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Although they obviously could not win, the Ford people got their cars going again. Replacing the transmissions took from 90 minutes to 22 minutes (practice makes perfect), but it was obvious that nobody was going to catch the Ferraris unless they broke down as well. All the Mark IIs continued until other trouble forced five of them behind the pit wall and out of the race for good. At the end only the McLaren-Bianchi car was on the track.
At the other end of the pits from Ford, Lini's eyes were smiling as the red P4s toured easily around the course. At the start they were turning two minutes flat, with an occasional 1:59 or 1:58 thrown in just to show they could go that fast. But after midnight both the Amon-Bandini and Parkes-Scarfiotti cars were going 10 seconds a lap slower.
Lini said, "Everything is fine. All we do on our pit stops is add gas and water and give the drivers Coca-Cola to drink."
That wasn't quite true. Shortly after dusk the Amon-Bandini car had an abnormally long pit stop, because air had gotten into the brake line, necessitating a trackside bleeding, and around 3 a.m. the Parkes-Scarfiotti car was in the pits for six minutes, because the brake pads had worn too much and had nearly caused the disc brakes to lock. But, by and large, that was all.
In the garage behind the Ferrari pits, which served as the Ferrari "ready room," Pedro Rodriguez' father and Scarfiotti's vivacious wife, Ida, chatted. Refusing sleep while her husband was on the track, she brewed espresso coffee for Ludovico. "With Italian coffee," she explained, "you no sleep."
Bandini and the others weren't quite so hardy. They preferred a few winks between tours behind a door on which a Sign, QUIET PLEASE, FERRARI TEAM SLEEPING, was hung. The daylight hours went more smoothly for Ferrari than the night hours. The Rodriguez-Guichet car experienced a series of minor difficulties, which put it out of first-place contention, but it was never seriously challenged for third.
With less than 10 minutes left the Ferraris converged three abreast, Nos. 23, 24 and 26 in formation, reminiscent of the Ford finish at Le Mans last June, with tough little Porsches coming along fourth and fifth. As the Ferrari crewmen and Lini embraced in the pits, the three took the checkered flag. Anion and Bandini completed 666 laps (2,537.46 miles) at an average speed of 105.703 mph, three laps ahead of No. 24 and 29 laps ahead of No. 26. Amon was at the wheel at the end for his second straight triumph in a 24-hour race.
Immediately Lini went to a telephone and called Maranello. After a few minutes he came away from the phone. "Mr. Ferrari," he said, "is very pleased."
Ferrari, no man to reveal his hand prematurely, did not disclose whether he would send the first team back to resume the Ford-Ferrari duel at Sebring on April 1. The decision from Maranello would not come for several weeks. But Ford certainly would be there. Said Holman sternly, "We don't go to races expecting to lose."