Posted: April 7, 2011 in Formula 1
Tags: , , , , ,

43 years ago today:

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  The one above tells you more about the driver involved than anything I could possibly commit to the page, but I’d like you to consider the following few sentences anyway.

In 1963, whenever the Lotus 25 made it to the end of a Grand Prix in one piece, Jim Clark won.  Under the scoring system that year, drivers counted their best 6 results from 10 races.  Clark won 7 times.   With 6 wins from 10 in 1965 under the same scoring rules, his pair of world championships could not have been achieved with greater dominance.

The Lotus cars of 1964 and 1967 broke too often to bring Jim further world crowns, including the heartbreak of a last lap engine failure while leading the ’64 title decider in Mexico.  Whenever the car remained mechanically sound, though, the Scotsman won.  During the same period, he took to NASCAR, rallying, sportscars, touring cars and IndyCar racing with the exact same ease as an F1 machine, genuinely unable to grasp how or why he ended up in a class of his own.  When Clark’s Lotus 48 left the Hockenheim circuit on a grey spring afternoon in 1968, the world lost one of the finest natural talents ever to take the wheel of a racing car.

As a society, we’re too quick to throw around words like ‘brilliant’, ‘genius’ and ‘legendary’.  For this quiet farmer from the Borders, the word ‘legend’ is nothing like powerful enough.


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