Late Night Prep at ’65 Sebring

BARCboys‘ photo archives never fail to turn up a unique angle on the races they travelled to. Dave Nicholas’ shots from the 1965 Sebring Endurance Race are no exception. The race was a wet one and the sparse accommodations for spectators at the race makes me wonder if a greater percentage of competitors or spectators made it to the end of the race. Thankfully, Dave stuck it out to document the race.

What interests me just as much, though, are these images that Dave managed to capture of the Mecom team making some final preparations on Friday night—and look like they could well have been included in our factories at work series. I always enjoy seeing the pit facilities from years past and while Sebring may be an extreme example owing to its reputation as a “primitive racetrack”, the team garages at LeMans or Monaco were little better.

Seeing this Hansgen/Donohue Ferrari 250LM and Cannon/Saunders Lola T70 wedged in here between the tractor and the steel tubing, though, really illustrates the shocking range of difference in amenities between contemporary racing facilities and those of 40 or 50 years ago. This is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about when I talk about the kinship that vintage racing teams had with Hot Rod garages. They were damn near the same thing.

Walt Hansgen and Mark Donohue’s Ferrari 250 LM finished 11th overall (4th in class). John Cannon and Jack Saunders qualified in 6th, and were fast runners in the opening laps of the race, but dropped out with a failed oil cooler after 55 laps.

More of Dave Nicholas’ photos on BARC Boys’ 1965 Sebring Gallery. Sports Car Digest did a lovely profile of the race that’s well worth a read.

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