Plans to celebrate the racing achievements of double world champion Jim Clark at this summer's Silverstone Classic are close to completion.
As previously announced [ see separate story
], the 26-28 July event will see two historic F1 races - for grand prix cars dating back to the early Sixties era - dedicated to Clark, as well the staging of a very special commemorative dinner in memory of the Scot.
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 F1 crown 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 an F2 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 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 a welcoming echelon outside the building.
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 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,/i> 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.