We love this iconic finishing photo of Louis Chiron offering the checkered flag to Jackie Stewart in his BRM P261. The occasion was the Monaco Grand Prix on May 22, 1966. Chiron was one of Monte Carlo’s most famous motor racing figures, having won this race in 1931 with a Bugatti Type 51 and competed at the Grand Prix level many times. Jackie Stewart gave credence to the old saying that to finish first you first must finish. as there were only four of the 16 starters which were classified as runners when Stewart got the flag from Chiron at the end of the race.
Although Stewart got to stand with the Rainiers on the victory podium, his route to the end was not without challenges. In practice Stewart was only able to come in third quickest, just a tenth faster than his teammate Graham Hill with both Jim Clark (Lotus 33) and John Surtees (Ferrari 312) marginally quicker. This would be the first race of the new Formula 1 three liter engine regulations which found most entrants scrambling for a new power unit or using somewhat expanded displacement versions of a 1965 1.5 liter motor. The resulting mismatched and relatively untested engines and gearboxes probably contributed to the retirements.
The main challenge to Stewart came from Lorenzo Bandini in the second albeit 2.4 liter Ferrari who set fastest lap in his pursuit until he had to back off to cool his brakes. Bandini would capture second followed by Graham Hill. The only other finisher was American Bob Bondurant in a private BRM.
Photos by Robert Daley ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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