Biography 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.
Jim Clark was the only son in a family of four daughters of a Scottish farming family.
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 won his first motor race.
1958: He became Scottish Speed champion.
1959: He became Scottish Speed Champion once more.
1960: Clark’s first F1 race was the Dutch Grand Prix where he raced in place of John Surtees. He retired with a seized gearbox. Later in the season he finished fifth at the testing course of Spa in Belgium.
1961: He was involved in a collision at the Italian Grand Prix with Wolfgang von Trips in a Ferrari. Trips and several spectators were killed.
1962: He won 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 lost the World Championship to Graham Hill when his car broke down whilst leading the final race.
1963: He finally became World Champion winning seven out of ten races. He also finished second at Indianapolis.
1964: Jim Clarke missed out on the championship to Surtees in a Ferrari again when his car broke down on the last lap.
1965: This was to be his best year. He won the World Championship and Indianapolis, which he led for 190 out of the 200 laps.
1966: A poor year due to engine problems.
1967: Slightly better season when he came third in the World Championship.
1968: Clark notched up more Grands Prix wins than the legendary Juan-Manuel Fangio after his win in the South African Grand Prix. His career was cut tragically short as his car ran off the road in the forest at Hochenheim 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:
Never married as he vowed never to marry whilst he was still racing.
Site of Grave:
Funeral at Chirnside Church, Scotland.
Places of Interest:
The Jim Clark Room, Duns.