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The Glen ’63: “…he was given to understatement…”

21699.tifFrom Trenton back to London; from London to New York and then on to Elmira, the small airport local to Watkins Glen.  The 1963 US GP would be Jim Clark’s first as World Champion.

Jim loved his days at The Glen;  everyone did.  The leaves had by now turned red and brown; there was a mist in the mornings that lifted only as the sun broke through before noon.  And this was a Grand Prix run by good, racing people – men like Cameron Argetsinger, who had brought motor racing to Watkins Glen in 1948,  Media Director, Mal Currie, and Chief Steward, Bill Milliken.  All had rich racing and automotive histories.  Milliken had been a Boeing test engineer during World War II and had joined the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (Calspan) in 1945.  As an avid Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) member and former driver/designer, Bill in 1960s and 1970s became the doyen of US automobile engineering research. He was, in short, the sort of Chief Steward in whose presence you doffed your cap. The drivers and key team people stayed nearby at the Glen Motor Inn, hard by the Seneca Lakes, where their hosts were Jo and Helen Franzese, the second-generation Italian couple who loved their F1.  Legends were born overnight at the Glen Motor Inn – and even at the old Jefferson hotel downtown. Lips, though, were always sealed.  Such was life that October week at The Glen.

Ford made a big splash, too, this year of the Lotus-Ford at Indy.  This was the US GP!  Sixty thousand fans were expected.  Cedric Selzer, hooking up with the Team Lotus “US guys” for this race, remembers the drive up from New York airport on the Tuesday before the race:  “We were given the keys of a saloon, a coupe and a convertible and made our way out of the city, heading for Watkins Glen.  When we stopped at traffic lights, people came over and asked us about the cars.  We told them we’d got them from the Ford Motor Company but it took us three days to realize that we’d all been given 1964 models than no-one had seen before.

“The following afternoon, Jim Endruweit hired a Cessna 180, with a pilot, and we flew over the Finger Lakes. It was autumn, and the seasonal colours were unbelievable.It seemed a shame when it was time to get back to the task of winning a motor race…”

Milliken remembers the pre-race party:  “High point of the festivities were the parties at the Argetsinger’s home in Burdette.  All drivers and officials were there in an atmosphere or pure fun and excitement, bolstered by great conversation, good food and dozens of magnums of champagne from the local vineyards.  The homespun hospitality led to permanent friendships and was never forgotten by the drivers or teams.”Watkins_Glen_Dec_2002_209.1

Practice took place over eight absorbing hours, split between two four-hour sessions on Friday (1pm-5pm) and again on Saturday (11am-3pm).  There was a bit of a fracas when, first, Peter Broeker’s Canadian-built four-cylinder Stebro-Ford began spewing – and continued to spew – oil around the circuit, and, second, when Lorenzo Bandini slowed down after a blind brow to talk to his sidelined Ferrari team-mate, John Surtees.  Richie Ginther and Jack Brabham narrowly missed the Number Two Ferrari, igniting a bit of finger-pointing back in the pits and plenty of  “I no-a speak-a di Eengleesh…”.

The Glen in 1963 featured the brand new Tech Centre on top of the hill behind the pits (which were then sited after today’s Turn One), allowing all the teams (except Ferrari, who continued to use Nick Fraboni’s Glen Chevrolet garage and therefore to truck their cars up from the town each morning), to work on their cars in situ, in communal spirit and to be energized by plenty of lighting and electric sockets. (The F1 teams were obliged to convert to the American standard 110volts. On the face of it, this didn’t seem to be a problem. As it turned out, it was.)  For a small incremental fee, race fans could also walk up and down the Kendall shed, looking at the cars at close hand.  GP2 could learn a thing or two from The Glen, 1963…

Jim, in relaxed mood, qualified second, 0.1 sec behind Graham Hill’s old space-frame BRM. Milliken also recalls in his excellent autobiography (Equations in Motion, with an introduction by Dan Gurney) that the timekeepers “always had problems with Colin Chapman. Colin timed his own entries and claimed his faster figures were correct, so Bill Close, one of our timers and a solid Scotsman, put two clocks on each Lotus…”

Trevor Taylor, whose car caught fire in the paddock on Saturday, qualified seventh; and Pedro Rodriguez, having his first F1 drive, and fresh from a win for Ferrari in the Canadian GP sports car event, was 13th in the carburettor-engined 25. This wasn’t a happy weekend for Trevor:  Chapman chose the US GP to tell him that he wouldn’t be retained for 1964. His place would be taken by Lotus’ FJ king, Peter Arundell.

Bruce McLaren lost most of the Saturday morning session when his Cooper-Climax lost oil pressure; and so – as at the British GP – he used his time to watch, learn and compare.  This from his notes in Autosport the following week:  “Graham Hill finished his braking relatively early and had the power on, and the BRM a bit sideways, well before the apex of the slow corner at which I was watching.  Jim Clark, on the other hand, braked hard right into the apex with the inside front wheel just on the point of locking as he started to turn.”

Jim’s race was defined on the dummy grid.  Due to what was later found to be a faulty fuel pump, his 25 wouldn’t start. And then, very quickly, the battery went flat. Selzer: “The truth is that the battery had not taken a proper charge overnight. We used a dry-cell aircraft battery made by Varley with six, white-capped cells. Somehow, we never got the hang of keeping them fully-charged. America was a special case as we had to borrow a 110 volt charger.  We used a ‘fast’ charger when actually what was required was a ‘trickle’ charger. As Jim was left way behind the grid proper, two of us ran over to him and changed the battery. This meant that Jim had to climb out whilst we removed the tail and nose sections of the car in order to get at the battery, which was under the seat.”

I recently bought an audio CD of the 1963 US GP and Stirling Moss provides an hilarious description of these moves whilst watching the start from the main control tower.

“I can see lots of people gathered around Jim Clark’s car.  Looks as though they’re trying to remove the bonnet…no…what is it that you Americans call it?  The hood? Yes, that’s right. The hood. They’re removing the hood. Meanwhile, I can see Graham Hill getting ready for the off….”

Jim eventually lit up the rear Dunlops just as the last-placed car completed its first flying lap. He would finish a brilliant third behind the two BRMs of Hill and Ginther (after Surtees’ V6 Ferrari broke a piston in the closing stages) – but it could have been even closer.  “That mishap on the grid was what I needed to put me back into a fighting mood,” remembers Clark in Jim Clark at the Wheel, “and so I set off after the field, knowing I was going to enjoy the race. I began to catch up the field, and to thread my way through, until I saw Graham Hill in front of me. I thought I was at least going to have a dice with my old rival, albeit with me being a whole lap behind him. This was not to be, for shortly afterwards the fuel pump started acting up and it became a struggle even to keep him in view. I ploughed on through the race, during which many cars dropped out, and finally finished third.”  Jim didn’t know it at the time but Graham, too, had been in major trouble:  a rear roll-bar mount had broken on the BRM. Even so, it is typical of Clark’s character that he should sum-up his US GP with the phrase “…and finally finished third.”  He was given to understatement; his mechanical sympathy in reality did the talking. 

21700.tifNeither of the other Lotus 25s finished, although Pedro showed the promise of things to come by slicing his way up to sixth before retiring with a major engine failure. Given the financial support the Rodriguez family were giving Team Lotus for The Glen and then the Mexican GP, the mechanics had to work very hard to rebuild that engine within the next few days. A new timing chain and valves were found after long “phone-arounds” and other broken valves were repaired at a local machine shop.  David Lazenby, the lead “American” Team Lotus mechanic, returned to Detroit to begin installation of the four-cam Ford engine in the Lotus 29 – and he would be joined, once the Rodriguez engine rebuild was finished, by the F1 boys.  Chapman was always one for keeping his lads amused…21754.tif

There was no podium at The Glen.  As in other races back in 1963, it was the winner alone who took the plaudits and the laurel wreath (and, in the case of the US GP, the kisses from the Race Queen.) The new World Champion, after yet another astonishing race, would have quietly donned his dark blue, turtle-necked sweater, had a soft drink or two, helped the boys in the garage and then repaired to the Glen Motor Inn for a bath and a good dinner.   The Mexican GP was three weeks away.  On the Monday, Jim would journey back to New York and then fly across the continent to Los Angeles.  Ahead, over the next two weekends, lay two sports car events for Frank and Phil Arciero, the wealthy (construction/wine-growing) enthusiasts from Montebello, California, who had already won many races with Dan Gurney. The first would be the LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside, where Jim’s “team-mate” would be his Indy sparring partner, Parnelli Jones.  Then, the following weekend, he would race in the Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.  On both occasions he would drive the Arciero’s new 2.7 Climax-engined Lotus 19….assuming it was ready.  On the radio in his room that night at The Glen, with the still, cool air from the Lakes reminding him that the European winter was  but a step away, Jim might have heard the Beach Boys chasing their Surfer Girl, or Peter, Paul and Mary Blowin’ In The Wind.

Captions, from top: Jim drifts the Lotus 25-Climax up through the Watkins Glen esses on his way to a fighting third place; less than a year after the loss of his brother, Ricardo, Pedro Rodriguez made his F1 debut at the Glen in a third works Lotus 25-Climax; classic pose: Jim displays the 25’s reclined driving position as he accelerates past an ABC TV tower Images: LAT Photographic 

Buy Cedric Selzer’s wonderful new autobiography, published in aid of Marie Curie Cancer CareS2740001

The Battle of Reims

20172.tifJim Clark makes it three-in-a-row

The drive down to Reims was the usual cavalcade.  They left Zandvoort, after a celebratory dinner/cabaret at the Bouwes Hotel, early on Monday morning.  First practice for the French GP would commence on Wednesday afternoon (or just one clear working day from the Dutch GP.  As with Monaco now, there was a “free” day within the French GP schedule back then.  At Reims, this was on the Saturday, following three successive afternoons of official practice.  No thought, apparently, was given to the ‘double-header’ pressures facing the mechanics.)  At some point in the road trip Ian Scott-Watson joined Jim and Colin in their rental car and allowed Trevor Taylor behind the wheel of his yellow Elan.   Ian would thereafter spend much time telling the French police that, no, it wasn’t he who had been driving the English sports car at the time in question and that his friend, the culprit, had since flown to Canada…or anywhere…

This wasn’t the usual sun-baked French Grand Prix.  Showers muddied the paddock on Thursday, leaving the Wednesday and Friday sessions for grid-shaping;  Taylor, indeed, set his fastest lap on that Wednesday – and on Thursday, in the rain, neither Lotus driver completed a lap.  (One significant casualty that day was Ludovico Scarfiotti, who crashed heavily in the works Ferrari.  He was for the most part uninjured but shortly afterwards would announce his retirement from racing.  Rescinding this a few months later, he went on to win the 1966 Italian GP for Ferrari at Monza.  He would sadly lose his life in 1968, in a hill-climbing accident.  He was a good friend of Jim’s.)

Wet or dry, flying stones were always an issue at Reims, inducing Lotus to revert to standard windscreens for this race.  With the aeroscreen, it was thought, there was always a risk of debris finding its way into the “jet”.  Slipstreaming on the long, ultra-fast (160mph) French public roads could gain you seconds per lap;  the trick in practice, if you were searching for the pole, was to keep your mirrors free.  Despite a considerable straight-line speed deficiency to the BRMs (including Innes Ireland’s BRP-BRM) and also to the Ferraris, Jim took the pole – and the local champagne that came with it.   In the 25, running the same set of Dunlop R6s he had raced at Monaco, Spa and Zandvoort, Jim found a sweetness in the balance on high-speed corners that he had not felt before – or would feel again in 1963.  “I could set the car up in a whacking great drift around the back, keep my foot it it and achieve cornering speeds that I wouldn’t have thought possible,” he would say later.  Very few photographers – if any – seemed to venture out to these corners in those days (they focussed on the “long” shots on the pit straight and the 90 deg right hander leading on to it) so we are left only to imagine what Jim describes as that “whacking great drift”.  To my mind, given the understeer with which he lived at the International Trophy race at May, the 25 at Reims was now far more neutral – neutral leading to oversteer.  I think it’s also probably significant that by this race Team Lotus seemed to have found some sort of fix for their gearbox drams.  Jim, at last, was able to drive the 25 with both hands on his red leather-rimmed wheel.1963 French Grand Prix. Ref-20133. World © LAT Photographic

Saturday was support-race day, which meant big sports cars and Formula Junior.  Jim was at the track, of course, primarily supporting the Normand Lotus 23Bs (Mike Beckwith and Tony Hegbourne) and Peter Arundell in the FJ race.  There had even been talk of Peter racing the third (spare) 25 in the Grand Prix but ultimately it was felt (when balancing prize money against running expenses!) that Peter should race the works (“mini-25”) 27 FJ.  Denny Hulme again won the FJ battle in the works Brabham, pulling away definitively from the second-place slipstreaming group and finally finishing ahead of Peter, Richard Attwood (MRP Lola), fellow Lotus drivers, Mike Spence and John Fenning, and David Hobbs (MRP Lola).  (As the 50th anniversary of the formation of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd approaches, it’s also worth noting that the talented American, Tim Mayer, finished eighth in this Reims FJ race in one of Ken Tyrrell’s Cooper-BMWs.  Tim and his brother, Teddy, would in the months that follow become an integral part of the new McLaren team.)

Tall and talented Mike Parkes should have won the sports car event with his formidable 4-litre Ferrari but a clutch problem early in the one-hour event effectively handed victory to Carlo Abate (also of powerboat fame) and his 3-litre Ferrari.  Lucien Bianchi (great uncle of Jules) placed third behind Dick Protheroe – and the tough Australian, Paul Hawkins, finished fifth overall with his Ian Walker Lotus 23.  Mike Beckwith had been right up there in third place in the early phase, when Jo Schlesser was leading with his 4-litre Aston, but he fell back a little after a slight “off”.  The small-car class was won by Jose Rosinski, who would go on to become one of the greatest of all French motor racing journalists.

On Sunday – another overcast day – Jim prepared for a torrid French GP as a fighter prepares for a bout, applying white masking tape across his face for extra protection.  Even in the dry, this race would run for well over two hours.

The start, as they say, was the usual shambles.  A fuel vapour lock killed the engine in Graham Hill’s BRM.  Push-starts were forbidden by the regulations…but “Toto Roche”, the autocratic leader of French motor sport and official starter, instructed the BRM mechanics to push Hill’s car nonetheless.  The V8 now revving purely, Roche then quickly stepped away and dropped the flag – except that he dropped a red flag rather than the French national tricolor.   No-one was exactly sure what to do – but they went for it nonetheless.

Jim Clark accelerated hard through the gears to 9,600 (with a max set at 9,800) and then focused on driving the perfect lap:  “Before the race,” he would say later, “I had said to Colin that if I could make the fast corners in front I felt I could open a gap and break the tow.  If I wasn’t in front we agreed that it would be better if I just sat back for a while and let them get on with it…”

Jim was in the lead by the time he reached the first, quick right-hander.  And the second.  And the third.  Full tanks or not, he four-wheel-drifted the 25 with fluid inputs and pin-sharp judgement.  By the time he reached Muizon, the right-hand hairpin, he had free air behind him.  He could forget about his mirrors.ACT

Jim’s standing lap was completed in 2min 31.0sec;  his Indy team-mate and friend, Dan Gurney, lay second a full 2.7sec behind.  Richie Ginther, powered by probably the best engine on the circuit that day, catapulted his BRM up to second place on lap two.  Even so, Jim was leading by nearly four seconds as he passed the Team Lotus signalling board, the 25 sitting on 9,600rpm.

And so it went on.  John Surtees (Ferrari), Dan and Jack (working together in the Brabhams), Bruce McLaren (Cooper), Trevor and Graham Hill scrapped over second place, swapping track space either in top gear, in the tow – or under braking.  At the front, Jim continued to pull away.   By lap 12 of the 53-lap race, he was 19 seconds ahead of Brabham.

Then, for Jim, it all seemed to go wrong.  His Climax engine began to mis-fire at 9,600rpm.  Jim immediately throttled back to 8,000 rpm, where he found a “sweet spot” around which the engine seemed to be half-ok.   He then concentrated even harder on those fast corners but was forced to sit back helplessly on the straights, waiting for the engine to blow – and/or for the next round of bad news on the pit board, for  Brabham was now catching him.  All around the circuit, what’s more, Jim could see parked cars.  Reims was forever tough on all mechanical components – so why was this circuit, on this day, going to be any different for him?

Because on this day – as it had been all week – it would rain.  Jim felt the grease on the track even before his goggles went smeary, for the grooves of the R6s were now worn virtually to slicks.  He was dancing on ice – focussing once again on those fast, very drifty corners where still the 25 felt perfect.  His lap times climbed by ten, 15 seconds;  Graham Hill’s ballooned by 20 seconds.  Maximum revs became irrelevant;  it was all about delicacy.

And so, maintaining that lead, Jim Clark crossed the line, acknowledging Toto Roche’s chequered flag with a raised left arm.  In the grandstands, umbrellas dominated the visage.  On the rev-counter of Jim’s 25, the tell-tale needle sat resolutely at 9,600rpm.  On the work bench later, back in Coventry, Jim’s engine was found to have two broken valve springs.  Trevor (who for this high-speed race, like Jim, raced without a peak on his helmet) might well have finished second had the crown-wheel-and-pinion not failed.  As it was, Graham Hill’s second place was subsequently disallowed due to that push start (subsequently, as in “by the time they got to Monza”.)  Tony Maggs therefore finished an excellent second for Cooper, catching and passing Hill in the closing stages when the monocoque BRM ran into both clutch and brake issues.  Jack took Graham’s third place, with Dan finishing fourth.

Post-race, there was more pandemonium:  a policeman suffered an epileptic fit as he was attempted to clear the crowds from the pit area.  Through the melee, though, Jim and Colin found their way opposite to “the press box”, where they chatted to journalists like Gregor Grant (Autosport), Philip Turner (Motor), Peter Garnier (Autocar) and several of the Fleet Street types.

Thus it was done.  A new era had begun.  Jim Clark and Team Lotus had won three in a row – Spa, Zandvoort and Reims – and had changed the face of Formula One.  The driver lay low in his monocoque car.  The speed, and the suppleness of that speed, was extraordinary.

Next:  the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.FH000006

Captions from top: face taped to provide at least some protection from flying stones, Jim Clark readies for battle at Reims;  Reims practice shot of Jim in the aeroscreened 25; for the race, the conventional screen was used.  This was also the last race for a 25 sans yellow stripe; Jim and his friend, Ludovico Scarfiotti, photographed at the Rockingham NASCAR race in 1967  Images: LAT Photographic; Peter Nygaard Collection; Peter Windsor Collection

Flat out at Imola

S2280010The beautiful spring weather continued as Jim and Trevor made their way to Imola via Bologna.  For both drivers, this race was a first.  Imola – running through the vineyards and orchards of beautiful, undulating countryside – was in 1963 better-known as a motor-cycle track that had seen some sports car racing in the 1950s.  There was no “Ferrari” element to it back then:  the circuit had actually been developed by the Italian Olympic Committee, based on public roads.

Nor were there any chicanes.  From what we know today as “Ravazza” – the left-hander that takes the circuit back towards the pits – Imola was basically flat-out all the way down to Tosa, the tight left-hander that leads uphill.  The road wasn’t straight, mind:  Tamborello was still a very fast left-hand kink back then and the right-hander that followed it was likewise right-on-the-edge.  There was no “Variante Alta” after Acqua Minerale – but in some ways the track gave back what it gained in fast corners by being incredibly bumpy, particularly on that climb to the top of the hill. I spoke to Brian Redman recently about his win at a pre-chicane Imola in a Gulf Porsche 917:  he reckoned that only Spa was more demanding.S2280014

The sun shone, the air was fresh – and, for Team Lotus, the opposition was again negligible.  Not even Ferrari sent cars to this Shell-sponsored race, which meant that young Italian stars like Lorenzo Bandini had to seek rides in old Centro Sud Cooper- Maseratis.   As at Pau, though, Jim’s dedication to the perfect lap – and then to the perfect race – remained undimmed.  Over two days of practice he focused on taking the kinks flat and the high-speed corners in beautifully-balanced drifts: the result was a lap in 1min 48.3 sec – an easy pole, given that Trevor lost a lot of time with gearbox trouble.

The race started relatively late on Sunday – at 4:00pm, after a Formula Junior race which featured such drivers as “Geki” (who would race for Team Lotus at Monza in 1965 and 1966) and the future Ferrari driver, Andrea de Adamich – which meant that the sun had already lost its sheen and the shadows were growing ever-longer as the tricolore fell.  Jim led from the line and was never headed – but still he found time to “play” for the crowd.  Trevor pulled into the pits at the end of the first lap, explaining again that the car was jumping out of fourth gear, and rejoined some 15 laps in arrears.  (One can understand Trevor’s nervousness about issues like this:  at Spa, the previous year, his Lotus 24 had jumped out of gear at Blanchimont, had spun sideways, and had been t-boned at high speed by Willy Mairesse’s Ferrari.  Both drivers had amazingly escaped uninjured, which I guess to some extent re-enforced the belief in the minds of most of their contemporaries, albeit in the short-term, that it was better not to be strapped into the cockpit by seat belts.  I mention this because, already, Jim had experienced the security of seat belts during Indy testing.  He wore them at Indy, and at other ovals, but never, throughout his career, would he wear belts in any European single-seater races.)

Towards the end of this Imola race, therefore, Jim waited for Trevor and “raced” him through to the flag.  Their pace, given that Jo Siffert was lying a very distant second in the Filipinetti Lotus 24-BRM, was breathtaking to watch.  Jim waved Trevor past – then shadowed him, pushing him as hard as he dared, bearing in mind that Trevor was driving now without fourth gear at all.  Taking this into account, it is amazing, I think, to note that Trevor eventually lapped in 1min 48.3sec – at Jim’s pole time (166.769kph).  So did Jim, of course – but that wasn’t the point.  The race, after all, had been fun.S2280012

Very fortunately, we have on this occasion some colour footage from this event, courtesy of Christopher Tate, the current Managing Director of Donington Park.  Chris’s father was closely associated with the Rob Walker F1 team in the early-to-mid 1960s and thus took a 35mm camera with him to many F1 races.  Christopher notes that “it was at Imola in 1963 that Rob really noticed Seppi Siffert and decided to sign him up for 1964”.  In confirmation, of course, Siffert would go on to win the non-championship F1 race at Syracuse the following Thursday (April  25).  I love the charm of this short video – the relaxed chat between Jim and Jo Bonnier before the start; the obvious enthusiasm of the Italian hosts; the oil-smeared mechanics’ white overalls; JoBo, driving his RRW Cooper in short-sleeved polo; the straw bales, the trackside trees; Trevor waiting patiently, watching the race, while they work on his car; the elegance of the dark green Lotus 25s; and Jim looking a little embarrassed as he stands on the podium, Dunlop overalls wet from sweat.  You catch a glimpse, too, of Bob Anderson beginning to make his name in his dark blue and white 1962 Lola – and of Jo Schlesser’s sky-blue FJ Brabham.  With thanks, then, to “A Gentleman’s Motor Racing Diary”, Copyright World Action Sports Productions, available on Amazon.co.uk/DVD/Motosport.  (See below.)

Thus Team Lotus’ pre-season European interlude comes to an end.  Next race: the Aintree 200.  Again – and good to see, too – it is on a Saturday.  Next Saturday. April 27.

The win that Clark tried to share

18275.tifAnd so Jim Clark’s 1963 season begins to gather pace:  after a further few days at Edington Mains, Jim set off for his two-week trip to Southern France and then Italy.  Ian Scott-Watson drove him in the factory prototype Lotus-Cortina to Edinburgh airport, where Jim flew first to London – in a turbo-prop BEA Vickers Vanguard – and then on to Pau.

The warmer Mediterranean weather was a pleasant change from the rigours of the British winter.  There was a carnival atmosphere about the town this second week of April – partly because Pau was hosting an F1 race in its own right, with its own heritage and character;  partly because the race would be run on a public holiday – Easter Monday (April 15); and partly because, from the standpoint of Team Lotus, this weekend was effectively a demonstration run.  The opposition was negligible, for all the major works teams (bar Ferrari, who were busy on their Michael May-inspired fuel-injected semi-monocoque cars for John Surtees and Willy Mairesse) were racing at Goodwood in the Glover Trophy.  Once down near the Pyrenees, though, reality set in:  opposition or not, the works Lotus 25s were facing a 100-mile race in demanding track conditions.  Even as practice began on Saturday, the public roads began to melt and then to crumble.  The weather stayed warm; the crowds expected a speed-fest.  As it happened, the track grew slower and slower and increasingly treacherous…

Jim (in the Lotus 25 he had last raced in South Africa, at the end of 1962) nonetheless took an easy pole after two days of practice. Such was the potential danger of the stones, though, that he fixed masking tape over his nose and upper lip for the race.  He again wore his trusty Everoak;  his Panorama goggles were fitted with dark lenses for his exploits in the golden spring sunshine.

Trevor Taylor, Jim’s team-mate (in the 25 Jim had raced at Snetterton) actually led away from the line but – as great team-mates do – he backed-off before the first, fast right-hander to give the lead to Jim.  1963 Pau Grand Prix.Jim responded – then slowed down a little for Trevor.  And so it went on.  The crowd drank their wine, ate their baguettes, took their naps – but always, when they raised their heads to watch the leaders, there were Jim and Trevor, having fun, swapping places and demonstrating their skill amidst the rubble and the marbles and the frequently-waved yellow flags.

Who would win?  Trevor (right) was happy to cross the line right behind his team-mate.  Colin Chapman would be impressed – and Trevor was keen to consolidate his position as a perfect complement to Clark’s genius.  They’d raced this way in the Springbok series of 1961 – and Trevor had already scored a strong second place for Team Lotus in the Lotus 24 (1962 Dutch GP).  Now, with the 25s heading for more wins in 1963, Trevor wanted solidly to be a part of that.  For his part, Jim thought it much fairer to cross the line in a dead-heat finish.  Showpiece endings like this weren’t that difficult to organize in the 1960s (timing was down only to a tenth of a second), and even four years later (at Syracuse, in 1967, when the timing was a little more sophisticated) the feat would be pulled off by Ferrari.18228.tif

On this occasion, though, Trevor dabbed the brakes just before the line, foiling Jim in a neat reversal of what would see years later at Imola, 1982, and Malaysia, 2013:  Trevor wanted the win to go to Clark, despite Jim’s best efforts to share it.

As light as the opposition had been, Jim and Trevor were nonetheless exhausted after their torrid day’s work.  Over dinner, as plans were made for the drive down to Italy for the following Sunday’s Grand Prix of Imola, a radio crackled out some of the latest hits from England and America – “Big Girls don’t Cry” and the Beatles’ new single, “Please Please Me”.  Then, after phone calls back home, they discussed the news of the day: Innes Ireland had won at Goodwood in front  of 50,000 spectators in the BRP, from Bruce McLaren in the works Cooper and Tony Maggs’ Parnell Lotus 24 – but not before Graham Hill (’62 BRM) and Jack Brabham (’62 Brabham) had both run into mechanical dramas (fuel and ignition respectively).  The Formula Junior race went to Frank Gardner and Denny Hulme (Brabhams), from Richard Attwood’s MRP Lola; Graham Hill made up for his BRM disappointment by winning the Jag 3.8 battle for the St Mary’s Trophy from Roy Salvadori and Mike Salmon; Jack Sears had been quick in the new Ford Cortina GT; Sir John Whitmore and Christabel Carlisle led the Mini division; Graham Hill also won the Sussex Trophy GT race with John Coombs Jag E-Type; and Roy Salvadori won the sports car race – the Lavant Cup – with his Cooper Monaco. Normand Racing had been right up there in the wet, with Tony Hegbourne driving Jim’s Oulton Lotus 23B alongside Mike Beckwith.  The pair had eventually finished second and fourth (despite spins!).20328098

Images: LAT Photographic

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