An era of front-engined roadsters in Indy 500 actually ended in 1964, when A.J. Foyt took the last victory for old classic monsters. Even in 1964 the majority of the field (21 of 33 starters) were new rear-engined cars. In 1965 they earn 27 out of 33 starting spots, and in 1966 only one front-engined roadster were present in the starting grid. The rear-engined revolution was inspirited by European racing car constructors, who introduced this type of the racing car design in Formula 1 in 1959. In mid-60s European car manufacturers and drivers were frequent entrants in Indianapolis. In the 1966 edition of Indy 500 two F1 World Champions (Jim Clark and Graham Hill), one future champion (Jackie Stewart) and ten European cars (Lola, Lotus, Brabham, and BRP) raced at the Brickyard.
The Lotus 38 was designed by Colin Chapman and Len Terry. It was an evolution of the previous Lotus 29 and Lotus 34 Indy designs, but this time with a full monocoque tub chassis; it was powered by the same four-cam Ford V8 fuel injected engine as used in the 34, giving out around 500 bhp. In all of them, the engine was mid-mounted, improving the weight distribution and giving it good handling. The 38 was significantly larger than Formula One cars of the time, but was dwarfed by the massive American roadsters. In the 1965 Indianapolis 500 A. J. Foyt started on the pole, but Jim Clark led the first lap. Early contender A. J. Foyt dropped out after 115 laps with a broken gearbox. The Scotsman led three times for a total of 190 laps. Clark became the first non-American winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 1916.
|1965||USAC National Championship||Indianapolis 500|
|Jim Clark||82||Team Lotus (Overseas) Ltd.|
|Lotus 38||Ford||Lotus / Ford|