Jim Clark commemorated by HSCC at Donington Park

The club kicked-off its start to the 2018 national racing season with tributes to the two-time Formula 1 champion

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The life and racing success of Jim Clark was remembered during a moving commemoration at Donington Park on Saturday April 7 when around 500 people gathered on the start line.

The Historic Sports Car Club’s opening race meeting of the season was exactly 50 years from the day when Clark was killed in a Formula 2 accident at Hockenheim. The Club held a minute’s silence at 1pm on Saturday and drivers, team members, marshals, officials and spectators went to the grid to show their respect for one of Britain’s greatest racing drivers.

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At the head of the grid was the Lotus 18 grand prix car now owned by John Chisholm. Chassis 372 is an ex-works car and was used by Clark to score his first major single-seater win at Brands Hatch in the summer of 1960.

Sam Wilson prepares and races the famous car and delivered it to Donington for the occasion.

'It was lovely to see the Lotus 18 there with the other cars and it was fantastic to see so many people there to remember Jim Clark,' he said.

'In my opinion he was the best racing driver of all time.'

Joining the grand prix car was a Lotus 23B sports-racer and an Elan 26R, representing two other types of car raced by Clark. The moving sound of bag pipes was the lead in to the minute’s silence for a Scottish sporting legend. For a minute, Donington Park fell completely silent as a remarkable racing driver was remembered in a poignant commemoration.

The life of the double world champion, who was just 32 years old when he died, has a special significance for the HSCC as the club’s CEO Grahame White was a friend of Clark and had breakfast with him on the day of the tragedy.

White said: 'April 7 1968 is a date I will always remember. I was at Hockenheim that day working as a Sportkommissare for the Automobile Club Von Deutschland. Motor racing changed that weekend because everybody considered Jim Clark to be the one driver who would never be killed racing. I don't think he ever quite knew what all the fuss was about in relation to his ability in a racing car.'

Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence

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