Team review | March 1959 - Clark stars

Scots’ success story

Roy Salvadori and Jim Clark racing in Aston Martin DBR1s.

The Border Reivers competed at Le Mans in 1961 with an Aston Martin DBR1 (No5) driven by Jim Clark and Ron Flockhart. They lasted 11 hours

GP Library/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

When Scottish motor racing is mentioned the mind turns to Ecurie Ecosse, but another Scottish team was formed a year before Ecurie Ecosse came into being in 1952. The name Border Reivers was chosen for a team formed by two Formula 3 drivers, Jock McBain and David Swan. Colin Clark, Cie Mauritzen and Keith Hall joined with their 500s and were followed by the Somervail brothers with the ex-Bira ERA. Following the impressive debut of the Cooper-Bristol, the Reivers placed an order for one, and in the hands of Keith Hall gained several successes.

The cars have always been prepared by John McBain & Son Ltd and for one winter Alf Francis was chief mechanic. The present mechanics are Bobby Hattle, Ian Matheson and Ian Deans.

In 1956 the team was re-arranged, and only Jock McBain and the Somervail brothers were left of the old group, but they were joined by Alistair Birrell. The team consisted of an Austin-Healey 100S and a Lotus Eleven Le Mans but no particular successes were gained. For 1957 a Formula 2 Lotus was ordered, but owing to snags the car was never delivered: Birrell withdrew from the team, and, in fact, they almost decided to disband until Jock McBain announced that he was going to buy a D-type Jaguar. He purchased the Murkett Bros car which had been driven in 1957 by Henry Taylor. As team driver he engaged the promising young Jim Clark, who had shown potential at the end of 1957 when driving Ian Scott Watson’s Porsche 1600 Super. This Porsche was also incorporated into the team as its owner was by now the Racing Manager of the team. Jimmy Somervail was also a team driver.