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Jim Clark, 1936-1968:

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by Gatorrari, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    Jim Pernikoff
    A reminder that tomorrow marks 40 years since we lost Jim Clark. We who watch racing acknowledge the risks that drivers take, and we are all diminished when one leaves us doing what he does best. But then there are those who seem above it, who seem like it could never happen to them. Jim Clark was one of those, and one of the few drivers whose passing left me in tears. As Chris Amon, a pretty good driver in his own right, said, "If this can happen to Jimmy, what chance do the rest of us have? I think we all felt that. It seemed like we'd lost our leader."

    I hope those of you who watched SPEED's coverage of the Bahrain GP appreciate the well-done and touching tribute they had for Clark in the pre-race show. It once again made tears well up in my eyes. Say what you will about drivers like Senna and Schumacher; for me Jim Clark will always be the greatest driver of the World Championship era.
     
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  3. classic308

    classic308 F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
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    Did not see the tribute and I think (hope) Speed is replaying it. Truly one of the greats...Clark's 1967 Italian GP drive is legendary....
     
  4. GV27TIFOSI

    GV27TIFOSI Karting

    Jan 12, 2008
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    DT
    Jim was the first and many say the only driver to make it look almost 'too easy', allied with the potent Loti that Colin Chapman provided for him, with the old adage that they would fall apart after the finish line, was sometimes true.That he died in a senseless accident in a race he really wasn't supposed to be at. Delays with the Alan Mann Ford 3L prototype sports car, Jimmy should have been driving that car in England.
    It was the first time as a young racing enthusiast, that one of the untouchables was cruelly taken from us.
    Jimmy clearly was in a class of his own, he had a unique style of smoothness and tempered aggression that was and still is unique. Other have had elements of his style, but the mold was broken after Clark.It was a foregone conclusion that he would sit on pole, lead the most laps and was clearly the man to beat. Also he was the most skilled of the journeyman racers, doing the RAC rally, driving the Lotus-Cortina saloon cars, and of course his groundbreaking revolutionary triumphs at Indianapolis, plus his foray into Nascar stockers.
    I had my first feeling of great sadness and loss over his death and unfortunately this type of tragedy was to happen again as I supported one other driver later. It is often written in the modern era how the various great drivers stack up, ect.
    To me Schumacher, no matter how dominant and dedicated, in terms of raw talent and speed, Jimmy is still the best driver, greater than Moss, Nuvolari, Fangio, Prost, Stewart, ect. I was a huge Amon fan as well and of course Gilles , so I can appreciate many forms of racing talent. Clark left an important legacy in many respects, he being a hard working, family based farmer who always kept close to his roots, only moving to Paris for tax reasons with great reluctance. How he behaved and acted as one of the sports first truly great ambassadors, undergoing the scrutiny and often scorn at Indianapolis, he kept a level head and ultimately triumphed in the end. Clark , for me has never been surpassed and he was such an immense talent that the sport will never see again.
    God Bless you Jim!
    GV27TIFOSI
     
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  5. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
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    There is no doubt that the late great Jim Clark is one of the top 5 greatest F1 drivers of all times, I believe he still holds the highest pole position/race precentage (~44%) today, simply amazing.
     
  6. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    It was pointed out on SPEED that if you extrapolate Clark's F1 career to as many races as Schumacher ran, he would far eclipse Michael in fastest laps, poles and particularly "Grand Slams" (pole, fastest lap and race win). While this is not a perfect analogy -- with many more races and more competitive cars nowadays, it's a bit of an "apples & oranges" comparison -- it still points out just how good Jim was. I have absolutely no doubt (nor does anyone else I've asked) that Clark would definitely have won the 1968 WDC if he had lived.
     
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  8. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    +1
     
  9. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    What could have been, what a driver Clark was.
     
  10. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 11, 2008
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    Sad to say it seems that every generation of fans learns the same painful lesson. Jimmy was the hero driver of my generation and his loss was one that changed my view of the sport forever.
     
  11. kizdan

    kizdan F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
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    Clark was an exceptionally talented driver...........I just wish I was around when he was racing so I could have seen more of him. I am grateful to have seen the likes of Senna, Prost, and Schumi, but I would have loved to have seen Clark.

    I'd love to get my hands on some of his racing footage.
     
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  13. Crawler

    Crawler F1 Rookie

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  14. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Duke Video has a very good DVD in their "Champions" series -- I got the same program years ago on VHS -- but unfortunately it is currently only available in the PAL format. I continue to be extremely disappointed at the very poor selection of DVDs on Duke's U.S. website, when compared to the excellent selection on their U.K. website.
     
  15. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Jim Clark is my fathers favorite driver of all time. I agree that his stats are far superior to both Senna and Schumi.... He died before I could ever see him race in person. My parents met Jim Clark several times and actually were in the same office during the 63 F-1 GP at Watkins Glen after the race, and saw him get paid off in cash by the promotors... he got the money, rolled it all up and put it in his overalls and then sigend autographs... one of which hangs in my house today.

    I met his sister at the Duns memorial to Jim Clark in Scotland several years ago... such a nice person.
     
  16. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

    Feb 9, 2005
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    Certainly he drove like a true champion. But Jim Clark was just.............cool. What a really great personality. He and Graham Hill showed that race drivers could not only go fast, they could look great and act cool.

    Of course, I was too young to remember. ;}
     
  17. Cartist

    Cartist Formula Junior

    Mar 28, 2006
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    Sigh, F1 today isn't even a shadow of its former self it seems. The side by side comparison with Schumacher's stats really put it into perspective. Where's the class? That slick, tasteful, romantic ambiance that F1 used to have? ... I'm gonna go watch "Grand Prix."
     
  18. Whisky

    Whisky F1 World Champ
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    The original Fernando
    Long gone with the advent of commercialism and cubic dollars.

    Don't get us started.
     
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  19. ScuderiaRossa

    ScuderiaRossa Formula 3
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    I remember reading about how Clark's personality was always so nervous and agitated out of the car—biting his nails, etc. Once in the car though, he exhibited such smoothness and calm. Its interesting to think about this duality. I wonder if his behavior in the car demonstrated his true self...
     
  20. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Well Said, that is what used to be my favorite part of F-1... Romantic mystique.... thats what is missing!!!
     
  21. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

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    "Jimmy was a pure genius of course. I always compare him with Fangio. I finished second to him dozens of times. He just seemed to drive through the bends that much faster without having to think about lines, it just came naturally to him. His car often started to break away, but he had such complete mastery he controlled it instantly without losing time. When the rest of us were driving at ten-tenths of our ability, Jimmy was driving at nine-tenths - that's the best way I can explain it."

    Trevor Taylor quoted in Octane 04 05. Trevor was both #2 team member and test driver for Lotus between about 1961 and 1964.

    The article is well worth reading - he gives about as grim a picture of reality about how fragile those Lotus cars were in that day as you will ever read.
     
  22. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    40 years later, I still have the newspaper clippings with the reports of Jim Clark's death. I was 15 years old. He was my hero.

    I later got to sit in the cockpit of the Lotus 49 he drove to victory in Holland in 1967. I wish I had a picture of that.
     
  23. kizdan

    kizdan F1 Veteran

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    Any way you can scan those clippings and post them? Would love to see them.
     
  24. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    #21 Miltonian, Apr 7, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  25. Senna3xWC

    Senna3xWC F1 Rookie

    Nov 30, 2006
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    I really didn't need to see that photo.
     
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  26. kizdan

    kizdan F1 Veteran

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    Thanks...............sends tingles down my spine.

    I remember clipping something out of the local Montreal newspaper after Senna died. I think it was a full page memorial to him.
     
  27. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    10 years since I started this thread, and the feelings are the same. It's now been 50 years since we lost him.
     
  28. David Lind

    David Lind Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2008
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    At a Road Atlanta IMSA race circa 1989 - 1992 I pointed out to Dan Gurney that Jim Clark never raced a car with wings or turbocharger much less ground effects. I then asked him if he, Graham Hill, Stewart, Mario, Ronnie Peterson & others would be front-runners if in their primes when I asked the question. Dan's answer was very revealing in that he mentioned himself only peripherally. He replied, "Jimmy would win in anything". Only later in the discussion did he finally say, "I think all the ones you mentioned would be at the front of the grid". What a great pair of racing legends, no?

    I'm very thankful I saw Clark win the 1967 British GP and even more thankful for all the 2 dozen or so times I was able to visit with Dan.
     
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