• Racing legend celebrated 50 years after winning first world title
• BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner honours double champion
• Personal trophies and former cars on display
• Clark’s Lotuses to star in two historic F1 tribute races
Final plans to celebrate the remarkable racing achievements of double world champion Jim Clark at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (26-28 July) have been confirmed.
As previously announced the two historic Formula One races for grand prix cars dating back to the early Sixties era are being dedicated to Clark as well as a very special commemorative dinner.
Set in the dramatic Silverstone Wing building, the inaugural BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner will be held on Friday 26 July almost exactly 50 years after Clark won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 20 July 1963 en route to his first World Championship crown. Open to members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Silverstone Classic competitors, the evening will include special tributes to the Scotsman – a racing legend who is still widely hailed to be Britain’s greatest ever Grand Prix driver.
Born in Fife, Clark won the Formula One World Championship title in 1963 and 1965, and was the first British driver to win the Indianapolis 500, again in 1965. At the time of his death, when racing a Formula Two car at Hockenheim in Germany in 1968, he had won more Grands Prix (25 from just 72 starts) and pole positions (33) than any other driver.
Many of those who knew Clark from the Sixties will be sharing their memories during the BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner. Among the invited guest speakers are several of his old team-mates including Jack Sears and Sir John Whitmore as well as period mechanics Bob Dance, Dick Scammell and Cedric Selzer from his title winning days at Lotus and renowned designer Len Terry. They will be joined by BRDC member Robs Lamplough and HSCC director Grahame White who were both present on that fateful day at Hockenheim. Cars raced by Clark will be present, too, both inside the Wing and in echelon outside the building to welcome guests.
Adding further to the special golden anniversary celebration, the Jim Clark Trust will be displaying around 20 of the glittering trophies currently on show at the Jim Clark Room – the museum located in Clark’s home town of Duns, Berwickshire. Several members of the Clark family will also be savouring the evening.
Famous cars once raced by Clark won’t just be on static display. The entry list for the two hugely evocative Jim Clark Trophy for Pre-1966 Rear Engined Grand Prix Cars showdowns organised by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association (HGPCA) is headed by a number of the Lotuses in which the talented Scot scored so many of his stirring victories.
Foremost among these is the very Lotus 25 in which he won the 1963 British Grand Prix at Silverstone en route to his first world championship crown. In total, Clark won the British Grand Prix on no fewer than five occasions – a tally that remains unbeaten to this day – and three of these victories were at Silverstone.
With its monocoque chassis and shrill 1500cc Coventry-Climax FWMV V8-engine, the Lotus 25 was a game changer as David Coulthard discovered when driving the illustrious green machine at the Silverstone Classic Media Day back in May for preview features on BBC television, the Daily Telegraph and Motor Sport magazine.
The experienced Andy Middlehurst has the honour of racing the famous title-winning car at the Classic while Nick Fennell competes in another Lotus 25 in which Clark won races during the following 1964 season. Both are beautifully prepared by Classic Team Lotus, the Norfolk-based equipe is run by Clive Chapman, son of the marque’s genial founder Colin.
Clark’s earlier Formula One career is well represented by two slab-sided 2.5-litre Climax-powered ex-works Lotus 18s raced by John Chisholm and Paul Smeeth. Also lining up is the unique Type 32B which carried Jimmy to the 1965 Tasman Cup title in the Antipodes with American lawyer Chris Locke at the helm.
“Jim Clark was without doubt one of the greatest racing drivers of all time and a hero to all of us mere mortals. He wore the BRDC Badge with pride and was a notable member of the Club and a true Silverstone hero – that’s why we are so pleased and privileged to be honouring his incredible career,” said Derek Warwick, President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club. “The superb Classic presents us with the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to past champions and the inaugural BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner is clearly going to be a very, very special evening.”
Tickets for the exclusive BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner in the Silverstone Wing are priced at £99 (including VAT) and available from the official website: SilverstoneClassic.com/BRDCdinner. All those attending will receive a special pin badge presented by the Jim Clark Trust.
General admittance tickets to the Silverstone Classic must be purchased in advance by Thursday 25 July. Full details can be found on the official www.silverstoneclassic.com website.