The initial reluctance by Enzo Ferrari to develop a mid-engined race car is well documented. After Cooper's mid-engined car dominated the 1959 Formula One season, Ferrari finally conceded to the superior layout by 1960. It paid dividends quickly, with Ferrari winning the Formula One Championship in 1961 through the driving of the exceptionally talented Phil Hill.
By 1963, Ferrari decided to enter sports car racing. Their initial attempt was the 250P, with it's purpose-built 3.0 liter V12. Utilizing what they had learned from the mid engined Formula One layout, they immediately found victory. In 1963, they won the 12 hours of Sebring, the Nürburgring 1000 km, and the 24 Hours of LeMans.
The success of the 250P inspired Ferrari to evolve the car into the 250 LeMans – a race car available for sale to the public. One of those privately purchased cars, entered by the North American Racing Team, won the 1965 24 Hours of LeMans, piloted by Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory.
For 1965, Ferrari developed an entirely new car with the 330P2.