Jim Clark was a legendary racing driver and he won 25 championships in 72 starts. This awesome win makes him 10th on the list of all-time F1 winners. Jim also did amazingly well in Indycar, sports cars and touring car races. Here is one of his greatest races – The 1961 South African GP at East London – where he drove Lotus 21 with a Climax engine and came first!
In 1961, Stirling Moss was the top racing driver in the world and he made some very famous wins despite his not-so-great car. However, when Jim Clark entered with his Lotus 21 at the Natal Grand Prix that month, things had started to change. His amazing performance that race showed that he was even better than Moss who only had an older model.
Poleman Clark and Trevor Taylor started off in front, but Moss quickly moved up to second place and took the lead when Clark had to swerve away from another car. Even though Clark’s car got a gearbox damage, he still kept going fast lap after lap and eventually won the race with no chance for Moss to catch up.
Clark Powers His Way to Victory Over Moss!
“Jim Clark was driving so quickly that his opponent, Moss, could not keep up. Autosport reported that Jim Clark showed that he had a really good shot at winning the world championship.”
Clark was happy after beating Moss. He wrote in his book that he had the satisfaction of defeating Stirling twice in two weeks, but Clark’s car was newer than Stirling’s.
0 Second Victory! Jim Clark Triumphs in 1968 Australian Grand Prix Race Against All Odds
Jim Clark drove a Lotus 49 Cosworth car with a Gold Leaf livery in the 1968 Australian Grand Prix Race and he started from third position but became first! He was able to beat the other faster cars by enduring a lot of pressure.
The Tasman Series was like a winter world championship in Australia and New Zealand. One month before, Jim Clark had won the Lady Wigram Trophy with his Lotus 49T car that was painted red, gold and white. Chris Amon from Ferrari trailed Clark by only three points in the standings when the race began.
Jim Clark was using the same 2.5-litre engine to compete in a race that only 5 drivers were in. He started at 3rd place and was trailing closely behind Jack Brabham and Amon at first, but Brantham retired soon after. Consequently, Clark had to start defending his lead from Amon for the rest of the 1.9 mile race.
Amon tried hard, but even though he managed to drive as fast as the Lotus car, he still couldn’t get ahead of it. According to Autosport’s report, when they crossed the finish line on lap 33 out of 55 laps, Amon was actually in the lead. However, Clark was able to brake 20 yards after Amon and this stopped him from winning.
Clark created some space between him and Amon, but as the end of the race approached, Amon got closer. The Ferrari and Lotus cars both crossed the finish line together, with the Ferrari in front by a tiny amount – only 0.1 seconds! Clark had managed to keep his lead despite intense pressure and this win earned him his third Tasman crown.
Jim Clark Rises to the Challenge to Set Grand Prix Record!
Jim Clark was a driver who drove the Lotus 25. At the 1963 French GP, he won first place and set a record of having the most ‘grand slams” – meaning winning, getting the pole position, setting the fastest lap time and leading every lap – than any other driver in history! It was quite a challenging race for Jim but luckily he managed to win it in the end.
At the start, Clark was in the lead by 3 seconds. But while he was on lap 14, his car engine started making a strange noise and he had to slow down. He noticed that if he lowered his speed a bit, he could still go fast enough to stay ahead of Jack Brabham and Dan Gurney who were catching up.
While I was racing, it started raining and that helped me increase my lead. But the engine was making a lot of noise, so I wasn’t sure if I could finish the race.
The rain kept getting heavier which became a problem because my tyres were worn out from running four Grand Prixs with them already, so they couldn’t drain away any rainwater.
Jack Brabham was catching up to me, but luckily, one of the wires connecting his car’s ignition stopped working and gave me a chance to win. Later on, they noticed that two pieces in his engine were broken which caused it to break down. This allowed me to finish first by having over a minute advantage during the race.
Jim Clark, in his Lotus 25 car, was at a special event called the non-championship event. He started first on the track but had some trouble with the battery of his pole position car. This is him (in the picture) with his hand up in the air after he had solved his problems and finished 3rd – and 7th!
Clark had trouble getting his car running, so he switched to the fifth-placed car of another driver on his team, named Trevor Taylor. This was against the rules in races that gave out points. Trevor then used Clark’s fuel-injected engine and finished seventh, while Clark went off on a mission with his new ride.
Jim Clark started off one minute and 38 seconds behind the leader Graham Hill, but he got all the way up to third place in the race finishing 28.6 seconds after Graham won first place. His lap times were 3.2 seconds faster than his own fastest lap times at last year’s British Grand Prix, where he had done incredibly well.
Everyone was amazed at Clark’s driving skills that reminded them of Stirling Moss who no longer races anymore. Autosport magazine said that Jim stole the show for this one!
Clark wrote about a really awesome race he was in. He had to catch up to the other drivers and he even broke the lap record, so it was super fun! Clark said that this race was more enjoyable than some of the Grand Prix events that followed afterwards.
Clark’s “Lucky Win”
Jim Clark was the winner of a race and he was pictured at the end with his team boss, Colin Chapman. They were on the podium holding up a trophy. Jim drove a Lotus 33 car in the race, which he started and finished first place. Autosport said that it was sort of a lucky win even though Jim skillfully managed his car even though it wasn’t running well.
Jim Clark was a good driver due to his gentleness on the machine. He worked well with Colin Chapman’s cars which were fast but delicate. During the 1965 British GP, Richie Ginther’s Honda car was faster at start, but Clark soon took over and went on to create a strong lead.
Jim Clark was 36 seconds ahead with 18 laps to go and he had a tiny issue with his car’s engine. During the race, his car’s oil pressure started falling rapidly. A fellow racer, Hill, was also having trouble because of his BRM’s brakes. Graham Gauld wrote that Jim Clark made perfect decisions in that situation- he quickly drove on the ignition switch and took it slow through some curves to avoid flooding oil in his bearings while driving away from Hill.
Clark managed to finish first, with a difference of 3.2 seconds from Hill who set the record on the last lap.
Jim Clark Makes Indy 500 History with His Win in Lotus-Ford 38!
Jim Clark, in a Lotus-Ford car, was the first person to win the Indy 500 for Ford and also the first to win it driving a rear-engine vehicle. He almost achieved this incredible feat in his very first race in 1963, but Parnelli Jones – whose car leaked oil – took home the title. However, Clark eventually triumphed with his victory in 1965 and even said “It played out perfectly – just as we had planned.”
The Lotus-Ford 38, designed by Len Terry and Chapman, was one of the most modern cars in running. Clark had an edge over his team-mate Gurney who raced against Jones (driving Clark’s 1964 Lotus 34 called the Agajanian Hurst Special) before giving up.
At first, Clark was in charge of the race but then he was beaten by AJ Foyt driving a special Lotus 34 car. On the third lap, Clark reclaimed his power. After that, besides taking breaks at the pitstop, Clark stayed ahead and left everyone else behind. Unfortunately, after 115 laps Foyt had to quit because of some transmission problems and he was already way behind before leaving.
Clark made two quick stops (19.8s and 24.7s – one of the fastest of the race), with help from a revolutionary, more effective fuel injection system. Jones was almost out of fuel near the end, but he managed to beat Mario Andretti for second place, leaving Clark to win by about two minutes. The Scot broke the race record and became both the first person to drive over 150mph at an Indy event and also the first winner of an Indy event where the car engine was behind him.
Michael Kettlewell from the Autosport said that Clark was the absolute best driver there. Even The New York Times compared him to famous drivers like Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. All in all, Clark got over $150,000 for his performance, which is way more than he earned from F1 racing!
At the Lotus Ford race, Jim Clark was the pole racer. During the first thirteen laps of sixty-eight total laps, he fought against his teammate Hill and two Brabhams racers (Hulme and Brabham) for the lead position. Sadly, during this lap he got a flat tire and fell behind the other racers by one lap. People consider this to be one of Jim Clark’s best races, with some even claiming it is the greatest F1 race ever!
Clark caught the three other racers, and then he and one of them – called “Hill” – escaped together. After Hill stopped racing with 10 laps to go, Clark was ready to take a winning place when his car suddenly ran out of fuel near the end, leaving him in third place instead. Everyone thought it was a great race and even the boss, Mr Chapman, said it was one of Clark’s best performances ever.
The Lotus 49 was a really amazing car, so why isn’t it at the top here? Let’s take a look deeper into this race to understand why.
This car was way faster than all of the other cars that were around in 1967. It was so fast that since its first race in the Dutch GP, it won pole position in every round! To prove how powerful it was, Clark managed to qualify 3.1 seconds faster than any other drivers at Spa, which is known as a high-speed track.
In 1967, the fastest car was the 49er and it was 1.217% faster than other cars in average across a season. To make this easier to understand, the difference between Mercedes and Ferrari in 2017 was much less, only 0.178%, with Red Bull being 0.873% behind Mercedes. Even back in 2009, all of the cars were close; they fall under 1.241%.
The Lotus 49 car was very powerful in the 1960s, and it is seen as one of the strongest cars in the world championship. It had a huge 400 horsepower engine designed by Cosworth DFV which helped its drivers (Jim Clark and Graham Hill with Walter Hayes) overtake other cars easily. A picture of these three people – Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Walter Hayes – was taken by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch.
At Monza, the Brabham-Repcos were the only cars that could stay competitive with Graham Hill. His race showed how well his 49 car performed that weekend. Graham Hill was one of the few drivers who raced with Clark for Lotus. After Clark took a pitstop, Hill took control and stayed with the leading pack during the early stages.
REWRITTEN PASSAGE END
On lap 28, Hill overtook Hulme and with some help from Clark who just got unblocked on the track, Hill increased his lead quickly. Over 10 consecutive laps, Hill’s lead rose from 2.4 seconds to 26.1 seconds in total.
When Hill moved ahead of Clark at the end of lap 28, he had a 1 minute 27.5 second lead over him. Even though Clark had been catching up by 10 seconds while Hill was fighting against Hulme and Brabham, afterwards their speeds were pretty much the same.
With one lap left before Hill’s car broke-down, Clark was 1 minute and 25.3 seconds behind. Although it was difficult, Clark succeeded in overtaking other cars thanks to the efficiency of his own car’s 49 engine, which Hill also managed with. During those thirty laps that Hill was ahead, Clark only gained 2.2 seconds on him—an average of less than a tenth of a second per lap.
Hulme, who was the closest competitor to Lotus at that time, had already been eliminated. So, when Hill pulled out of the race, Clark finished lap 59 in 3.7 seconds behind new leader Brabham after passing John Surtees (from Honda). Clark was right behind Brabham during the next lap and he even managed to become 1.5 seconds ahead of him by the end of lap 61 – it seemed like he was going to win until something unexpected happened.
Although Clark claimed it was not his best race, many people remembered it. His friend Gerard Crombac stated that he was frustrated because the race had gained so much attention.
Crombac said that it bothered him how much attention and admiration he received in 1967 when he didn’t win the Italian Grand Prix. In his opinion, it wasn’t a big deal because the race track at Monza did not suit him as a driver and if his teammate hadn’t broken down, he wouldn’t have been able to catch up anyway. He was aware that he just had a superior car compared to everyone else.
The 1967 Italian Grand Prix really showed how determined Jim Clark was as a driver, because he managed to come from behind and take the lead of the race – even on a track like Monza where it’s hard for drivers to make any real difference. However what this tells us more than anything is how great the Lotus 49 car was compared with other Formula 1 cars at the time.
Clark’s Spectacular Driving Despite Lower Engine Power Beats Brabham’s Three-Litre in the 1966 Zandvoort Race
Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme and Jim Clark were three famous race car drivers. They drove cars called Brabham BT19 Repco for Jack, Brabham BT20 Repco for Denny and Lotus 33 Climax for Jim in the racing competition. The result of the race showed that Jim finished 3rd place because his car wasn’t as powerful as what others had. This happened because Lotus didn’t have an enough powerful engine to compete with other cars due to a switch to three-litre regulations.
In 1966, Clark had a tough time with power plants that were either of 2 liters volume (Climax) or highly unreliable (BRM H16). It is now famous that he won the United States GP with the Lotus 43 car having BRM engine, but only because others had experienced misfortune. The race at Zandvoort in Netherlands was slightly different.
At a race track he usually did great in, Clark raced against Jack Brabham’s more powerful car and Denny Hulme’s second Brabham. Hill was also competing with his BRM. The Autosport said it was the best Formula 1 race of the year since everyone was trying to take the lead, but then Hulme stopped due to some ignition problems and Hill started dropping back.
Brabham could not get away from Clark. Our report said that, even though the track was made slippery by oil and rubber, Clark’s awesome driving was still too good for Brabham’s three-litre engine. It was hard to believe he had a lower engine power than Brabham – but his driving skill was impressive.
On lap 27 of 90, Clark took the lead from Tarzan. He was able to get a 10 second advantage at one point, but near the end of the race the Brabham started catching up again.
On the 76th lap, Brabham got ahead as Clark had to go into the pits. Steam was coming from the radiator because a part in the crankshaft had broken off and blocked a water line. Some extra water was added, but Clark still managed to get third place and earn one of his two world championship podium finishes for 1966. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to have an exciting ending to this race.
Jim Clark, who drove for Lotus, was a great driver in the rain. This time he demonstrated one of F1’s greatest performances while racing on the 8.8-mile circuit at Spa. Clark won four Belgian GPs there even though he had problems in his qualifying and during the race itself which kept him from performing better than eighth place that day.
At first, it seemed like everything was going great. Clark made an incredible start and quickly got into the lead before they reached Eau Rouge. Someone watching said that Clark’s quick start was like a picture-perfect one—he managed to go from the third row all the way to the first spot near the end of the pits!
At the beginning of the 32 lap race, Hill’s racing car was keeping up with Clark’s but then Clark pulled away. After five laps he was eight seconds ahead. Unfortunately, Hill’s car got some gearbox problems and had to stop so Clark was left a full minute and a half in front by the end of the race.
The race got a whole lot more difficult when it started raining and with lightning! This made each lap take an extra two minutes to complete and Clark’s lead in first place grew. The other drivers asked to stop the race because of the bad conditions, but they were denied. Eventually, Clark lapped second-place driver Bruce McLaren, but McLaren managed to get back into the front, so that Clark won the race by only 4 minutes and 54 seconds (4m54s).
I really liked driving in the rain, but this time it was at Spa and so I had to be careful not to go too fast. My car wouldn’t stay in the highest gear which made it even more dangerous as I approached the Masta kink, a corner that I had to take at around 150 mph while holding my gear lever up with one hand and steering with the other.
When I drive, especially when I take sharp turns on the road, my car tends to move to one side of the road. This is why I kept my hand low on the steering wheel and adjusted it with one hand as I twisted it around so that I could easily prevent my car from going off course.
Cedric Selzer, who was one of the mechanics for Clark’s team, thought the race was really well done. He said that Jimmy made an incredible achievement by driving with only one hand while still managing to hold the gear lever in top gear with his other hand. According to Cedric, it was probably one of the greatest moments in grand prix racing history.
Clark’s car was the slowest to win the Belgian Grand Prix since 1953, going at a speed of 116mph.
Autosport did not think it was a good idea: “The race organizers had a tough decision to make when it came to racing in conditions that were dangerous and bad. Everyone participating in the Ardennes race looked like they could barely see because of all the water flying around, and it was even more gloomy with the fog setting in.”
“Jim Clark’s Mistake Led to one of His Greatest Races!”
Jim Clark was driving a Lotus 25 car in a race on the world’s best race circuit. It’s called Nurburgring, and it was 14.2 miles long. Jim started at third place but ended up fourth. This wasn’t one of Jim’s best drives, and it all started out because he made a mistake.
At the starting line of a race, Jim Clark qualified on the front row next to Gurney Porsche and Hill’s BRM. But, he realized too late that he forgot to turn on his fuel pumps. When the other racers took off, Jim felt really frustrated being stuck in a silent car. He then corrected his mistake and began chasing down the field to make up for it. In Jim Clark’s book ‘Jim Clark – At the Wheel’, he recounts this experience and how he pushed himself to catchup with the leaders despite difficult wet track conditions.
I was at the back of the pack but I managed to pass 10 cars on the first lap. I made it to 4th place and could see the leading cars, but then I realized I pushed too hard and had gone too far over my limits, so I decided that 4th place was where I would stay.
Clark got very close to being in 1st place – his race against Gurney and Surtees was one of his best performances – before he slowed down and his Lotus car started running low on fuel.
Jimmy Clark ended up 42.1 seconds behind Hill in the race, but in ‘Jim Clark – Portrait of a Great Driver’, Crombac said that this was actually Jimmy’s best race ever! He gave it his all during the entire 1962 German Grand Prix, however most people didn’t recognize this and failed to praise him for it.
Chapman was responsible for Jim Clark’s racecar successes. He said that Jim felt like he made the wrong decision, and it was up to him to fix it. That day, he drove really well.