“We had nowhere near the facilities of Chaparral,” he says. “But the Lola was a good all-round car. It could be a little fragile but usually you could drive it forcefully. It had a good aero balance and it was not hard to adapt it to different circuits.”
It helped, too, that he was at the peak of his ability. Surtees probably would have won that year’s F1 world championship had he not tired of Ferrari politics; instead he finished it as its fastest man aboard a Cooper-Maserati.
He won Can-Am’s opener after a spirited back-and-forth battle with McLaren, and wins at Riverside, scene of a thrilling dice versus Hall, and at dusty Stardust Raceway in Vegas completed his successful late bid for the title.
“I look back on that with great satisfaction,” he says. “It was consolation for what happened at Ferrari.”
He couldn’t know that he would score just one more Can-Am win.
Nor could Lola know that it would win just thrice more.