Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Carlo Carluccio.
27/10/63 – Jim Clark equals Fangio’s record.
Jim Clark set two records on his way to claiming his first World Championship in 1963.
He beat the 6 wins in a season that Fangio had recorded in 1954 and became the first driver in history to win the title with three rounds of the 10 race season remaining.
After retirement in Monaco, he would win the next four races, finish second to John Surtees in Germany and win the Italian Grand Prix claiming the World Championship for himself and the Constructors Cup for Lotus.
In America his team found he had a flat battery just before the race; he was already a lap down to the field when they got his car running yet finished third by the chequered flag.
The Formula One teams gathered in Mexico City for the penultimate round of the championship.
Jim Clark took pole position from the Ferrari of John Surtees. Third was the BRM of Graham Hill who was followed by Dan Gurney’s Brabham, Ritchie Ginther’s BRM and Bruce Mclaren in the Cooper-Climax.
Clark dominated the race, winning by more than a minute and a half. The victory would equal the nine year old record of Fangio’s six wins in a season.
Jack Brabham. driving a car bearing his own name, had the best result of the fledgling companies history to date and although he only qualified tenth, he had climbed through the field to finish second to the sublime combination of Clark and the Lotus 25.
In the last decade or two, we automatically assume that domination is achieved by a great car, irrespective of the talent behind the wheel. Watching Vettel winning constantly is to believe that his car is the dominant factor. Yet if this were true, why is his team-mate not consistently finishing as runner up?
Jim Clark dominated with the 25 because the combination of driver and car was supreme. The results of his team-mates prove that the car was not the world beater we always assume it was.
Two words that when combined, makes any aficionado of Grand Prix racing dissolve into monochromes, as they remember delicate low slung cars being driven with the soft touch of an artist.
Jackie Stewart: “He was so smooth, he was so clean, he drove with such finesse. He never bullied a racing car, he sort of caressed it into doing the things he wanted it to do.”
Senna visited the Jim Clark museum in Duns. He had made a private visit with Sid Watkins and had called in advance to say he was arriving and didn’t want any media intrusion.
He looked at different items, watched a video, asked questions and bought souvenirs. On leaving, he thanked the curator, signed the visitors book and then went to Clark’s old school, just outside Edinburgh, where he gave a speech to pupils.
At the time of Senna’s visit, World Champion Mansell was publicly stating his pride at following Clark as a British World Champion. The curator was asked if he had ever been to the museum. “We couldn’t afford it” was the reply…