Mar. 27, 1965
By 9:45am it was uncomfortably hot in Sebring. The Shelby crew had been careful to warm up the Cobra Daytonas and GT40s before the race to avoid racing on cold motors. This careful planning, however, would work against them. Two of the four Daytonas refused to start because of fuel delivery problems brought on by the searing heat and humidity. Fortunately, the other two made it away without incident.
The Bondurant/Schlesser and Johnson/Payne cars took the GT class lead right from the start while the other two Daytona Coupes made a charge to regain the ground they lost at the start of the race. Running like clockwork, the four Coupes held the first four places in the GT class by 3:00pm.
As dinnertime approached, the skies opened up and the Sebring airfield, used annually for the 12 hour classic, was transformed into something resembling a lake! The Shelby team had to punch holes in the Cobras floors to drain the water that had collected in the cockpits.
The torrential downpour eventually ended and the 'lake' drained away. The pace resumed and all four Daytona Coupes were still running strong. Bondurant and Schlesser took fourth overall and won the GT class, leading a sweep of the GT class!