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Bob Bondurant - Fia World Championship 50Th Anniversary, July 4, 1965


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Here is a copy of the text from an email I got from Bondurant today. Unfortunately I can't get the link to open.


Bob Bondurant has a compelling reason to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. The American Independence Day will be the 50th anniversary of a memorable victory in the 12 Hours of Reims, France. The win clinched the 1965 FIA World Manufacturers' Championship for Bondurant and Shelby American, the first U.S. manufacturer to win an FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) title. Shelby's Ford-powered cars won the highest class of international Grand Touring racing.

After a convincing GT win in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, Bondurant and Shelby were ready for a championship in 1965. Bondurant had already earned five wins on the demanding tracks of Sebring (USA), Monza (Italy), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Nürburgring (Germany), and Rossfeld (Germany) when he arrived in France for the July 4th race. He drove a powerful finishing stint in a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe to take his sixth win of the season, boosting Shelby and Ford to the championship over the previously dominant Ferrari effort.

Bondurant later added a triumph at Enna (Italy), for seven wins in 10 races in 1965. He started from the pole position for almost every race, drove the final stint to each victory and set a lap record at the Nürburgring circuit that held for 15 years. A season to be savored, indeed.

"Coming around on that last lap at Reims, it was the Fourth of July and we got the checkered flag first, so we won. We beat Ferrari! It was fantastic," he recalled. "Reims is the capital of Champagne, so we celebrated with Champagne - heartily!"

Shelby American founder Carroll Shelby later noted, "The greatest accomplishment of my life was winning the World Manufacturers' Championship in 1965."

Bondurant went on to establish the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, the largest purpose-built driving school in the world. "My life has been lived in two halves," he said. "The first was becoming a world champion driver. The second was teaching the world to become champions."

To mark the anniversary, the Bondurant School released a YouTube video highlighting all the drama and intrigue of the 1965 season: 1965 FIA World Manufacturers' Championship.


Here is a link to the video:




"Underdogs can win"
"Nothing extraordinary in this world comes without one hell of a fight"



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Here is a copy of the text from an email I got from Bondurant today. Unfortunately I can't get the link to open.

 

 

Bob Bondurant has a compelling reason to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. The American Independence Day will be the 50th anniversary of a memorable victory in the 12 Hours of Reims, France. The win clinched the 1965 FIA World Manufacturers' Championship for Bondurant and Shelby American, the first U.S. manufacturer to win an FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) title. Shelby's Ford-powered cars won the highest class of international Grand Touring racing.

 

After a convincing GT win in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, Bondurant and Shelby were ready for a championship in 1965. Bondurant had already earned five wins on the demanding tracks of Sebring (USA), Monza (Italy), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Nürburgring (Germany), and Rossfeld (Germany) when he arrived in France for the July 4th race. He drove a powerful finishing stint in a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe to take his sixth win of the season, boosting Shelby and Ford to the championship over the previously dominant Ferrari effort.

 

Bondurant later added a triumph at Enna (Italy), for seven wins in 10 races in 1965. He started from the pole position for almost every race, drove the final stint to each victory and set a lap record at the Nürburgring circuit that held for 15 years. A season to be savored, indeed.

 

"Coming around on that last lap at Reims, it was the Fourth of July and we got the checkered flag first, so we won. We beat Ferrari! It was fantastic," he recalled. "Reims is the capital of Champagne, so we celebrated with Champagne - heartily!"

 

Shelby American founder Carroll Shelby later noted, "The greatest accomplishment of my life was winning the World Manufacturers' Championship in 1965."

 

Bondurant went on to establish the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, the largest purpose-built driving school in the world. "My life has been lived in two halves," he said. "The first was becoming a world champion driver. The second was teaching the world to become champions."

 

To mark the anniversary, the Bondurant School released a YouTube video highlighting all the drama and intrigue of the 1965 season: 1965 FIA World Manufacturers' Championship.

 

 

Here is a link to the video:

 

 

 

"Underdogs can win"

"Nothing extraordinary in this world comes without one hell of a fight"

 

 

 

 

Excellent , Thanks for sharing this. Oh & in !966 they finished 1,2 & 3

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Excellent , Thanks for sharing this. Oh & in !966 they finished 1,2 & 3

Yes, but with 3xGT40's, and that is the whole reason behind the new Ford GT. That will be the car that will challenge for a 50th anniversary win of 1-2-3. The drivers in 2016 are a fairly broad group, but I suspect they will try for a 50th anniversary repeat of the all american win in 2017.

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I was at a special event they had in Texas back in 2001 for the Shelby Series 1 and got to ride in a modified Series 1 with Bondurant driving and 3 laps around the road course at TMS and I was like wow and he was in his 60's then and still drove like a World Champion.

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Bob is great, he is usually a judge at our Santa Fe Concorso de 'Elegance event. I gave his wife a ride in my '67 Corvette a few years ago on the Mountain Tour for entrants, she and Bob loved the car, but it didn't win. I am hoping he will be here this year, as I have used his 1964 #12 FIA Cobra as the model for my 50th Anniversary model CSX7972.

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