Biography of Jim Clark

Photo of Jim Clark

Jim Clark was a famous World Champion motor racing driver of the 1960’s.

When and Where was he Born?

14th March 1936, Kilmany, Fife, Scotland.

Family Background:

Jim Clark was the only son in a family of four daughters of a Scottish farming family.

Education:

Loretto School, Musselburgh, Scotland.

Timeline of Jim Clark:

Jim Clark originally took part in local races and rallies and later joined a team run by Jock McBain known as the Border Reivers. He drove a Lotus Elite in one of the Reivers races against Colin Chapman who was later to become his influential team manager. He was asked to drive for Aston Martin (By Reg Parnell the factory Manager) who were keen to enter the world of Formula One motor racing. He also signed a contract with Chapman to race in Formula Two with the Lotus Team. The Aston Martin Formula One car was a disaster and so Clark signed for Formula One with Lotus as well.

1956: Clarke wins his first motor race.

1958: He becomes Scottish Speed champion.

1959: He becomes Scottish Speed Champion once again.

1960: Clark’s first F1 race is the Dutch Grand Prix where he raced in place of John Surtees. He retires with a seized gearbox. Later in the season he finishes fifth at the testing course of Spa in Belgium.

1961: He is involved in a collision at the Italian Grand Prix with Wolfgang von Trips in a Ferrari. Trips and several spectators are killed.

1962: He wins his first Grand Prix, at Spa in Belgium (a race which he would win four years running and one which most commentators agreed was the toughest track in the season). Clark eventually loses the World Championship to Graham Hill when his car breaks down whilst leading the final race.

1963: He finally becomes World Champion winning seven out of ten races. He also finished second at Indianapolis.

1964: Jim Clarke misses out on the championship to Surtees in a Ferrari again when his car broke down on the final lap.

1965: This was to be his best year. He wins the World Championship and Indianapolis, which he led for 190 out of the 200 laps.

1966: A poor year due to engine problems.

1967: A slightly better season when he comes third in the World Championship.

1968: Clark notches up more Grands Prix wins than the legendary Juan-Manuel Fangio after his win in the South African Grand Prix. His career is cut tragically short as his car ran off the road in the forest at Hochenheim in April during a minor Formula Two race he had been committed to run for Lotus. Many people hailed Clark as the greatest racing driver of all time.

When and Where did he Die?

7th April 1968, he was killed in motor racing accident at Hochenheim, Germany.

Age at Death:

32.

Marriage:

Never married as he vowed never to marry whilst he was still racing.

Site of Grave:

Funeral at Chirnside Church, Scotland.

Places of Interest:

BERWICKSHIRE, SCOTLAND:

The Jim Clark Room, Duns.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE:

Silverstone Racetrack.