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Kuckoo

Very OT: 50th Anniversary of Jim Clark's Death

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark's death.

Many (including myself) regard Clark as one of the greatest F1 drivers in the sport's history, if not the greatest.  Not only because of his accomplishments in Formula 1 and other race series, but also for his endearing and humble personality out of the car.  A Scottish sheep farmer, he always considered racing his second profession.

Clark drove for Colin Chapman's Lotus Team his entire F1 career, from 1960 to 1968.  In that time he participated in 72 grands prix, winning 25 of them, and was World Champion in 1963 and 1965.  He earned 33 pole positions and 28 fastest laps.  He holds the record for eight Grand Slams (getting pole position, the fastest race lap, leading every lap, and winning the race - all at the same event).  In his two championship years, Jim Clark won 100% of the possible championship points available, a record he shares with Alberto Ascari.  While on his way to his first championship in 1963, he led 71% of all race laps in the season, another record he currently holds.

Clark was killed while competing in a Formula 2 event in Hockenheim, West Germany, in damp conditions.  His car left the road and crashed into the many trees that lined the circuit, and was killed instantly.  A reason for the accident has never been confidently determined but it is suspected that either a deflating tire or some sudden mechanical failure was the culprit.  Given the extremely positive reputation amongst other drivers regarding his uncanny car control, and that he was by himself on the part of the circuit where the accident occurred, driver error was universally ruled out.

Clark's death was a significant news story in period, as it was with Ayrton Senna's death in Italy in 1994.  It was of such magnitude that people remember specifically where they were and what they were doing the moment they first heard the news.

He's my personal favorite F1 driver ever (with Dan Gurney a very close second), not only because of his abilities and staggering statistics with such relatively few races run, but also because he was such a class act outside the car.

 

Jim Clark, OBE, 4 March 1936 - 7 April 1968

 

Image result for Lotus 33 Jim Clark

 

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An amazing driver.

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Indeed I remember him and those cars, especially that car... agree, one of the best. 

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I never saw Jim Clark drive, and how I wish I had.  I rank him among the all-time greats along with Ayrton Senna and Juan Fangio.  (Yes, I clearly remember where I was when I learned of Senna's death - reading the obits on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  I couldn't believe it and had to watch the tape-delayed race to be convinced.)

One thing you didn't mention, Kuckoo:  Jim Clark remains the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and the World Championship in the same year.  (Four others have won both in different years.)  (In 5 indy starts Clark also finished 2nd twice.)

It is good to remember James Clark. Jr.  R.I.P.

 

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13 hours ago, iDuckman said:

I never saw Jim Clark drive, and how I wish I had.  I rank him among the all-time greats along with Ayrton Senna and Juan Fangio.  (Yes, I clearly remember where I was when I learned of Senna's death - reading the obits on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  I couldn't believe it and had to watch the tape-delayed race to be convinced.)

One thing you didn't mention, Kuckoo:  Jim Clark remains the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and the World Championship in the same year.  (Four others have won both in different years.)  (In 5 indy starts Clark also finished 2nd twice.)

It is good to remember James Clark. Jr.  R.I.P.

 

That's right!  In '65 he took a break from Monaco so he could go win Indy, then came back to Europe to finish the job winning the world championship.  Actually shook my head as I typed that.  Dude was something else.

I watched the Monaco race on YouTube a few weeks ago.

 

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