The racing careers of the leading Grand Prix drivers have been repeated so many times that they are well known to most followers of the Sport. We feel that there are just as many interesting stories to be told about the men who race almost every weekend at Club and National meetings up and down the county. We hope that those people who watch the racing from the Grandstand and never visit the Paddock will derive some amusement and knowledge from this series.
John Bekaert: A well-known performer in Restricted and National events, John Bekaert commenced racing in 1955 and since then has driven a Lotus Mk6, Aston Martin, C-type Jaguar, HWM-Jaguar and Lister-Jaguar, the last four indicating his decided preference for ‘hairy’ motor cars. Since 1955 he has gained 56 wins, 24 seconds and 17 third places, but despite several tries has never quite managed to pull off the MOTOR SPORT Silverstone Trophy. Of works drives he has driven once for the works Lister team and for Ecurie Ecosse, and has also had more exciting offers which he has refused for various reasons. For 1960 he will retain the 3.8 Lister-Jaguar and will also race the Cooper-Smith Formula Junior car.
John Bekaert has had his fair share of amusing incidents. Once he upset the occupants of a police car by approaching a 30mph sign at 130mph in the HWM-Jaguar! Last year he won a race in Eire with no clutch, a bent king-pin, bent de Dion tube, a collapsing wheel bearing and the bonnet almost off. The Irish spectators thought it was great fun. At Aintree, shortly after the Irish incident, he had a magnificent accident in which he took Bechers Brook in great style — unfortunately the car remained behind, where it had hit the bank!
When not motor racing, he is a textile manufacturer, is married, with two children, and for personal transport uses a Volvo and a Sprite.
David Buxton started serious racing in 1957 with an Austin Healey 100S of Team Healey, following up in 1958 and ’59 with a Lotus 11 and 15, which gained him several places. He also drove a Lotus Elite which gained him nine wins, including the 1300cc GT class at the German GP meeting at Avus. For 1960 he will be driving a works Team Elite car in all the International sports and GT events, and also his Lotus 17. There may also be a works Formula One drive but details are hush-hush at the moment. He will be organising the Elite team as well as driving in it, and also hopes to construct a GT car to his own design.
David Buxton is managing director of his own garage business, which deals in many exotic cars, including Lotus, TVR, Cooper, AC, Austin Healey, Triumph and Maserati. He is not yet married and is fortunate enough to own a Maserati 3500GT as a road car.
Jim Clark: By the end of the year Jim Clark’s face should be well known to everyone, as he will be joining the Aston Martin Formula One team along with Trintignant and Salvadori. Although most of his appearances have been in Restricted and National sportscar races, this has not prevented his undoubted talents from being spotted. He commenced in 1958 with a Porsche 1600S and a D-type Jaguar, both belonging to the Border Reivers. In Scotland he was unbeatable, and when his farming commitments allowed he made successful sorties across the border into England.
For 1958 Jim Clark drove the ex-Bruce Halford Lister-Jaguar and a Lotus Elite, in both of which he gained many successes, including 10th place at Le Mans with John Whitmore. In 1960, apart from World Championship races with Aston Martin, he will drive the Border Reivers DBR1 in major sportscar events, and will possibly drive a Formula Junior Lotus in certain events.
James Clark Junior (as he calls himself) is a farmer in Berwickshire, is not yet married, thinks that MOTOR SPORT is one of the more accurate magazines when it comes to reporting (we didn’t twist his arm!) and drives a Porsche 1600 Super and a Land-Rover.
David Howard has driven an Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII in Club events during 1959, gaining 14 places, including the Aston Martin Owners’ Club Cup for the David Brown Championship. In 1960 he will drive a 2.4 jaguar and the aforementioned Aston Martin. In the photograph he is sitting in the burnt-out remains of the Jaguar warding off souvenir hunters. The car appears to need considerable renovation before the 1960 season. In case readers think it odd he should be wearing a topee, Mr Howard asks us to point out that the sun was shining at the time.
Pressed for comments, especially humourous ones, Mr Howard came up with the following: (a) English traffic police are wonderful; (b) the Volkswagen is a beautiful car; (c) Aston Martin well deserved to win the World Sportscar Championship.
In the daytime David Howard is a company director, is not yet married, and on the road he drives either the Aston or the Jaguar.