Despite an impressive roster of endurance racing drivers, Britain had little to offer in the way of endurance races in the mid-1960s because no British circuit was “long enough to prevent what might be called instant chaos”.
However, “with the terrific enthusiasm being shown for touring car events, where ‘our’ cars are being raced, clutter does not matter so much,” and thus Snetterton hosted the seventh round of the 1965 European Touring Car Championship.
The primary contenders for overall victory were Alan Mann Racing’s Ford Lotus Cortinas, driven by Peter Proctor and Sir John Whitmore; the BMW 1800ti duo of Hubert Hahne and Dieter Glemser; three Jolly Club Alfa Romeo GTAs; and Squadra Corse’s noisy Lancia Flavia Zagatos.
Alfa’s Roberto Bussinello led at first, followed closely by Whitmore. A puncture looked to have killed offthe Brit’s push, but the Italian took too long in the pits; and then, as a slipping clutch look set to ensure Whitmore’s failure, Bussinello was black-flagged for broken tail-lights.
So after 311 miles in four hours, Whitmore took victory, 54.6sec clear of Bussinello, setting him up to become 1965 ETCC champion.