Jim Clark

Jim Clark
Jim Clark 1965.jpg
Clark in 1965
BornJames Clark Jr.
(1936-03-04)4 March 1936
Kilmany, Fife, Scotland
Died7 April 1968(1968-04-07) (aged 32)
Hockenheimring, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Active years19601968
Entries73 (72 starts)
Championships2 (1963, 1965)
Career points255 (274)[1]
Pole positions33
Fastest laps28
First entry1960 Dutch Grand Prix
First win1962 Belgian Grand Prix
Last win1968 South African Grand Prix
Last entry1968 South African Grand Prix

James Clark Jr. OBE (4 March 1936 – 7 April 1968) was a British Formula One racing driver from Scotland, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965.

Clark was a versatile driver who competed in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965.[2][3][4] He was particularly associated with the Lotus marque.

Clark was killed in a Formula Two racing accident in 1968 in Hockenheim, West Germany.[5][6][7] At the time of his death, aged 32, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever Formula One drivers.[8]

Early years

James Clark Jr was born into a farming family at Kilmany House Farm, Fife, the youngest child of five, and the only boy. In 1942 the family moved to Edington Mains Farm, near Duns, Berwickshire, in the Borders. He was educated at primary schools, first in Kilmany and then in Chirnside, and then following three years of preparatory schooling at Clifton Hall School near Edinburgh he was sent to Loretto School in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh.[9]

Although his parents were opposed to the idea, Clark started his racing in local road rally and hill climb events driving his own Sunbeam-Talbot, and proved a fearsome competitor right from the start. On 16 June 1956, in his very first event, he was behind the wheel of a DKW sonderklasse at Crimond, Scotland. By 1958, Clark was driving for the local Border Reivers team, racing Jaguar D-types and Porsches in national events, and winning 18 races.

Then on Boxing Day 1958, Clark raced against the man who would launch him to superstardom. Driving a Lotus Elite, he finished second to Colin Chapman in a ten-lap GT race at Brands Hatch.[10] In 1959 he drove a Lotus Elite, finishing tenth at Le Mans partnered with John Whitmore, and the ex-Bruce Halford Lister Jaguar, winning the Bo'ness Hill Climb.[11] Chapman was sufficiently impressed to give Clark a ride in one of his Formula Junior cars.

"In March 1960, the first race for the newly introduced Formula Junior took place at Goodwood. The winner was J. Clark (Lotus Ford), from J. Surtees (Cooper B.M.C) with T. Taylor (Lotus Ford) third."[12]

Clark had made an earlier FJ appearance in a one-off race at Brands Hatch on Boxing Day, 1959, driving a Gemini-B.M.C. for Graham Warner of the Chequered Flag garage, Chiswick.[13]

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