Clark's last Grand Prix

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Sir,

Not wishing to be pedantic, I wish to correct an error in Simon Taylor’s excellent April column.

The South African Grand Prix on New Year’s Day, 1968, was indeed Jim Clark’s last world championship victory. But I believe his last grand prix, and last victory, was a race I saw — a race that is significant enough to be recognised.

I remember the summer of 1969, when I ventured across Bass Strait to Melbourne and spent a day at Sandown Park. It was the end of February, the weather was balmy, the legends were many.

The main race was the 1969 Australian Grand Prix and, being a Tasman Cup race, it featured a high-calibre grid. Chris Amon’s Ferrari and Clark’s Lotus crossed the line side by side almost every lap. The 49B’s handling and its pilot matching the red car’s superior straight-line speed.

They entered the main straight in single file for the last time and it appeared that Amon had the advantage as his Ferrari pulled alongside the Lotus approaching the finish. But Clark pulled a rabbit from the hat, and put on a surge. They crossed the line wheel to wheel. The margin was half a wheel. Jim Clark had won.

I feel privileged to have seen the great Scotsman one last time.

I AM, YOURS, ETC

Chris Robinson, Hobart, Tasmania

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