From the Archive – Clark to Burti


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The great Scot Jim Clark would have been 80 this week. His career has been celebrated so often down the years, most recently in the August 2015 issue that marked the 50th anniversary of the greatest motor racing campaign: 1965. That year saw Clark reign at Indy, Down Under, and across the world. All before August had even come to an end. He added the British and French F2 titles that year, too.

Nigel Roebuck added the Jim Clark chapter to his Legends series in 2003, recalling watching “Marshman and Gurney in hysterics as Jimmy chatted away”, on a day in Milwaukee. He goes on to say “that he was drawn by pure love of racing, by curiosity, by a desire to see something new”.

Exactly three years earlier than Clark, the uncrowned King of Sicily Nino Vaccarella was born. He claimed victory on his home island three times in the Targa Florio, once for Ferrari and twice for Alfa Romeo.

Another Targa Florio winner, 1959 victor Wolfgang Seidel, died this week in 1987, three years to the day before Jaguar man Peter Walker – a forgotten hero who was at times faster than Moss – died.

March historically took Formula 1 to South Africa and to Kyalami. Jackie Stewart won the 1969 and 1973 editions of the South African Grand Prix, and Mario Andretti took the third Ferrari to his maiden win in 1971. McLaren scored a first one year later, winning with Yardley backing after some near misses. Niki Lauda’s first visit to the top step of the podium since his 1976 crash came in tragic circumstances at Kyalami in 1977 when the popular and talented Tom Pryce was killed.

Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve were also victorious in 1975 and 1979.

The only female as yet to score points in Formula 1, Lella Lombardi, died 23 years ago at the age of 50. Paul Fearnley spoke to those that knew and raced against the talented Italian for the April 2015 issue, uncovering the legacy of “a free and independent woman.

American Masten Gregory was born this week in 1932, and James Weaver turned 61. A trio of F1 drivers from around the turn of the century celebrated birthdays: Perry McCarthy (55), Jos Verstappen (44) and Luciano Burti (41), and homebuilt single-seater racer Graham McRae turns 76 on Sunday March 6. The Kiwi was a regular Formula 5000 winner and Tasman Cup front-runner, also appearing in IndyCar and Formula 1.

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