F1 News, Views and Reviews

Jim Clark

Jim [Jimmy] Clark OBE was born in Scotland in 1936, and is one of the best loved Formula One drivers of all time.

Much to his parents early disproval, Clark started racing a Sunbeam Talbot in local hillclimbing and sprint events in Fife.  He was a formidable competitor and a professional racing career beckoned.  On boxing day 1958, Clark finished in 2nd place driving a Lotus to one Colin Chapman, the boss of Lotus.  He was suitably impressed with Jim’s racing and gave him a race opportunity.

Clark started F1 in 1960, and in 1961 was involved in the fatal accident on Wolfgang von Trips who smashed his Ferrari into the crowd and was killed along with 15 spectators.  Undeterred, Clark won the world championship in 1963 and finished a classy second in the Indianapolis 500 of the same season.

In 1964 Clark missed out narrowly on the championship to one John Surtees, who made his own piece of history.  For 1965, Clark won the title again which would sadly be his last.  Despite missing the 65 Monaco GP, Clark won the Indianapolis 500 and became the first driver to win both F1’s top title and the 500 in one season, along with being the first mid-engined car to win.

New regulations made Lotus less competitive for 1966, but he still managed to finish in second place in the Indy 500.  For 1967 Lotus were using the Ford DFV and Clark won multiple races.

In 1968, on April 7th the worst happened.  Driving in a Formula Two event at the Hockenheimring in Germany, Clark’s Lotus veered off the track and into the forest.  He suffered a broken neck and skull fracture which led to his death before he reached the hospital.  Graham Hill won the World Title in 1968 and dedicated it to Clark’s memory.

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