantic in the USA and Mexico, to get ahead of Jack Brabham. Ferrari prepared everything down to the last detail – three factory cars for Parkes, Scarfiotti and Bandini – and the great efforts paid off at the home race. Parkes took pole position in qualifying, ahead of Scarfiotti, with Bandini fifth. In the race, Parkes took off in the lead, but it was Bandini who crossed the line first after the opening lap: unfortunately for him, a fuel pump problem led to a loss of fuel, which affected his race that in any case ended prematurely when the engine broke. After a bit of a scrap in the first dozen laps, Scarfiotti took the lead on lap 13, overtaking Parkes, who then effectively protected his back all the way to the chequered flag. The Englishman got the better of Hulme in the Brabham by just three tenths in the battle for second, while Brabham himself was able to already celebrate taking the title, given that Surtees had to retire. The one-two finish for the drivers who were usually team-mates in endurance racing, occurred at what was probably the height of their friendship, undermined next year at the Le Mans 24 Hours when an accident practically put an end to Parkes’ career at a high level, before it was wiped out in the fatal accident that befell Scarfiotti, while competing in a hill climb in Rossfield, Germany, at the wheel of a Porsche.