Some motor sport seasons are defined by intense rivalry, others by one driver’s domination. On an individual level, though, Jim Clark’s 1965 remains unrivalled in terms of its success and diversity: Tasman champion, Indy 500 winner, a second Formula 1 title clinched by August… not to mention numerous victories in F2, sports and saloon cars. Here we present a detailed diary of his astonishing year, one that is unlikely ever to be matched
Writer Paul Fearnley
Jim Clark’s 1965 diary
1st Clark celebrates New Year and his almost full recovery from a slipped disc – the result of a snowball fight in Italy! – by leading all 85 laps of the South African Grand Prix from pole position in a Lotus 33, its low-slung exhausts indicating the short-stroke, flat-crank version of Coventry Climax’s 1.5-litre V8. He records East London’s first 100mph race lap in the process and wins by 29sec – despite being shown the chequered flag one lap too early and pausing for a confab with team boss Colin Chapman before completing a banker lap.
4th The ‘Wallaby Route’: Johannesburg to Sydney on a Qantas Lockheed Electra turboprop, via Mauritius, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Perth and Melbourne – and thence to Auckland.
6th Unofficial practice for the opening round of the Tasman Series, the New Zealand GP at Pukekohe.
8th Clark’s one-off Lotus 32B – an F2 monocoque adapted to accept a 2.5-litre Climax FPF ‘four’ and a ZF gearbox – suffers transmission and fuel mixture problems in official practice.
9th Having won the first 12-lap heat, his GP ends on lap two (of 50) when the Cooper of Bruce McLaren rams him at the hairpin. (Clark will exact ‘revenge’ on the road south to Levin when his Ford Zodiac accidentally rear-ends McLaren’s BMC 1100 and splits its fuel tank.)
15th Clark tops the times in practice at Levin. He leads both his eight-lap heat and the 28-lap final from flag to flag, creating a lap record in the former and winning the latter by 11.3sec. He also wins the Flying Farewell, a non-championship sprint race with a rolling start.
22nd Canterbury’s drought breaks and so practice for the Lady Wigram Trophy begins in the rain. Clark is fastest in the dry afternoon session.
23rd Though he wins the second 25-mile heat, Clark starts the 44-lap final from third position because the first heat had been the quicker. He takes the lead from the 4-3-4 grid and is 11sec in front after 11 laps. Fading oil pressure forces him to coast around some corners but, although the chasing McLaren equals his lap record, he wins by 10.2sec.
28th Clark sets the fastest time in unofficial practice at Teretonga…
29th …and also during a blustery official practice.
30th Having set a new lap record while winning his six-lap heat, he makes an unusually slow start in the 75-mile final and yet leads by the end of the first lap. McLaren keeps him honest, and an overheating engine causes him concern, but he completes his Tasman hat trick with 13.5sec in hand. Worried about his engine, he is beaten by McLaren in the six-lap Flying Farewell.
1st Back in Australia, Clark spends a great deal of time at Bankstown Airport, regularly arriving at 6.30am in order to cram for his private pilot’s licence; he soon goes solo. He also racks up a £4 laundry bill during his extended stay in Sydney.
12th Clark and the Brabhams of Graham Hill and local ace Frank Matich beat the Warwick Farm lap record in testing.
13th They set the official pace, too, with Matich – his car featuring a duck-tailed rear spoiler – fastest, from Hill and then Clark.
14th Matich leads briefly before the overseas stars assert themselves. Despite losing third gear early in the race, Clark maintains the pressure on Hill and takes the lead on lap 34 (of 45). He wins by more than a minute after his perennial rival suffers a late spin.
20th Practice for Sandown Park’s 100-miler is marred by four-time Australian champion Lex Davison’s death during practice; he suffers a heart attack and crashes his Brabham.
21st The Dunlop-shod Clark leads in sweltering conditions, but pole man Jack Brabham, benefiting from a new Goodyear compound on his Brabham, overtakes on lap seven (of 54) and wins by 4.6sec. Second place, however, is sufficient to make Clark the Tasman champion.
26th He is outpaced in practice for the Australian GP at Tasmania’s Longford – the fastest track of the series – by Firestone-shod Coopers and Brabhams on Goodyears and Dunlops.
27th He finishes fifth, his spare Climax down on power, in the 10-lap qualifying race, the Examiner Trophy…
1st …and is fifth once more, albeit only 8.4sec behind the victorious (and clutchless) McLaren, in the 26-lap GP. Clark’s Tasman winnings amount to £4000. There is no celebration: Davison protégé Rocky Tresise’s fatal accident in a Cooper also claims the life of a photographer.
6th Clark takes pole for the non-championship Lakeside ‘99’.
7th His dice with Matich is a humdinger. Content to continue their struggle after his rival loses nine laps because of a broken rotor arm, Clark lowers the lap record and wins by two laps from Frank Gardner’s Brabham. When Clark is threatened with disqualification for drinking a post-race beer in the paddock, Matich wades in and the charge is dropped.
8th From Brisbane to London Heathrow on a Boeing 707: an exhausted Clark arrives at John Whitmore’s London flat in Balfour Place, Mayfair.
11th Clark has a seat fitting for the Lotus 38 Indycar at the team’s Cheshunt HQ.
12th He is quickest in both practice sessions for the inaugural Daily Mail F1 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch. In the morning, he uses a 1963-built Lotus 25B, chassis R6, fitted with Goodyears and an old-spec cross-crank Climax. He finds three-tenths during the afternoon in a Type 33 on Dunlops and using a flat-crank engine. He wins 100 bottles of champagne for the venue’s first official 100mph lap. Then it’s back to London for a gala at the Park Lane Hotel, with girlfriend Sally Stokes.
13th Clark wins the first 40-lap heat at Brands Hatch in a Type 33. The star performer, however, is Brabham’s Dan Gurney, who charges from the fifth row to finish second. Though Clark holds a 20.8sec advantage – the winner is to be decided on aggregate – he chooses to battle the American in the second heat. The latter’s Goodyears appear to have more grip and he noses level around the outside of Paddock Hill Bend on lap 12. Clark sits tight through Druids, only to run wide onto damp grass at Bottom Bend and biff a bank at 60mph. Chassis R10, the South African GP-winner, is wrecked and Clark suffers bruising. It’s the end of a so-so day.
His pole-sitting Group 2 Ford Lotus Cortina, this season fitted with a BRM-tuned 150bhp twin-cam, had earlier wobbled from the lead of the opening round of the BRSCC British Saloon Car Championship when its left-front wheel came loose; though retightened, it parts company a few laps later.
19th Clark’s new Ron Harris-Team Lotus Type 35-Cosworth SCA, which he drives while wearing a Pac-a-Mac secured at the waist by string, is joint second-fastest – 1sec slower than Mike Costin’s Cosworth Engineering fuel-injected Brabham – in wet practice for the Formula 2 Senior Service 200 at Silverstone. In contrast, he puts JCB’s Lotus 30, originally entered for Pete Sadler, on pole for the opening round of the British Sports Car Championship; his 4.7-litre Ford V8-powered Group 7 machine is 1.6sec faster than John Surtees’ new Lola-Chevrolet.
20th The two dice in atrocious conditions, passing and repassing for the lead, before Surtees spins from contention. Both on Dunlops, Clark’s R6 compound in the new R7 anti-aquaplaning pattern is superior to his rival’s R6s and he wins by a lap, even though he, too, spins and the race is halted after 18 (of 25 scheduled) laps. The BARC suspends the meeting before abandoning it 90 minutes later.
26th Clark’s Cortina beats Alfa Romeos and BMWs to win the Sebring Three Hours for Group 2 ‘sedans’ by two laps from its Team Lotus-run English Ford Line sister car of Jack Sears. He also collects a $50 ticket for speeding (in a Ford Galaxie) on the interstate and arranges for his spare race engine to be used by a privateer Ginetta in the subsequent 12 Hours.
30th Clark and Gurney attend the first Type 38’s shakedown at Snetterton. They lap anti-clockwise to compensate for its offset suspension and are limited to 7500rpm (160mph). Only minor adjustments are required and it’s declared a success.
2nd Despite his new Type 33, chassis R11, being under geared for this fast road circuit, Clark leaps to the top of the timesheet in the closing seconds of the first practice session for the non-championship F1 Syracuse GP in scorching Sicily.
3rd It’s hotter yet and so he sits out all bar the final 20 minutes of practice. No challengers for pole emerge and he saves his machinery for the 195-mile race.
4th As anticipated, Clark and the Ferrari V8 of Surtees are contenders for victory. The surprise package is Jo Siffert’s Rob Walker-run Brabham-BRM, which leads the first 10 laps and twice repasses Surtees for the lead thereafter. The Swiss sensation is leading on lap 46 (of 56) when a missed gear grenades his V8. Clark has just set the fastest lap (on lap 45) and is lining up Surtees when the Ferrari, after one more lap in front, lapses onto six cylinders. Clark wins by 42.1sec, but admits that he’s been lucky.
5th The Lotus Indycar is shown to the press at Cheshunt. Clark is absent…
7th …but he tests both cars in unhelpful weather at Silverstone: the Indy version is halted by a fuel filter problem; the short-oval car, fitted with a lower final drive for the race at Trenton, New Jersey, runs fine. In a car set up to turn left only, he’s 5sec off F1 pace.
9th Clark qualifies fifth at Snetterton for the F2 Autocar Trophy, 1.2sec off pole. He also qualifies fifth – behind three Ford Mustangs and a Galaxie – for the 15-lap saloon car support race.
10th Having almost dead-heated winner Hill’s Brabham-BRM in the first 25-lap heat, Clark’s Type 35 is leading the second and headed for overall victory when its Cosworth engine begins to fail. A conrod snaps on the last lap and he coasts home sixth, third on aggregate. This follows the disappointment of being overtaken by Gardner’s Goodyear-shod Race Proved by Willment Lotus Cortina midway through the BSCC encounter. All those Mustangs, however, beat them both.
11th In mixed conditions at Goodwood on Easter Saturday – dry morning, wet afternoon – the BRMs of Jackie Stewart and Hill outqualify Clark for the F1 Sunday Mirror International Trophy. The latter is using Climax’s four-valve head and Dunlop’s 13-inch R7s for the first time. His works Cortina and Type 30 Series 2 – stiffer chassis and 15-inch wheels – are also beaten to pole: by Mike Salmon’s Mustang and McLaren’s Elva Oldsmobile respectively. Clark is hampered by clutch-slip in the Type 30, now running fuel injection, and briefly tries a Cosworth-engined Cortina.
19th Three wins and three fastest laps is Clark’s tally at an inclement Easter Monday Goodwood. Even though the St Mary’s Trophy for saloons is halved to five laps because of hail and pressing TV needs, he wins by 22.6sec. Hill leads the 42-lap main event, but Clark, revving to 10,000rpm, passes him on lap six and pulls away to win by 24.2sec. He shares his 107.76mph fastest lap with Stewart, however, and has to cadge a lift to the pits after suffering a front puncture (cover for an engine problem perhaps) on the slowing-down lap. He completes his hat trick by winning the 21-lap Lavant Cup by 20sec in the Type 30; his fastest lap is four-tenths shy of the day’s F1 best.
21st Clark tests Type 38/1 at Trenton. But when new team-mate Roger McCluskey destroys 38/2, Chapman decides to withdraw from Sunday’s 100-mile USAC race. Clark’s car is flown directly to Indy; the wreck is returned to the UK.
24th His participation in the F2 Pau GP has long been a bone of contention, but now Clark arrives in plenty of time and qualifies third after experimenting with Goodyears on his six-speed Type 35.
25th He finds grip (on Dunlops) in the rain where others cannot and leads all the way, lapping the entire field. Brabhams are generally quicker than the Lotuses; Clark is the difference. The downside to this trip is the tummy bug that still will be affecting him six weeks later.
30th The new 5.3-litre V8 in his Type 30 Series 2 breaks a conrod and Clark, who drives Vic Wilson’s privateer version in the afternoon, has to make do with fifth on the grid for Oulton Park’s RAC International Tourist Trophy, a round of the World Championship for Makes.
1st Reduced to a 4.7-litre, he inherits the lead of the first two-hour heat due to the misfortunes of others. Then he, too, hits trouble: a loose rear wishbone. He spends 12 minutes (eight laps) in the pits and finishes 16th. Having charged from the back of the grid, he’s leading the second heat when more trouble strikes: terminal gearbox failure after 41 laps.
3rd Clark’s first day at Indianapolis: he laps at 152.5mph and is pleased by his Type 38’s handling.
5th AJ Foyt’s modified 1964 Lotus 34 crashes because of a rear hub failure and organisers USAC restrict Team Lotus to 30 laps between crack-tests.
6th Clark is second-fastest: 154.772mph.
7th Having finalised their race settings, Team Lotus and engine partner Ford turn their attention to qualifying, when 30 per cent nitromethane will be used. A tyre decision must also be made before Pole Day: Goodyears are 2-3mph faster but have a tendency to chunk; thus Clark demands Firestones.
8th At 158.926mph, he closes on the lap record.
9th Parnelli Jones’ Type 34 also suffers a hub failure and all Lotuses and Lolas are grounded.
10th Foyt (on Goodyears) laps at 158.311mph; Clark manages 157.168mph.
11th Foyt is quickest again – 159.943mph – but says his Lotus is “unsanitised” compared to his Lola. Mind games. Clark laps at 157.8mph.
12th It’s confirmed that Team Lotus will not contest the Monaco GP (May 30). Talk of a Ford jet whisking Clark from Nice to Indy was merely that: talk. Foyt is fastest: 161.146mph; Clark – clocked at 196mph on the back straight and 149mph through Turn Two – laps at 160.142mph.
15th A 200,000 crowd enjoys a thrilling Pole Day. Its running order is decided by ballot for the first time: Clark draws 12. After a late swap of gear ratio, he joins the track moments after rookie Mario Andretti has set a four-lap record in his Hawk-Ford: 158.849mph. Clark, also on Firestones, tops that: 160.729mph. He’s being interviewed when Foyt’s opening lap is announced: 161.958mph. ‘Super Tex’ takes pole – at 161.233mph – before Gurney completes an all-Lotus front row. His place in the race secure, Clark returns to Scotland for a much-needed break. Incessant Indy hoopla is not to his taste.
27th Final checks on Carburetion Day: back on pure methanol, all goes well.
30th Team Lotus’s mechanics finish their final preparations unusually early: 10.30pm.
31st Clark assumes the lead of the 500 at the start when Foyt misses his shift. The latter, reportedly running nitro, takes the lead on the next lap; Clark makes it easy for him, as he plans to follow and assess. But Foyt’s Goodyears seem to have shed some speed in curing their chunking and Clark realises that he can lap faster, without exceeding his 8800rpm limit.
He repasses on lap three – and leads a total of 190 laps. His supremacy is absolute.
His mandatory refuelling stops, on laps 66 and 136 – using designer Len Terry’s twin-pipe venturi rig and carried out by crack NASCAR crew the Wood Brothers – are paragons of efficiency. When Foyt’s transmission fails after 115 laps, Clark’s only worries are a strange noise from the rear and a slight soreness in his right wrist.
He wins – the first overseas victor since 1916 – by two minutes, having broken 19 of 20 distance records and averaged 150.633mph for 3hr 19min 05sec. His purse is $166,621, which he shares in usual Lotus fashion: 45 per cent each for himself and the team and the remainder for the mechanics. He also wins free meat for a year (he takes cash in lieu), an engraved Premier watch and a $1000 man’s wardrobe, plus the Plymouth Sport Fury convertible Pace Car. (Ford eventually swaps the latter for a Galaxie 500 after the replacement Mustang earmarked for Clark is accidentally dropped onto the dock at Southampton.) The team celebrates in a local Italian restaurant. Because Memorial Day is ‘dry’ in Indiana, red wine is served in coffee cups.
4th Clark qualifies fourth for the Player’s 200 at Mosport in the works Type 30 Series 2.
5th His race ends because of a broken driveshaft in the first 100-mile heat.
7th After another transatlantic flit, he loses his rag when a rival baulks his Cortina, fitted with new BRM rods and pistons, during the short morning practice at the Whit Monday Crystal Palace meeting. He regains his composure to qualify second (behind Gardner’s Cortina) for the Norbury Trophy, and wins his class by finishing second overall to Roy Pierpoint’s Mustang. He also qualifies second for the F2 London Trophy, but wins both 25-lap heats in a Type 35-Cosworth. The latter result earns him £150.
11th The first two-hour practice session (for works teams only) at Spa’s Belgian GP is complicated by a leaking oil pipe that sidelines his four-valve Type 33 and forces Clark into team-mate Mike Spence’s 16-valve flat-crank car. He’s fourth-fastest nevertheless.
12th More frustration. Team Lotus is swapping from peg location to knock-off hubs and track time is lost because of ill-fitting wheels. Back in chassis R11, Clark digs deep to qualify second, albeit 2sec slower than Hill’s BRM.
13th Rain. Hill gets the jump, but Clark passes him despite the spray and holds a big lead after one lap. “Lifting off less than the others,” he laps all bar Stewart’s BRM and wins by 44.8sec, despite a bout of clutch-slip towards the end.
15th Ford GB invites Clark, Stewart and Whitmore to a PR stunt at Brands: driving a D300 truck loaded with one ton of concrete blocks. Clark sets fastest time on the short circuit before bald tyres end the fun.
17th Indy winners Clark, Chapman and Type 38 are the star attractions in Ford’s Product Salon at the World’s Fair in New York. Clark commits a PR gaffe by slating “lousy” Le Mans before remembering how much money his host is spending trying to win that weekend’s race.
24th Clark, Stokes, Chapman and Spence fly to Clermont-Ferrand for the French GP. On arrival, they bump into Yuri Gagarin, who has jetted from the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. The Russian cosmonaut is a fan of Clark’s and jollity ensues. Thus delayed and dashing to the hotel, Chapman crashes the hire car into a ditch. Clark is knocked unconscious momentarily. The incident is kept secret and the injuries are treated at a doctor’s surgery gone midnight.
25th Clark thumbs a lift from Surtees after the Type 33’s rear suspension fails during the first two-hour practice session. Fifth, he’s the fastest newcomer to this challenging five-mile circuit.
26th Matters go from bad to worse when the four-valve engine snaps a camshaft as Clark begins his pole bid. Jumping into the spare car – chassis R6, fitted with an old high-exhaust V8 – he grabs pole from Stewart by five-tenths.
27th “A typical Clark race,” according to Chapman. Still in R6, he leads all 40 laps, sets a new lap record, wins by 26.3sec – and collects £660. Had it not been for Stewart, his nearest challenger would have been two-and-a-half minutes distant.
3rd America’s IRS is withholding half of Clark Indy winnings, the Daily Express reveals. An appeal is under way. In the meantime, he qualifies third for the F2 Reims GP.
4th A typical Reims slipstreamer, the top four separated by six tenths after 191 hectic miles. Clark’s Type 35 finishes third behind Jochen Rindt’s Brabham and the Lola-BRM of Gardner; he reckons that he has been “duffed up” by the opposition.
5th He flies to Zurich for a lunch meeting with Ford bigwigs…
6th …and then flies to Paris and drives to Rouen…
7th …where he practises for the F2 race before returning home for the British GP.
8th Though forced by an engine shortage to use a two-valve Climax, he tops the morning practice session at Silverstone. He goes two tenths faster in the afternoon, but Hill’s BRM pips him by a tenth to the £100 on offer for the day’s fastest lap.
9th Reunited with chassis R11 and its four-valve engine, Clark is the only man to dip below 1min 31sec and so claims pole. In America, meanwhile, the cover of Time features his portrait – by Austrian-born American artist Henry Koerner – beneath the headline The Quickest Man on Wheels.
10th Clark holds a 30sec lead with 20 laps (of 80) remaining in the British GP when a crankshaft seal fails and the oil pressure dips alarmingly during surge; he has to freewheel around certain corners to save the engine. BRM alerts Hill, who begins to charge despite his spongy brakes. Though the latter sets the fastest lap on the last lap, his Lotus quarry escapes capture by 3.2sec. Clark, Chapman, Spence and Stokes dash to Luton Airport, where Chapman’s private plane is ready for the short hop to Rouen. They land as darkness descends.
11th The Brabhams of Brabham and Hill claim pole and the fastest lap respectively, but Clark’s Type 35 wins the F2 Rouen GP by 14.5sec. He decides to stay overnight to celebrate his Trophées de France title with a glass of champagne, followed by a meal with the mechanics at a local restaurant.
12th He then flies to London in “filthy weather” and spends the remainder of the day catching up on paperwork. His Daily Express column reveals that he’s thinking of retiring and denies any secret arrangements between Chapman and Ford to build a 3-litre F1 engine for the new 1966 formula.
14th Clark and Chapman receive BARC Gold Medals from athletics golden girl Mary Rand at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
15th “Nothing could ever induce me to leave Scotland permanently,” writes Clark in the Daily Express.
16th It’s bitterly cold at Zandvoort as Clark’s Type 33 tops the timesheet in morning practice for the Dutch GP. It rains in the afternoon.
17th Despite better conditions, any hope of his improving on that Friday lap ends when the four-valver dumps its oil. He will contest the race in Spence’s 16-valve, flat-crank car, chassis R9, and start from the middle of the front row.
18th After passing Richie Ginther’s Honda and Hill’s BRM before six laps are complete, Clark controls proceedings to win by 8sec. That he sets the race’s fastest lap as early as lap five suggests that he has speed to spare. The day ends on a sour note, however, when Chapman is arrested for punching a policeman. The prize ceremony is cancelled and Clark alters his travel plans – he’d been scheduled to judge a competition at London’s Lyceum – to act as a witness. Chapman faces a £500 fine or a two-year prison term…
19th …but is released without charge by a court in Haarlem. During his night in the cells he has sketched a new Formula 3 design on the back of the writ!
30th Any thoughts of clinching the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships at the German GP are put on hold as Clark’s Type 33 bounces and scrapes around the Nürburgring. A raised ride height and different shock absorbers cure this and he’s almost 4sec faster than his rivals in the afternoon.
31st He keeps a wary eye during the final two-hour morning session, but nobody comes close and he will start from pole.
1st Finding good grip on the concrete pit apron, Clark jumps into a lead that he’s never to relinquish. His standing lap is a lap record, and he lowers the mark again on laps two and three. Though Hill’s BRM matches him on the latter, Clark pulls away at a rate of three seconds per lap thereafter. Having set fastest lap on lap 10 – at more than 101mph – he senses a change of engine note and backs off, yet wins by 15.9sec. He’s thus world champion for a second time. It’s also his first victory on the Nordschleife. Both achievements are celebrated in the restaurant beneath the main grandstand.
8th A failed transistor box halts Clark’s Type 35 after seven laps of the F2 Kanonloppet at Karlskoga, Sweden. Although Brabham wins, the Daily Express headline reads: “Jim Clark Loses”.
10th Clark tests the latest Type 38 Indycar, chassis 4 – though it’s actually the fifth built – at Snetterton. Its symmetrical suspension (to suit right- as well as left-handers), larger brakes and five-speed ZF gearbox allow him to lap at F1 speeds using just two gears.
14th Clark puts the venerable chassis R6 on pole by four tenths for the F1 Mediterranean GP at Sicily’s Enna-Pergusa speedbowl.
15th A slow start puts him on the back foot, however, and it’s team-mate Spence who takes the fight to Siffert’s Brabham-BRM – until a stone in the face causes the Englishman to crash. Clark’s two-valve engine has sufficient grunt to set fastest lap, but it falls four tenths shy in the final dash to the flag; for a second consecutive year, the feisty Swiss denies him victory in this race.
20th Clark and Chapman fly in the latter’s plane (soon to be sold to Clark) from North London to Delémont, capital of Switzerland’s Jura canton.
21st Starting at 6.30am, Clark completes six practice runs of the winding St-Ursanne-Les Rangiers hillclimb – in a 495bhp Indycar! His best beats the old record, but Siffert’s nimble Brabham-BRM is 3.6sec faster yet.
22nd Rain makes Clark’s task even more difficult. Despite mud on the road, his second run – 2min 43.9sec – is 7sec faster than his first. Siffert’s FTD is 2min 25.1sec and he wins on aggregate over two runs.
28th An up-and-down day at Brands Hatch. Clark qualifies second in his Cortina (behind Brabham’s Mustang) and third in his F2 Type 35, but his new 5.7-litre V8 (an extra 100bhp) Lotus 40 sports-prototype is barely finished and he can do no better than the seventh row after five minutes of seat-time. He then dashes to contest the Swiss GP – a round of the world sportscar championship at Ollon-Villars hillclimb – in the Indycar.
29th Having missed official practice, he undertakes three trial runs of the five-mile course that rises from the Rhône valley. A cracked suspension upright is discovered after the first and is welded. He clocks 4min 34.5sec on his second, but a misfire ruins the third. That problem persists and blights his run proper: 10.8sec slower than in practice, he’s 35.5sec behind Lodovico Scarfiotti, overall winner in a Ferrari Dino 206P.
30th Chapman collects Clark from Heathrow and flies him to Brands Hatch for its inaugural August Bank Holiday meeting. The latter will soon be wondering if the rush has been worth it. Though his Type 35 wins the F2 Eagle Star Trophy, he suffers four incidents/accidents elsewhere.
The Type 40’s Hewland gearbox – in place of the 30’s ZF – suffers gremlins in the first 30-lap heat of the Guards Trophy and Clark spins on two occasions when it selects neutral; he finishes eighth, two laps down. A locking front brake – a Lotus development of three-pad calipers clamping vented discs – deposits him in the ditch at Clearways during the second heat. To cap it all, his Cortina team-mate Sears spins him on the opening lap of the Ilford Films Trophy. On its fourth lap, Clark cuts cheekily across the grass at Bottom Bend to pit because of a puncture. He’s allowed to resume and sets a spectacular lap record before being halted by an ignition short. This is fixed trackside by a mechanic – a disqualification offence – but he pits again, this time to complain about the steering.
10th Clark divides his time between chassis R11 and R6, the latter still fitted with its old-spec V8, during the three-and-a-half-hour afternoon practice session for the Italian GP at Monza. He sets second-fastest time in the former.
11th In the four-valve R11, he is the only man to go below 1min 36sec and so wins the 200,000 lire on offer for pole.
12th Though he leads the first two laps, it’s apparent that he cannot shake off the slipstreaming BRMs of Stewart and Hill. Clark leads 19 laps in total and sets the fastest lap – 133.427mph on lap 46 – before dropping from the lead battle on lap 64 (of 76) because of a malfunctioning fuel injection pump.
17th Clark qualifies fourth for the F2 Oulton Park International Gold Cup – its afternoon session ruined by rain – and is beaten to the BSCC pole by Brabham’s Alan Brown-run Mustang.
18th A parachute display is cancelled because of high winds, but the racing goes on. From the outside of the front row, Clark is leading the Gold Cup when he spins under heavy pressure at Cascades on lap eight (of 40). He rejoins in 16th place and sets joint fastest lap during a brilliant recovery drive that sees him finish sixth and claim the point that wins him the Autocar British F2 Championship. He leads the 19-lap BSCC race, too, but is soon overtaken by Brabham. The latter wins on the road, only to be disqualified one week later for using non-homologated engine parts. Of more immediate concern to Clark is the fact that Brabham’s plane seems dangerously low on fuel. A young Geoff Brabham breezily tells everyone not to worry and they make an unscheduled but very necessary stop at Coventry en route to London. In other news: Ford is to fund a 3-litre F1 engine built by Cosworth for Team Lotus.
22nd Clark receives the freedom of the Burgh of Duns.
25th He qualifies third for the F2 race at Albi.
26th Although Brabham’s 16-valve Brabham-Honda starts from pole and sets the fastest lap, Clark’s Type 35 pips it to victory by eight tenths after 192 miles.
1st Another oil leak on his four-valve Climax forces Clark to swap to Spence’s 16-valve Type 33, chassis R9, during the opening four-hour practice session for the United States GP at Watkins Glen. He sets second-fastest time in it but also suffers a grassy moment when he selects the wrong gear.
2nd His engine not yet fixed, he begins this session in Mexican team-mate Moises Solana’s chassis R6 – and ends it back in Spence’s after the repaired engine strips its timing gears. Despite setting the day’s best time in R9, Clark elects to start from second on the grid in R11, after the four-valver is re-repaired using parts from the Brabham unit rejected by Gurney.
3rd Clark battles the pole-sitting BRM of Hill for the lead until his Lotus suffers a broken piston on lap 12.
22nd Those engine woes continue when the re-re-repaired four-valve Climax goes bang during first practice at the Mexican GP. Clark is two hundredths slower in Spence’s requisitioned car than the pace-setting Brabham of Gurney.
23rd His Type 33 fitted with the ‘old nail’ cross-crank V8 that took him to victory at the French GP, Clark bucks the trend of a hotter and supposedly slower session with a successful last-minute dash for pole. He is also named by America’s ABC TV channel as Man of the Year of its Wide World of Sports.
24th His ‘trusty’ V8 feeling tight from the start, Clark makes a slow getaway and retires after eight laps when it seizes. His F1 winnings for the year amount to £13,340.
31st A $50,000 purse attracts a stellar sports car field to the 200-mile LA Times GP at Riverside. Clark’s Type 40, now fitted with a 5.8-litre V8, lines up only 13th and finishes 10th in the 20-lap qualification race. In the 77-lap GP, however, he moves stealthily through a dwindling field and finishes second, 5.8sec behind Hap Sharp’s Chaparral.
1st Clark and Stewart land at Prestwick Airport, Glasgow, where the assembled press ask the latter about his first-born son Paul, then just four days old, and Clark about his father, Jim Sr, who had collapsed recently at Berwick market.
4th A dapper Clark attends Zandvoort for a Ford Corsair V4 – and tractor! – media launch…
12th His father improving, Clark opens the Scottish Motor Show at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall…
19th …attends the annual dinner dance of the Scottish Motor Racing Club at Ingliston’s McRobert Pavilion…
24th …and is voted second to world champion road cyclist Tom Simpson in the Daily Express Sportsman of the Year.
26th During a riotous West Essex Car Club dinner dance at Park Lane Hotel, Clark, Chapman, Hill and Les Leston re-enact ‘Zandvoortgate’ and de-bag ‘policemen’ Peters Arundell and Jopp.
11th Clark receives five awards at the BRDC’s dinner dance at The Dorchester in London. He wears a kilt of Cameron of Erracht tartan for the occasion.
Cars I have owned
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