A Conversation for Jim Clark OBE - racing driver
Researcher 167136 Started conversation Jan 17, 2001
Jim Clark was by a league the greatest racing driver ever.
He was the only one, from whom Fangio said:
"He was better than me."
When he died on this stupid Hockenheim-circuit, I was only 7 years old, but I remember very well that darkest day of motor-racing history.
Leo Würde, Konz, Germany
FCL-BW Posted May 9, 2001
Many thanks for this excellent article. Like Leo, I am too young to remember Jim Clark, but everything I have heard about him indicates, to me, that he was the greatest driver ever.
Regarding his fatal accident, I believe the reason for his crash was a tyre failure and not, as the text implies, a driving error on a slippery track.
One Clark anecdote, which shows perhaps just why he was so good. One evening in the Pub (this was when F1 drivers were allowed to have a normal social life) he picked up his pint and turned away from the bar just as the barman tried to give him his change. Out of the corner of his eye, Jim saw the coins falling towards the floor. He instinctively reached out with his left hand and caught every single one, whilst at the same time not spilling a drop from his full pint glass. What a guy!!
Giford Posted Sep 5, 2002
Yeah, a burst tyre caused the accident. However, the tyre company hushed it up for a long time (I mean, it's not exactly great PR, is it? "Our tyres killed Jim Clark!"), which is why you often see it referred to as driver error.
Ironically, that killed off the belief that 'good drivers can avoid crashes - only people trying too hard crash', which had been commonly held. But if Jim Clark can crash in an F2 race, anyone can. And that was what launched the first hints of safety in F1, though it would take a decade to start going.
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