Jim Clark

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Tomorrow, April 7, marks the 43rd anniversary of the tragic passing of one of the greatest drivers ever-Jim Clark. He was the standard against which all the drivers of that era measured themselves. He and Chapman made the perfect team, and brought Lotus to the heights in Formula 1.

Having been privileged to meet Clark (at the Tasman series), I thought the most amazing thing about him was how modest he was, something almost totally missing from today's athletes! He also planned to return to sheep ranching upon retirement from racing (not exactly what you expect from one of today's drivers).

So take a moment to remember Jim Clark.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
I too was fortuanate enough the meet Jim on several occasions.A nicer more friendly down to earth man that you ever wish to meet.
A truly incredible racer, he could race anything.He also had the ability to wave his inside front wheel on a MK 1 Ford Cortina on a bend far higher than anyone else.
Needless to say he is my all time favourite, thats why he is there on the left.
RIP Jim.
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
I thought the most amazing thing about him was how modest he was, something almost totally missing from today's athletes!

A bit unfair I think. There are many athletes who are very modest today, Ryan Giggs for example, it's just the twats who are highlighted and take most of the attention whilst others are often overlooked. It's nothing new and has happened for generations.

But yes Jim Clark was a great driver and person and deserved more than two world titles.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I've read some intersting snipets of accounts from Jim Clark's friend swiss journo Gerard "Jabby" Crombac, who shared a flat in Paris with Clark.
Jim was basically a humble sheep farmer from the sottish borders who felt slightly disorientated by everything about the F1 business not directly connected with the actual racing. He did not enjoy the "glamoroous" part of it one little bit and his first concern while away at the races was to spend time on the telephone enquiring whether everything was OK with the farm's sheep.

He was essentially a decent everyday-folk anxious to maintain his sense of value i a world where the words "down-to-earth" came across as a redundant concept... and who happened to be blessed with extraordinary talent behind the wheel.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Only being a year old when Clark passed it's difficult to comment on him personally but given the regard he was held in by his peers and what he achieved in a relatively short career his is, without doubt, one of the greatest drivers ever and should have gone on to win many more races and titles. A sad loss.

I'd welcome any recommendations on a good biography of the man as the two I've tried have been pretty poor..
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
Clark's certainly one of my favourites from history and if I had to pick who I thought was the very best to grace the F1 paddock I'd be firmly in the Clark camp. I know Jackie Stewart thought the absolute world of him. A smooth but ridiculously fast driver bya ll accounts. What's the story from...Monza (?) when he he had to pit and was lapped by everyone, then unlapped himself and fought to the front, then ran out of fuel? Is that right or am I dreaming things again?
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
What's the story from...Monza (?) when he he had to pit and was lapped by everyone, then unlapped himself and fought to the front, then ran out of fuel? Is that right or am I dreaming things again?

Nope, that is true. He had a tyre puncture and broke the lap record on several occasions. He ran out of fuel and had to coast for third place.

I remember watching that documentary a couple of years ago as well, a brilliant piece of work by the Beeb!
 

Pyrope

Podium Finisher
Supporter
I've read some intersting snipets of accounts from Jim Clark's friend swiss journo Gerard "Jabby" Crombac, who shared a flat in Paris with Clark.

Yes, he does have quite the stock of stories. My favourite relates to the time that Crombac bought a new Elan from Lotus and had driven it to a sports car race at (I think) Spa. Clark was there and offered to give Crombac a spin around the track in his new pride and joy. Jabby enjoyed the trip but got out of the car more than a bit miffed that his friend hadn't really pushed hard and had just toured around. He was just about to upbraid his friend for going easy on him, when a timing steward came rushing up... to congratulate Clark on having set a new lap record for the class! Clark had been so smooth that Crombac genuinely hadn't realised they were going so fast, two-up in a standard road car with road tyres!

One of my great sadnesses is that I was a full decade too late appearing into the world to have seen Jim Clark in action.
 
S

Stevi555

Guest
My sentiments are echoed by everyone. Sublime driver and I can't speak highly enough of the man. Been going through old clips and just enjoying the skill of the man and that period in F1 history and fitting to remember the lives of drivers no longer with us. Thanx for posting the clips. RIP JC...
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
My sentiments are echoed by everyone. Sublime driver and I can't speak highly enough of the man. Been going through old clips and just enjoying the skill of the man and that period in F1 history and fitting to remember the lives of drivers no longer with us. Thanx for posting the clips. RIP JC...

Yes, today is Jim Clark day, but lets remember JYS's ⅔ of drivers who did not make it. The highest testament to his skill behind a wheel is that the drivers realised that driver deaths were not dictated by skill when Clark died.



That is all that was left of Clark's car. Suddenly you see how it happened...
 
S

Stevi555

Guest
Yes, today is Jim Clark day, but lets remember JYS's ⅔ of drivers who did not make it. The highest testament to his skill behind a wheel is that the drivers realised that driver deaths were not dictated by skill when Clark died.



That is all that was left of Clark's car. Suddenly you see how it happened...
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@Teabagyokel, you're absolutely right. Jim Clarks passing shot through the drivers like a bolt of lightning, and the skill element was exactly how you commented, in that skill did not dictate survival in a race, but luck most certainly did with so many.
As you also said, ie Jackie Stewart, watching the recent documentary "Flying Scotsman" I was stunned when he pointed out he had a 1 in 3 chance of surviving a race, 2 out of 3 chance if dying, for me is shocking and a stark reminder of how much more dangerous it was, bit more importantly it highlights the sheer bravery to know that, and still drive. Don't actually have words to explain that bravery, I don't think I could.
Probably my most poignant part in all this, has to be the late great Graham Hill, who not only had to deal with Jim's car, but carry the team through the aftermath in the face of thier hurt and anger at the death of thier comrade.
Hill walking away carrying the wheel of JC's car will always stick with me.

Rather than a sad day, i feel more a time to remember and reminisce on a great man and driver, and all the others who gave us the sport we love and live so much, sadly at the cost of many lives.

RIP, all of them. God bless....
 
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