…chance doesn't exist; there's always a cause and a reason for everything – Elahi

Jim Clark’s 1964 season – from Snett to Sebring

And so it begins…

Last year we looked at Jim’s classic 1963 season;  now, in video form, and with additional photographs on these pages, we continue our race-by-race reports of Jim’s racing career and racing life as it happened 50 years ago.  After a whirlwind winter of business activities, farming and award ceremonies, Jim’s season busts into life…amidst the rain and mud of a cold, wet Snetterton.  It’s the Daily Mirror Trophy race for F1 cars (non-championship) and the entry includes a new monocoque BRM for Graham Hill, Jack Brabham (Brabham BT7), Bruce McLaren (Cooper 66), Innes Ireland (BRP), Phil Hill (in the venerable Centro Sud BRM BRM) and Jim’s new team-mate at Team Lotus, Peter Arundell.

1963 Formula One World Championship.

Back to real life: Jim at the Kelso sheep sales in late 1963

Also on the race card:  round one of the 1964 British Touring Car Championship in which two Ford Cortina Lotus will be driven by Jim and Peter.S2870162S2870161

Left: with his girl-friend, Sally Stokes; below: Jim and his mentor, Ian Scott-Watson, share a joke with Graham Hill

The contrasts in the days that followed couldn’t have been greater:  Jim flew from Snetterton to Sebring, Florida, to race a Ford-backed Lotus Cortina in the 12 hour race and also in the shorter prelim the day before.  In an exclusive interview, we talk here with Ray Parsons, the Australian who co-drove with Jim in the 12 Hours.  Speaking to us from a boat off the coast of Queensland, Ray explains how he began his career at Team Lotus and talks about running the Ford Cortina Lotus programme in 1964.  Ray was also a quick driver of Lotus 23s and lightweight Elans (both of which he helped to develop) and was well-known to Tasman fans as Jim’s mechanic in both 1965 and 1966.

  Seen at Sebring



A cool-looking Lorenzo Bandini strolls down the Sebring pit-lane. For 1964 he was promoted to full Ferrari factory status alongside John Surtees


John Surtees and Lorenzo were very quick in their NART 275P Ferrari but eventually finished third after sundry problems


AJ Foyt gets at it in the Sebring garage. He shared a factory-backed Corvette with the talented Canadian, John Cannon


Victory smiles for (left to right) Dave McDonald and Bob Holbert (fourth overall and first in class with a 4.7 litre Shelby Cobra) and overall winners, Umberto Maglioli and Mike Parkes (Ferrari 275P)


Jim and Dan – close friends and part-time team-mates. Dan raced a Shelby Cobra in the 12 Hours and was very quick, as usual. He finished tenth overall after his co-driver, Dick Johnson, collided with a poorly-lit Alfa in the pit lane


Ray Parsons (left) and Jim survey early bodywork and front roll-bar damage on the factory Ford Lotus Cortina


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4 thoughts on “Jim Clark’s 1964 season – from Snett to Sebring

  1. Pingback: Jim Clark’s 1964 season – from Snett to Sebring | HolaQueretaro

  2. Steve W on said:

    Loving this… Thanks!

  3. I saw an excerpt from this Sebring meet on a VHS freebie with Motor Sport magazine over 20 years ago and always wondered about it. It is great to finally see it all. Interesting that Stewart regarded the Cortina so ill handling, they don’t seem to be lifting off at all for turn 11 and appear to be cornering on the door handles with no ill effects (apart from the odd hub fracture!) I feel greater sympathy for the pilots of those two Renault Dauphine’s. I understand he did not rate the Elan 26R either “the most difficult little sod of a car I ever drove” !! Maybe not such a Lotus fan!
    Too many observations to list in this fascinating footage, but check out about 10.30 in. As the camera pans round one can just see Jim’s brake lights flicker. Looks like he was well off the brakes before turn in, probably not using them much at all. Every time you watch this film you see something new.

  4. Nice observations. Thanks. I re-confirmed with JYS very recently his distaste for the Cortina. He added the Elan for good measure! All very strange. Jim loved both cars according to all who were involved at the time.

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