The 1967 Canadian Grand Prix, officially known as the VII Player's Grand Prix of Canada, was the eighth round of the 1967 FIA Formula One World Championship, held at Mosport Park on the 27th of August, 1967. The race, which would be the first Canadian Grand Prix to be staged as part of the World Championship, would be remembered for a qualifying record and a decisive blow in the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers.
Qualifying/practice had seen a dominant display from Team Lotus, where Jim Clark and Graham Hill put their horsepower advantage to good use. It was also a record pole for Clark, as the Scot claimed his thirtieth career pole start to go ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio on the all time list.
The race would start in the rain, with Clark launching into the lead while Denny Hulme slotted into second ahead of Hill. A fairly orderly first few laps then saw both Clark and Hill lose out, Hulme taking the lead while Jack Brabham claimed third as the Brabham-Repcos looked the stronger package.
Bruce McLaren then became the source of entertainment, spinning down from fifth in his new McLaren M5A before battling back to take second away from Clark on lap 22. Yet, when the circuit began to dry, the New Zealander's pace began to fade so the Scot and the Australian went ahead.
The circuit was almost dry when Clark retook the lead on lap 58, but the clouds once again burst on the circuit as he did so. The green-yellow Lotus would continue to lead for ten laps until an ignition failure put him out of the race completely.
As Clark's race came to an end, Brabham swept past teammate Hulme for what then became the lead, with the two Antipodeans orbiting to the end to take a one-two, and earn the Anglo-Aussie effort a second Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers triumph. Gurney survived well to claim third, taking Hill in the closing stages, while Mike Spence and Chris Amon beat McLaren to the final points.
1967 had been a momentus year for Canada, celebrating the Centennial year of the Canadian Confederation, with the FIA joining in the celebrations by sanctioning a World Championship Grand Prix in the home of the Mapel Leaf. The Canadian Racing Drivers' Association joined up with the Imperial Tobacco Company to arrange the one-off race, with Mosport Park near Toronto chosen as host. Because of the scheduling of the round, between two European races in Germany and Italy, the organisers agreed to pay for the transport costs.
Eighteen drivers were invited to take part, headlined by the ongoing fight between the rugged, reliable Brabham-Repcos and the fast but fragile Lotus-Ford Cosworths. For the Anglo-Australians, there would be no changes as Jack Brabham and Championship leader Denny Hulme had their usual pair of BT24s shipped over. Team Lotus, meanwhile, had all three of their cars from Europe (with reinforced suspension linkages), as Jim Clark and Graham Hill were joined by local racer Eppie Wietzes who had local knowledge of the circuit.
For Cooper-Maserati the Canadian Grand Prix was not well timed, as their regular second driver Pedro Rodríguez remained in hospital after a huge Formula 2 crash the week before. Jochen Rindt would therefore be partnered by Richard Attwood in a pair of older cars, Rindt's new T86 being left in England to be prepared for Monza. Adding to the Cooper contingent would be familiar privateers Jo Siffert (Rob Walker Racing Team) and Jo Bonnier (Joakim Bonnier Racing Team) with their Cooper-Maseratis, while American Tom Jones were entered with a modified F2 Cooper-Climax.
BRM arrived with three H16 cars, with lead driver Jackie Stewart getting the new P115, while Mike Spence was handed the development P83. The third car was rented to Reg Parnell Racing for Chris Irwin to race as a semi-works effort, although the two teams would be using different tyres for the weekend. Adding to the BRM contingent was Bruce McLaren's new car, the McLaren M5A, which featured a BRM designed V12 producing 360 bhp.
The rest of the runners saw Ferrari arrive with only one car once again, handed to Chris Amon, while Dan Gurney had only one Eagle-Weslake entered for himself to drive. With Honda absent the rest of the runners would be privateers, led by David Hobbs in a Tasman Championship BRM entered by Bernard White Racing. American Mike Fisher brought a Lotus 33 with a BRM engine, originally used by Hill in the Monaco, while Canadian racer Al Pease managed to obtain an older Eagle-Climax to do battle with, sponsored by Castrol Oils.
Victory in Germany for Hulme, his second of the 1967 season, meant he was more than a win ahead of his rivals in the World Championship, leaving Germany with a twelve point lead. His closest challenger was now Brabham, who had jumped ahead of Clark, meaning it was a Brabham-Repco one-two as the second half of the season kicked off. Amon was level with Clark on points, but behind without a win, while Rodríguez stubbornly held onto a top five spot in fifth.
Speaking of Brabham-Repco, the work of Hulme and Brabham meant that the team had a commanding lead in the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers, with the Anglo-Antipodean effort holding double the points of their nearest challengers. They proved to be Cooper-Maserati, who seemed to be set for a battle for second with Lotus-Ford Cosworth, who would claim to have the best car in the Championship. Ferrari remained in fourth, while BRM completed the top five.
The full entry list for the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix is outlined below:
Practice/qualifying were to be held over Friday and Saturday, with two three hour sessions on each afternoon to sort out the starting order. This, however, would not be the only permitted running, with unofficial sessions staged on Thursday afternoon and Friday and Saturday mornings, there would be plenty of time for teams to get their cars sorted. Target times were up in the air for the drivers as Grand Prix cars had never run at Mosport Park, although it was thought that anyone who could beat Dan Gurney's CanAm time of 1:23.1 would be doing well.
The chaotic morning session caused a few headaches for several teams, particularly at Team Lotus when Jim Clark spun and damaged the third car at the end of the session. He and teammate Graham Hill would still get out during Friday afternoon, but the wrecked car meant that Eppie Wietzes would not get any official running in before Saturday. Regardless, Clark proved to be the class of the field when he switched to Goodyear tyres and recorded a 1:22.9, while Hill ran consistently to record a 1:25.0.
The factory BRM trio were not having an enjoyable session, Jackie Stewart enduring rather severe handling problems, while Mike Spence was outpaced by the old car in the hands of Chris Irwin. Elsewhere, Bruce McLaren was having trouble with the new McLaren M5A after mixture issues, before stunning the field by getting into the 1:24.0s, while Chris Amon covered a lot of mileage while trying out suspension settings. Cooper-Maserati were rather absent, focusing on getting Jochen Rindt on the track at all, while Brabham-Repco proved to be the only real threat to Clark when Denny Hulme got within a second of the Scot.
Hulme's pace continued to climb during the Saturday morning session, where an unknown American driver named Tom Jones arrived to practice in a rear-engined car for only the second time. When the official session got going, it was clear that Hulme was out to beat Clark, recording a time just three tenths slower than the Scot's best early on. Unfortunately, the Team Lotus cars were sent out soon after, and with sweet sounding engines, both Clark and Hill improved to get well into the 1:22.0s to take the top two slots on the grid.
For the rest, Saturday proved largely the same as Friday, although almost everyone improved their times or at least had their cars running better. Rindt, for example, managed to get out and get into the top ten early on, the Cooper-Maserati lead driver having to learn the circuit on the fly, while Gurney pushed his Eagle-Weslake into the top five. Some, however, would never get the best out of their cars, as Brabham suffered two engine problems on two separate engines, while Stewart battled with misfires and spluttering although he was happy that he could at least control the car through the corners.
The full qualifying results for the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||3||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:22.9||1:22.4||—|
|2||4||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||1:25.0||1:22.7||+0.3s|
|8||71||Jochen Rindt||Cooper-Maserati||No Time||1:24.9||+2.5s|
|17||5||Eppie Wietzes||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||No Time||1:30.8||+8.4s|
|DNQ*||41||Tom Jones||Cooper-Climax||No Time||1:51.9||+29.5s|
- * Siffert was not able to start, but Jones was not allowed to take the start.
Practice/qualifying had been held in dry and warm conditions, so there were a few upturned smiles when Sunday dawned with low clouds and drizzle. There was only one non-starter, Jo Siffert having to sit the race out despite an all nighter from Rob Walker Racing Team to try and repair the failed starter ring. Otherwise, the seventeen other Grand Prix cars were assembled on the grid after a warm up lap, with the flag falling to start a very damp race.
After a short delay the field slithered into action on an incredibly slippery surface, with the front row producing enough spray to cause the rest of the field to disappear. The field eventually got enough traction to actually pull away, with Jim Clark slithering into the lead of the race from pole, with Denny Hulme sliding just as much to get ahead of Graham Hill. Yet, only two cars would suffer problems in the treacherous conditions, Chris Amon having gone for a spin without any help, while Al Pease was left on the grid as he required a new battery.
The rain fell heavier on the second lap, causing a serious divide in the ability of the tyres being used, for the Goodyear contingent had an "intermediate" compound as opposed to the Firestone "dries". The result was that Clark, using the Firestones, was sliding across the tarmac with a lot of effort, while Hulme, on Goodyears challenged for the lead but was being hampered by the spray. Behind remained a rather damp Hill in a relatively lonely third, while Jack Brabham moved into fourth by taking Jackie Stewart, a move that also opened the door for Bruce McLaren.
Indeed, it was McLaren who seemed to actually be enjoying the treacherous conditions, with the New Zealander going right round the outside of Brabham through Quebec Corner. He was really pushing the limits, a fact shown as the McLaren M5A suddenly snapped sideways through Moss Corner, the following right hander, and forced McLaren onto a sand trap. Unfortunately for the New Zealander, the race was still young so before he managed to scramble back onto the circuit, everyone bar Pease had gone through.
McLaren's response would take a few laps to build up, allowing the observers to focus on the front of the field. There, Clark finally lost the lead as Hulme used his superior grip to pull out of the spray at the exit of Moss to take the lead on lap four. Brabham, now on his own, quickly caught onto the back of Hill, and after a couple of laps of stalking, managed to squeeze past the Lotus for third.
Back with the recovering New Zealander, and McLaren was really making waves, taking Jo Bonnier and David Hobbs with ease. Dan Gurney was his next victim a lap later, before a two lap wait for McLaren to pounce on Chris Irwin, just as Amon began to move through the Canadian and American racers at the back of the field. Back with his countryman and McLaren moved past Stewart and Mike Spence on the same lap to leave him on the hunt for Hill in the spray ahead, with the crowd anticipating his upcoming attack.
Three laps later and Hill had fallen to the dancing McLaren, with the New Zealander then pushing on to catch Brabham, who would fall for a second time two laps later. As McLaren pushed on from Hill, the Englishman's pace fell apart, allowing the BRM trio of Stewart, Spence and Irwin, running nose-to-tail to catch with relative ease. The Scot did not take too long to force his way past his former teammate, just as Irwin fell to an increasingly inspired Gurney, who was finally pushing his Eagle-Weslake.
Just as the rain stopped McLaren cruised past Clark, setting off after Hulme who was working hard to break clear. Stewart was also pushing on, taking heart from his move on Hill to catch and pass Brabham before dragging the Australian right onto the back of fellow Scot Clark. Elsewhere, Irwin spun and filled his throttle slides with sand, putting him out of the race, while Pease spun and stalled, with the engine needing to dry out for a very long time before the Canadian could get the car back into the action.
The circuit was drying really quickly once the rain stopped, and by lap 25 the braver drivers were able to use full throttle almost as though it was completely dry. Clark, naturally, adapted to the improving conditions quicker than anyone to draw in McLaren, taking Brabham and Stewart with him. Two laps later and a second covered the second placed quartet, as McLaren's pace fell off the cliff and allowed Hulme to pull almost half a minute clear.
Clark was the first to clear the McLaren chicane and so was soon seen blasting off to hunt down Hulme, making almost a second a lap on the New Zealander, although slides hampered his progress. Hulme, for his part, looked as if he simply could not respond in the drying conditions, shown when Gurney, who had been lapped just before the rain stopped, came charging past to unlap himself. The New Zealander decided to use the New Yorker as a pace setter for a time, until the pits finally got his attention with signals that Clark was gaining.
The pace improved for Hulme but it was far too late, with Clark carrying the momentum and finding more time each lap then Hulme could once he cleared Gurney. On lap 58 the inevitable happened, as Clark went sailing through past the pits to take the lead, just as the rain began to fall once again, this time on an almost dry circuit. This would have been excellent news for McLaren was suffering from misfires as his battery discharged, the result of a failed alternator, meaning Brabham had an easy pass although he was under no further threat as Stewart's pace had dropped off as soon as Clark had gone past the New Zealander.
This new batch of rain was harder than it had been earlier, leading to further mistakes, the youngster Stewart repeating Irwin's spin from earlier on to get sand everywhere a mechanic could think of. Two cleans and a new throttle spring were not enough to sort out the issue, and on his third visit the Scot climbed out into the pouring rain. Hobbs, meanwhile, took to the pits for a fresh set of goggles, although these visits to the pits were only a footnote as the picture at the front of the field evolved.
Clark was dancing around in the lightweight Lotus which seemed to be coping better without a full load of fuel, while Brabham went charging past Hulme prompting the New Zealander to signal to his crew for new goggles. Brabham's charge saw him gain on Clark when accelerating but lose out in the corners, meaning the gap was only changing slightly. Then, as Hulme came in for a fresh set of lenses, the engine in the Scot's car spluttered and died at the Moss Corner as water got into the ignition.
Lotus, naturally, did not know that Clark's car was out until the third car in the hands of Wietzes ground to halt with an identical problem right outside their pit stall. His car was pushed into the pits, the ignition dried out and then sent back out into the rain, where the engine immediately died as water got back in. A push saw him disqualified on the spot as the team tried to get him going again, while Clark reappeared after a crawl that took ten laps, with the Scot's car dried out and sent back out, only for water to get back in and prompt Lotus to call time on his race.
With Brabham and Hulme a lap ahead of the rest the race was run, allowing the Brabham team to experiment with the New Zealander's fuel mixtures to see if they could enhance the power in cool running. Eventually, it was the "old man" of F1 who calmly crossed the line to earn a second win of the season, with Hulme coming across the line a minute later to record a Brabham-Repco one-two. Gurney came in third with a huge gap eitherside, Weslake having decided to take the opportunity to fine tune his fuel mixtures, while Hill, Spence and Amon completed the points. McLaren had to stop for a fresh battery so ended up seventh in a race he could have won, while Bonnier, Hobbs, Richard Attwood, Mike Fisher and Pease completed the finishers, although the latter would not be classified as he was over half a race back in terms of distance covered.
The full results for the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||10||Dan Gurney||Eagle-Weslake||89||+1 lap||5||4|
|4||4||Graham Hill||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||88||+2 laps||2||3|
|5||16||Mike Spence||BRM||87||+3 laps||10||2|
|6||20||Chris Amon||Ferrari||87||+3 laps||4||1|
|7||19||Bruce McLaren||McLaren-BRM||86||+4 laps||6|
|8||9||Jo Bonnier||Cooper-Maserati||85||+5 laps||15|
|9||12||David Hobbs||BRM||85||+5 laps||12|
|10||8||Richard Attwood||Cooper-Maserati||84||+6 laps||14|
|11||6||Mike Fisher||Lotus-BRM||81||+9 laps||18|
|Ret||3||Jim Clark||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||69||Ignition||1|
|Ret||5||Eppie Wietzes||Lotus-Ford Cosworth||69||Ignition||17|
|NC*||11||Al Pease||Eagle-Climax||47||+43 laps||16|
- * Pease could not be classified as he had not completed 90% of the race distance.
- First World Championship edition of the Canadian Grand Prix.
- Fiftieth Grand Prix entry for Brabham.
- Thirtieth career pole position for Jim Clark, leaving him at the top of the all time list.
- Thirteenth career win for Jack Brabham.
- Tenth win for a Brabham chassis.
- Engine partner Repco's eighth and final victory.
- Tenth podium for Denny Hulme.
- Nineteenth and final podium visit for Dan Gurney.
- Eagle claimed their second and final podium spot.
- Also Weslake's last of two visits to the podium.
- Lotus claimed a thirtieth fastest lap.
- Brabham-Repco were declared as Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers Champions.
Victory for Jack Brabham propelled him into a secure second the World Championship, nine points off of teammate Denny Hulme for the lead. Chris Amon moved into third with another points finish, fourteen points behind the Australian, while Jim Clark dropped to fourth after another retirement. Pedro Rodríguez maintained his position in the top five, despite spending the weekend in hospital, with Dan Gurney a point behind.
The fourth victory of the season by a Brabham-Repco meant that they had settled the Intercontinental Cup for Manufacturers in their favour. Their tally of 51 put them 29 points clear of second placed Lotus-Climax, with only 27 points left in the season to fight for, before dropped scores were applied. Cooper-Maserati dropped back to third, with a point either side to Team Lotus, and to Ferrari in fourth.
Images and Videos:
- 'GRAND PRIX RESULTS: CANADIAN GP, 1967', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2016), http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr158.html, (Accessed 21/08/2016)
- M.J.T., 'Weather affects first Canadian Grand Prix: Brabham again supreme', motorsportmagazine.com, (MotorSport Magazine, 01/10/1967), http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/october-1967/71/weather-affects-first-canadian-grand-prix, (Accessed 21/08/2016)
- 'Canada 1967: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/canada/engages.aspx, (Accessed 16/08/2016)
- 'Canada 1967: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/canada/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 15/08/2016)
- 'Canada 1967: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), http://www.statsf1.com/en/1967/canada/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/08/2016)
|V T E||Canadian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Mosport Park (1967, 1969, 1971–1974, 1976–1977), Mont-Tremblant (1968, 1970), Montreal (1978–1986, 1988–2008, 2010–present)|
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