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Archive for the tag “Team Lotus”

A little bit of Oulton

It wasn’t always going to be a free weekend: when Jim Clark opened his red leather agenda over the winter in Edington Mains the Syracuse F1 weekend would definitely have been listed – a race full-square against the new Ferraris. The Italian police decreed otherwise, however. Still the questions were being asked about the Monza accident in 1961. Jim addressed them; he even held a press conference in late 1963 so that the British press would know exactly what was being said. By March, 1964, however, there was still no clarity. Colin Chapman and Jim thus took the decision to avoid Italy for a while; Syracuse was off the schedule. Instead, Jim would race in the British Automobile Racing Club’s traditional spring meeting at Oulton Park. It wasn’t a big international; on the contrary, it was by any standards a “national” meeting. Nonetheless it featured the reigning World Champion in three different cars in three different events; Bruce McLaren in his new Zerex sports car (just purchased from Roger Penske and hastily fitted not only with a 2.7 litre Climax engine but also the lighting, windscreen wiper and luggage space required by the RAC regulations!); Jackie Stewart (Tyrrell F3 Cooper-BMW and Cooper Monaco, which he shunted heavily in practice; Jackie didn’t race the Chequered Flag Elan as I imply below. He would have his first race with it at Silverstone in three weeks’ time and at Oulton it was driven into a good second place by Mr Chequered Flag himself – Graham Warner); Sir John Whitmore (Lotus Elan and Cortina); and Jack Sears (Ford Galaxy and Cobra).  I should also add that Phil Middlehurst, father of the Lotus 25/43-driving Andy, was also very quick at Oulton this spring weekend, winning the Mini class with his very rapid Cooper S.

Why did Jim Clark make the effort to race in such relatively unimportant events? “I really enjoyed myself racing in 1964,” he would say later.”I managed to relax a bit more than usual; somehow the strain was not so great. I had, after all, achieved my ambition of becoming World Champion, so maybe my mind made me relax a little. I certainly felt freer of the cares that had almost obsessed me at times in 1963 and I consciously went out to enjoy myself.  I don’t think this was shown in my driving, for though my attitude might have changed a little, the results will show I was trying even harder in 1964 than I had the previous year.”

Image below: LAT Photographic

1964 Formula One World Championship.

Jim takes time for a spot of polishing at Edington Mains in early 1964

 

To Pau, for the first 1-litre F2 race…

Jim Clark’s 1964 season engendered a wide variety of nice – and sometimes not-so-nice – racing cars. The F2 Lotus 32 fell firmly in the former category. Jim’s first race with it was in the opening round of the French F2 series – itself the first race for the new F2 – around the familiar streets of Pau. Enter Ron Harris Team Lotus:  in this video we’ve tried to uncover a little more about the former motor-cyclist-cum-film distributor-cum Team Lotus entrant. We also chat with with the very rapid John Fenning, himself a Ron Harris Team Lotus driver, and for the bulk of 1964 a front-running F3 star.

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Jim and the Ron Harris Lotus 32-Cosworth were the class of the Pau, 1964, weekend

Goodwood Easter Monday: Jim Clark, P1

From Sebring back to the UK via a quick test day at Indianapolis: for Jim Clark, the 1964 season was now gathering pace. Next on the agenda was the March 30 non-championship F1 race at Goodwood, that gorgeous circuit on the Sussex downs on which he first tested the Aston Martin F1 car late in 1959. Jim had subsequently won prodigiously there in Formula Junior, and had had a lot of fun too with John Ogier’s Aston Martin Zagato – not to mention the Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro (crashed heavily by his team-mate, Maston Gregory in 1959) and the Border Reivers Lister and Aston DBR1 – but this was his first chance to race an F1 car at Goodwood. It was also his first race at Goodwood since 1962, although he had tested there in 1963.  As at Snetterton, he would drive the modified Lotus 25 on 13in wheels and “donut” Dunlops. Also on Jim’s race card on that Easter Monday: his third British race with the Ford Lotus Cortina.

Images: LAT Photographic and Peter Windsor Collection

 

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In front of a packed 1964 Easter Monday crowd Jim Clark drifts to victory in the 42-lap “News of the World” Trophy race for F1 cars at the wheel of Lotus 25B/R6. Note the wider Dunlops now mounted on 13in wheels (relative to the 15in wheels and narrower tyres used in 1963). Jim inherited his win from Graham Hill, who retired his new BRM with two laps to run, but even so was obliged to race for half the distance without a clutch

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In the early stages of the 10-lap St Mary’s Trophy race Jim chases Jack Sears’ Willment Galaxy and leads team-mate Peter Arundell plus the two Willment Lotus Cortina drivers (Bob Olthoff and Frank Gardner)

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Sally Stokes (Swart) in the Goodwood pits with that Heuer stopwatch Jim gave her after the Geneva Show. It was cold on Easter Monday, 1964

A record-breaking (seventh) win

ACBCIt seems strange now but in 1963 it was part of motor racing tradition: Christmas and New Year meant South African sunshine. Read more…

Happy e-Christmas

Time was when the publication of the latest collection of Michael Turner Christmas cards signalled the genuine arrival of Christmas. Read more…

More hectic than racing

Continuing our year-long diary of Jim Clark’s epic 1963 season. When we last reported, Jim had flown straight to Indianapolis from Mexico in order to test the new four-cam Ford V8 Lotus 29B. Read more…

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