Welcome to The Jim Clark Trust dedicated to promoting the inspiration and legacy of double Formula 1 World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Clark.
Jim Clark is widely regarded as one of the greatest and naturally gifted motor racing drivers of all time, a national hero for Scotland and international icon of the 1960’s.
Jim Clark’s tragic death at Hockenheim in 1968 stunned the world and in terrible circumstances helped redefine the future of Formula 1 with a greater emphasis on safety led by his close friend Sir Jackie Stewart, the Trust’s Honorary President.
James ‘Jim’ Clark was the son of a farmer from the Scottish Borders, modest and quietly spoken with a warm smile and dry wit. He was much admired for his sportsmanship as a gentleman alongside his remarkable natural ability as a racing driver and winning partnership with Lotus. He dominated world motor racing like no one before or since due to his success in all types of motor racing. To many he remains the greatest racing driver of all time.
Jim Clark inspired a generation. We welcome you to visit the current Jim Clark Room and learn about our plans for a new modern Jim Clark museum to inspire the next generation.
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Jim Clark OBE
4th March 1936 - 7th April 1968
Farmer, Scottish Borders
World Champion Motor Racing Driver
Formula 1 World Champion, 1963 and 1965
72 Grand Prix starts, 25 Wins, 33 Pole Positions
Winner Indianapolis 500, 1965
Born in Kilmany, Fife, Scotland in 1936, Jim Clark was raised on a farm in the Berwickshire hills of the beautiful Scottish Borders with four sisters, a world away from racing and attended Loretto School in Edinburgh. Early interests lay in cricket and hockey. It was on the farm in the fields and amongst grazing sheep that Clark always felt most at home, it was also where he developed his driving skills. In 1956 he bought a Sunbeam Talbot and began competing in local rallies. Within four years he was racing for Lotus in the 1960 season forming a winning partnership and friendship with Colin Chapman. He won the World Championship twice, first in 1963, then in 1965, and secured the top podium slot at 25 Grand Prix races. He was also the first British driver to win the grueling Indianapolis 500 race in America. In 1962 and 1964 he was deprived of two more championships due to mechanical failures in the last race of each season.
Clark’s tally of 25 victories was a record at the time and has only been surpassed by a handful of other drivers since then and none in as few races. His 25 wins came in just 72 starts, a win ratio bettered only be Alberto Ascari and Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950’s. Only Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and more recently Lewis Hamilton have ever equalled or surpassed Clark’s tally of 33 pole positions in Formula 1, all in the modern era and none in so few races.
Motorsport in the early days of Formula One was unfortunately inherently dangerous. Clark was involved in several spectacular accidents during his career, but had never suffered serious injury until 1968. He was greatly admired by many for his sincerity, humility and personal integrity; qualities that endeared him to his fans and his rivals alike. Nearly invincible in the car, he seemed vulnerable out of it and a reluctant hero. Few champions were so dominant and fewer still remembered so fondly even today. He was in a Formula 2 race at a wet Hockenheim on 7 April during a break in the Formula 1 season when his Lotus left the track, somersaulted and collided with a tree killing Clark then just 32. The sport was shocked by the death of its shining star. His memory and inspiration still lives on and is cherished by many to this day.